The Course I Was Looking for – Xose Anton Portela Sobrino

Xose Anton Portela Sobrino

"Having a better understanding of the fatigue phenomena was on my to-do list but it always felt like a very big undertaking to study on my own."

While working at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority as a mechanical design engineer, Xose Anton Portela Sobrino participated in the online course Fatigue of Structures & Materials. Read about his experience.

What was your motivation for enrolling in this course?
I am very interested in the field of structural mechanics and am constantly looking for opportunities to expand my knowledge of this field. Having a better understanding of the fatigue phenomena of metals was on my to-do list but it always felt like a very big undertaking to study on my own. I was also struggling at work to understand and deal with stress concentrations and local elasto-plastic behaviour, as well as understanding the criticality of some structures with cracks that sometimes I had to evaluate. Then I found this on-line course at TU Delft. The syllabus seemed to cover all the areas about which I had doubts, the online version fitted really well around my job commitments and I was aware of the good reputation of TU Delft.

How would you describe your online learning experience?
I found the level of the course very demanding and it took much more of my time than I had anticipated. However, the technical level and the contents exceeded my expectations by far. The use of my time was also much more efficient than with campus-based courses. The course was really thorough and methodically organized. The highlight of the course was undoubtedly the forum. I found it really encouraging to engage in conversations about the content of the course with other students as enthusiastic as I am. Students had a variety of backgrounds and I found our discussions in the forum very constructive. Some threads went on for weeks! The assistant professor, who looked after the forum, was absolutely brilliant. I was impressed by his patience and dedication to find ways to help us understand the contents of the course.

As for the learning environment, I became confident with the online learning environment within a couple of days. It was quite straightforward and we could easily share photos or articles in the forums. All the information (tests, slides, etc) was there available for us to download.

I would say that anyone who is aware of the good reputation of TU Delft as a technical university  will not feel disappointed with the level of the online courses. I would recommend, though, to be aware of the workload and dedication required by these courses. These courses are very thorough and it takes time to read and understand all the contents. Once you have finished one of them you will really feel it was well worth the time invested.

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