Why Sophie Cramer chose for a PDEng traineeship

4TU Delft
4TU Eindhoven
4TU Twente
4TU Wageningen
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After completing a bachelor’s degree programme in Industrial Design at TU Delft, Sophie knew pretty quickly that she wanted to continue her studies with a focus on medical science. “I took a minor in medical science, in which I found out that working in health care and contributing to a better quality of life actually satisfies me more than designing products that are being used on a daily basis.” She transferred to a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and, through doing an internship here, ended up at LUMC, where she finished her studies at the neonatology ward. “The hospital had a vacancy for a PDEng trainee (Qualified Medical Engineer), but they were still looking for a clinical assignment. The neonatologist with whom I worked proposed our project to them, including me.”

According to Sophie, the best part of taking a PDEng is that you develop yourself in the broadest way possible. A position as technician at technical services allows you to see multiple clinical wards and learns how everything round technology is organized in hospitals. Sophie: “The broad and deep insight is unique for this PDEng programme. It’s easier to compare the programme with a traineeship than with a PhD, because in the latter you are more focused on one specific research topic. This PDEng programme at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) also contains a solid course programme, which allows you to get in touch with other PDEng trainees. I found this very valuable: although we all worked in different hospitals, we had to complete the same sort of assignments and projects. I learned how things are organized differently in other hospitals and was able to discuss my assignments with fellow trainees, which was extremely informative.”

Bridge the gap between the medical world and technology

Sophie didn’t expect to find herself taking both a PDEng programme and a PhD after she graduated. “I knew that my goal wasn’t to become a diehard engineer, but rather preferred to bridge the gap between the medical world and technology. I found it hard to think of an organization or institution where I could execute a job like this, but luckily LUMC enables me to do this job very well.”

The benefit of a PDEng programme is that something is designed as close to the source as possible. Sophie finds it very interesting, but also important, to work closely with health care and learning what is truly important by seeing the patients and the care they receive. A PDEng programme learns you the importance of working together with multiple disciplines in order to achieve proper results. “I didn’t know much about premature babies, whereas my colleagues didn’t have much knowledge on how to design technology, thus you really need one another to design a valuable product.”

Do’s and don’ts

Sophie would highly recommend taking a PDEng programme for everyone who might consider this. “The course programme has a nice set up, and it was beneficial to share information and experiences with fellow trainees during our training days on campus. I was only on campus for my training days and did the rest of my work and assignments at LUMC, so I have not been able to use all the facilities that the TU/e offers. The campus is on walking distance from the central train station, however, which is an advantage.” A tip that Sophie would give to prospective trainees is to take care of time-management: “Make sure that you finish one assignment, before you start with a new one, because due to the broadness of your PDEng programme, you will easily get into different assignments and projects. Although I find this hard every once in a while, it also lends itself for some extra challenges.” If you would like to explore how technology is applied in the health care, Sophie recommends you to take a PDEng, but if you are already certain about the research you want to conduct in a specific sub field, a PhD program might suit you better.

Audience Award

Ervery year, TU/e celebrates talents who produce the best Bsc-, MSc-, PDEng and PhD thesis. Sophie won the Audience Award for the development of the BreatheBuddy. This was a very special moment for her. “It was an absolute honor to be nominated. I am currently still employed at this ward, which is beneficial, because we still talk about it.” Despite the prize she won, Sophie was overwhelmed by al the laudatory reactions she received. Together with a nurse, Sophie created a short video, through which outsiders can easily learn about her research. Sophie is currently designing and developing a device that will stimulate premature babies to start breathing again when an apnea occurs. During her PDEng programme, Sophie registered how nurses are currently stimulating breathing and she also proved that mechanical stimulation can be effective as well. On the basis of these results, Sophie developed BreatheBuddy, a device that will respond automatically and direct, without a nurse’s interference. She hopes to start testing at the beginning of next year. 

Vacancies

As of March, 1st, 3 QME positions will be available. The QME programme is in Dutch only. Please check vacancies here.

Why Sophie Cramer chose for a PDEng traineeship

After completing a bachelor’s degree programme in Industrial Design at TU Delft, Sophie knew pretty quickly that she wanted to continue her studies with a focus on medical science. “I took a minor in medical science, in which I found out that working in health care and contributing to a better quality of life actually satisfies me more than designing products that are being used on a daily basis.” She transferred to a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and, through doing an internship here, ended up at LUMC, where she finished her studies at the neonatology ward. “The hospital had a vacancy for a PDEng trainee (Qualified Medical Engineer), but they were still looking for a clinical assignment. The neonatologist with whom I worked proposed our project to them, including me.”

According to Sophie, the best part of taking a PDEng is that you develop yourself in the broadest way possible. A position as technician at technical services allows you to see multiple clinical wards and learns how everything round technology is organized in hospitals. Sophie: “The broad and deep insight is unique for this PDEng programme. It’s easier to compare the programme with a traineeship than with a PhD, because in the latter you are more focused on one specific research topic. This PDEng programme at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) also contains a solid course programme, which allows you to get in touch with other PDEng trainees. I found this very valuable: although we all worked in different hospitals, we had to complete the same sort of assignments and projects. I learned how things are organized differently in other hospitals and was able to discuss my assignments with fellow trainees, which was extremely informative.”

Bridge the gap between the medical world and technology

Sophie didn’t expect to find herself taking both a PDEng programme and a PhD after she graduated. “I knew that my goal wasn’t to become a diehard engineer, but rather preferred to bridge the gap between the medical world and technology. I found it hard to think of an organization or institution where I could execute a job like this, but luckily LUMC enables me to do this job very well.”

The benefit of a PDEng programme is that something is designed as close to the source as possible. Sophie finds it very interesting, but also important, to work closely with health care and learning what is truly important by seeing the patients and the care they receive. A PDEng programme learns you the importance of working together with multiple disciplines in order to achieve proper results. “I didn’t know much about premature babies, whereas my colleagues didn’t have much knowledge on how to design technology, thus you really need one another to design a valuable product.”

Do’s and don’ts

Sophie would highly recommend taking a PDEng programme for everyone who might consider this. “The course programme has a nice set up, and it was beneficial to share information and experiences with fellow trainees during our training days on campus. I was only on campus for my training days and did the rest of my work and assignments at LUMC, so I have not been able to use all the facilities that the TU/e offers. The campus is on walking distance from the central train station, however, which is an advantage.” A tip that Sophie would give to prospective trainees is to take care of time-management: “Make sure that you finish one assignment, before you start with a new one, because due to the broadness of your PDEng programme, you will easily get into different assignments and projects. Although I find this hard every once in a while, it also lends itself for some extra challenges.” If you would like to explore how technology is applied in the health care, Sophie recommends you to take a PDEng, but if you are already certain about the research you want to conduct in a specific sub field, a PhD program might suit you better.

Audience Award

Ervery year, TU/e celebrates talents who produce the best Bsc-, MSc-, PDEng and PhD thesis. Sophie won the Audience Award for the development of the BreatheBuddy. This was a very special moment for her. “It was an absolute honor to be nominated. I am currently still employed at this ward, which is beneficial, because we still talk about it.” Despite the prize she won, Sophie was overwhelmed by al the laudatory reactions she received. Together with a nurse, Sophie created a short video, through which outsiders can easily learn about her research. Sophie is currently designing and developing a device that will stimulate premature babies to start breathing again when an apnea occurs. During her PDEng programme, Sophie registered how nurses are currently stimulating breathing and she also proved that mechanical stimulation can be effective as well. On the basis of these results, Sophie developed BreatheBuddy, a device that will respond automatically and direct, without a nurse’s interference. She hopes to start testing at the beginning of next year. 

Vacancies

As of March, 1st, 3 QME positions will be available. The QME programme is in Dutch only. Please check vacancies here.