Mechanical engineering is a highly practical field. That’s why the Bachelor’s programme Mechanical Engineering at the University of Twente centres on balancing theory and practice. Student Yke de Vlugt tells about his experience with the programme, the university and the city of Enschede.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHAT TO STUDY?
When I was in my last year of high school I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. I was good at physics and mathematics, so I chose a technical programme. I have always been interested in how things are put together and how they work or are made (How It's Made was one of my favourite TV shows). That is why I chose Mechanical Engineering. I looked online for technical programmes, I researched a number of options and I went to several Open Days. Finally, I did the Student for a Day programme at the UT. That is how I decided on Mechanical Engineering.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE UT?
What I really like about the University of Twente is the relaxed environment and its smaller scale. Because of the many projects, you quickly get to know a lot of people. And if you have a question you can often just stop by a teacher's office. The atmosphere in the city of Enschede also appealed to me.
HOW ARE YOUR STUDIES AT THE UT GOING?
Mechanical Engineering is a very broad field. In almost any device you see, an engineer has been involved. For example, the way devices are designed and produced is all about mechanical engineering. For our first project we immediately set to work designing a machine ourselves: a volleyball cannon. We even got to build it! Our second project was a steel construction and our third project was to generate electrical energy with the help of a solar tower. These were all fun projects during which I learned a lot about Mechanical Engineering. I do find the work load quite heavy: the regular programme has a 40 hour work load. On top of that, the standard is high and you have to make sure you don't fall behind.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
The regular study programme requires 40 hours of working and studying. I think I spend about 50% of that time on projects and the other 50% in class and on independent study. So far, my favourite project was designing the volleyball cannon, because we actually got to build it. I also really enjoyed designing a combined energy and water supply in Aruba! My favourite subject until now has been Dynamics, which is all about the movement and velocity of objects in relation to each other.
WHAT IS STUDENT LIFE LIKE IN ENSCHEDE?
There is something for everyone in Enschede. There are a number of student societies, but also a lot of smaller associations within each society. There are also plenty of places where you can go and grab a beer with your friends. Also, there are big parties and events to go to all the time.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN ADDITION TO STUDYING?
I play ice hockey in winter. In summer I have a weekend job and holiday work. I am also the chairman of FSST Tsjerk Hiddes, an organization for Frisian young people studying in Enschede. The idea of the organization is help Frisian students feel at home in Enschede, while encouraging them to hold on to their Frisian identity. Once every two weeks we organize a cocktail hour and once a month we organize an activity. We have already done a lot of fun things, like a Berenburg tasting session and a Christmas congress with other Frisian student associations.