Hello everyone, my name is Luuk van Duin. On September 1st, 2020 I started my internship at Bilfinger Tebodin in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. This internship was part of the graduation program of my master in chemical process technology at the Technical University Eindhoven (TU/e). Before doing my master, I did my bachelor in chemical engineering and chemistry.
Meeting Bilfinger Tebodin
My contact with Bilfinger Tebodin started in February 2020, just before COVID-19 broke loose, at the Career Expo organized by the TU/e. At this point, I already had the feeling that I wanted to do my internship at an engineering company and not a production location. This because of the wide range of knowledge at these types of companies. Talking to employees at Bilfinger Tebodin made me even more convinced of this and hearing their positive views on the company made it a good candidate for my internship. Around June 2020, we finalized my internship position agreeing on an interesting project to work on for a period of four months.
My internship project
During my internship, I worked on an internal project within the Process Engineering team. The goal was to continue the project of a previous intern, which was to create a model to quickly design packed beds for both absorption and distillation. The idea was to make the model in such a way that it could also be implemented in the Excel Toolbox used for almost all calculations within the team. It was important that the model I was going to create would be easy to use, so design calculations could be performed faster in the future. Because of this, part of the project was also to create a set-up sheet for a standard design calculation.
The most important tool in my internship was Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), the coding part of Excel. In VBA, I wrote all functions to run the models. Besides VBA, I used Aspen Plus for a big part of my project, for instance to create a tool for finding certain physical constants of mixtures. In the end, I achieved most of the goals set at the start of my internship and created a working model for both absorption and distillation. Implementation in the Excel Toolbox was not that easy, as other engineers should check the entire model for possible errors in the implementation. However, this process is expected to start in the near future!
Becoming part of the team
This internship was my first experience with the engineering industry. Having no working experience within a company made me a little nervous in the beginning. Would it be all work and no fun? However, during my first weeks I was pleasantly surprised that this was definitely not the case. I was welcomed with open arms by everyone in the company and I met a few of my colleagues in person during my first month. Talking to them gave me quite some insights into what working for Bilfinger Tebodin entailed, what type of work they do and the atmosphere in the office. Participating in office traditions, such as going to snack bar Conny for lunch on Fridays, showed me that the prospect of working is not always as bad as students sometimes make it out to be.
Overall, I had so much fun during my internship that I decided to put out feelers to see if joining the team as a full time employee was an option. After a short application procedure, I was offered the position that I started on January 15th, 2021. I can honestly say that I have been enjoying the past two months as an employee just as much, if not more, as the months as intern. I am looking forward to my time within Bilfinger Tebodin!