'If you have the passion of curiosity and you love to know how things work, you should pick this study.'

  • Student project

Raneem Kara is a Mechanical Engineering graduate student. She came to the Netherlands as a refugee from Syria in 2012 and is currently working at Philips to further improve and validate the prototype she made during her graduation.

'Before I came to the Netherlands I studied dentistry for a year, but after coming here they told me that my diploma was not worth anything and I had to start over. So I did the vavo and passed it. After taking a gap year to take some time to think about what I wanted to do, I chose Mechanical Engineering because it was something that I have loved since I was a child. I loved trying to figure out why things are working the way they are. My mom used to struggle with me breaking a lot of things trying to open them.'

'I did my graduation thesis at Philips. My project was to automate a product test. The test was done manually and it was a repetitive and painful procedure. They do it so many times a year which causes a lot of muscle problems and it takes up a lot of hours from the engineers, who can do much better work in that same time.'

'They had a couple of different parts and a robot arm that I could use. I had to bring those together to make them do one task while simulating the arm of a person. There were a lot of variables.'

'I had a great team and everyone was very helpful. I worked with multiple departments and conducted various brainstorm sessions with them. I also communicated with an external robotic company and went to one of their conferences during which I was able to ask them questions.'

'After identifying the problem and researching the requirements and parts, I made a 3D model of every part and put them together to see if the simulation of my solution actually worked. Then I 3D printed everything and made sure everything was working the way I wanted it to work.'

'It functioned perfectly and after multiple tests, I showed it to my client. Once I got my approval, I went to the prototyping department and gave them my 3D technical drawings. After it was finished, I tested it again and then I presented it to the client.'

'Afterwards Philips asked me if I wanted to stay to work on improving and validating the prototype. I stayed because I really wanted to know more about what happens after a mechanical engineer provides a solution.'

'Mechanical Engineering is a broad study that opens a lot of doors for you. If you have the passion and curiosity and you love to know how things work, you should pick this study. Being a girl in Mechanical Engineering is also not that scary, even if it’s a class full of men. If you have the curiosity, just go for it.'

Fields of interest

  • Science and Engineering