Gaining Solid Knowledge on Composite Materials - Tijs Nijland

Tijs Nijland
The Netherlands

"I would really recommend this course to anyone who wants to gain solid knowledge about composite materials."

Tijs Nijland is an engineer from The Netherlands, working and living in Sweden since 2013. He enrolled in the online course Design of Lightweight Structures: Composites & Metals in 2017.

What was your motivation for enrolling in these courses?
The company I work for (National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB) is developing mobility solutions for a more sustainable future. Based on the impressive heritage of SAAB automobile manufacturing, new electric vehicles are being developed here in Sweden. Lightweight design and materials are a key factor in making the shift to electric propulsion effective.

In my previous working experience (helicopters and airworthiness certification) I had some experience in this area composites are widely used in aerospace. When I got the opportunity to take my current role within a car company, expanding the company’s lightweight materials and design competence and initiating related projects, I wanted to improve my knowledge of the subject. The online course at TU Delft Design of Lightweight: Composites & Metals was spot-on!

How would you describe your online learning experience?
My online experience was very positive. Being able to follow the course entirely remotely, but still having weekly contact with the teachers, allowed me to do my job here in Sweden and follow a quite intense course simultaneously.

The course instruction videos, around three videos per topic, were very effective for me. They helped me greatly to read and interpret the course literature. The videos use simple line drawings, supporting the story of the voice-over.

The pace the course followed appeared intense but was well-planned and structured. For me, it required some planning to keep up with the course alongside my full-time job. But the weekly setup of the course provided all the flexibility I needed to complete the course.

What did you think of the online learning environment?
Interacting with the teachers was very valuable. A one hour session was pre-scheduled on Fridays each week. These contact moments gave me a great opportunity to ask a few questions. The online learning environment was easy to get used to and having all course information at one online place is convenient. The large number of example exams provided very effective preparation. A login to the TU Delft library, which is included in the course, enabled me easy access to the books referred to during the course. This meant I could study from different places, without needing to carry around the course material. Very convenient!

What is your advice to someone who would like to take a similar online course?
If similar courses on TU Delft online follow the same structure and set-up, I would certainly recommend taking a course in area where someone would like to gain solid knowledge. The course was a very effective way to learn a lot in a relatively short period of 7 weeks. My advice would be to schedule a decent amount of time each week to keep up with the course contents, especially if you have other activities like a full-time job.

I would really recommend this course to anyone who wants to gain solid knowledge about composite materials. Even though the field of composites is very wide, the course managed to cover all the main topics.

Just landed after my first flying lesson in Sweden, at Trollhättans Flying club. A great experience to fly over the Swedish landscape!

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