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Priyanka Patel (EngD Software Technology): taste of Philips gives appetite for more

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

After graduating from the EngD Software Technology program, Priyanka Patel went right back to Philips to continue where she left off in her final assignment. During the traineeship, she’d gotten such a good vibe from the company that she decided to start her professional career there.

Having worked for five years in the software industry in Bangalore, in her native country India, Priyanka Patel desired a change of scenery. Friends pointed her to the EngD Software Technology (ST) at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE). “I was ready for a new challenge. I wanted to broaden my software experience. Several friends of mine had done a master’s in the Netherlands and one of them had subsequently joined the ST program, while others were considering it. They were all very positive about the traineeship and after some more orientation, I signed up.”

Patel enrolled as an ST trainee in 2018 and graduated in 2020 at Philips. During the EngD program, she’d gotten such a good vibe from the company that she almost immediately returned to start her professional career there. “I really enjoyed my time as a trainee at Philips. I liked the environment and culture so much that I came back for more.” And despite the reorganization, it’s going through now, Philips remains a Dutch multinational shaping an important part of the world’s technological future. “It’s an international company and I’ve always wanted to work in healthcare, where you can truly make a difference.”

Industrial focus

TUE’s EngD ST is a two-year salaried post-master technological designer program for top MSc graduates in computer science or a related field. It prepares them for a career in industry by strengthening their theoretical basis and confronting them with complex system/software challenges from industrial partners. The students learn to develop innovative solutions meeting industry standards while mastering all the aspects of teamwork, different roles and professional skills.

“The program isn’t only about the core computer science subjects; it’s just as much about preparing you as an individual for your future work in industry,” Patel explains. “It’s a pretty intensive two-year track in which you get trained in topics like model-based software engineering, machine learning and the internet of things but also in software architecting, agile project management and the required soft skills. For me, this broad offering, covering the end-to-end software engineering portfolio, is one of the program’s main attractions.”

Patel highly values the industrial focus. “Next to the many lectures and workshops by experts from both academia and industry, the bulk of the traineeship consists of projects in which you apply the learnings at companies in the Brainport region. It starts with three smaller assignments, of 2-3 months each, in which you have different roles. I was a designer for an AI-empowered speech analysis system at Philips, a designer and scrum master for a traffic warning service at the C-Mobile EU project and an architect for a software architecture revision project at ASML. The program is concluded by a 10-month graduation project. I did mine at Philips Research again, taking different roles in developing a unified messaging platform for support requests from hospitals.”

Article by Bits&Chips in collaboration with the Software Technology EngD program at TU/e

Joining the ST program?

The upcoming edition of the Software Technology program is scheduled to start on 30 October. MSc graduates or software engineers interested in participating are invited to apply.