When you leave secondary school and go to university, a lot of things change. Even the names of things that were familiar to you. A classroom is suddenly called a lecture hall, a class becomes a lecture and your teacher is a professor or lecturer. One of the teachers in our Bachelor's programme Mechanical Engineering is Jurnan Schilder, Structural Dynamics professor. In 2014, he was voted Teacher of the Year by the UT students.
I am Jurnan Schilder. I was born in Almere and grew up in Ens (in the Noordoostpolder municipality). I moved to the University of Twente's campus in the summer of 2007 to study Mechanical Engineering. I graduated in 2012, specializing in Applied Mechanics. Immediately after that I started teaching Structural Dynamics.
WHAT SUBJECT DO YOU TEACH?
I teach Dynamics 2 during Module 8 of the Bachelor's programme. Throughout this subject we study the movements of all kinds of complex mechanical systems and the occurring forces. Specifically, we focus on vibrations in systems and how they can be prevented – like the flapping of helicopter blades, or the swinging of heavy loads being lifted at sea.
WHAT ARE YOUR LECTURES LIKE?
I try and tell a rounded story in all my lectures: there is a certain problem and we follow clear steps to solve it. I think it is wonderful that throughout my subject students look at everyday things with an engineer’s eyes. For example, a student once came to me with a dismantled electric toothbrush; he had asked himself why the brush vibrated while the handle did not. On another occasion, I got a video from a student who had realised, while making a cappuccino, that the milk steamer was showing signs of unstable behaviour. To me, that is fantastic!