From the best stroopwafel tricks to beating soccer robots

More than twenty new employees came to Vertigo on June 14th for the introduction day ‘Welcome to TU/e’. Day hosts Susan Lambriks and Femke Verheggen welcome the diverse group. Almost a hundred nationalities are represented at TU/e and on Friday there is an almost 50/50 mix between internationals and Dutch people. For many of the participants, this introduction day not only marks the start of a new career, but also provides the first stepping stone to create a new life in a new city.

Anyone who thinks that a day like this is just about listening to presentations couldn’t be more wrong. There is certainly also room for interaction and a look behind the scenes. To immediately put the brand new colleagues at ease, Lambriks prepared a game as an ice breaker. Everyone writes an open question on a piece of paper. You sit opposite someone and move one place to the right when told to do so. Each shift both parties answer a new question, such as ‘What is your spirit animal and why?’ and ‘What is your worst habit?’. The ice breaker works and there is already a lot of chitchat, which means that Lambriks has to make some extra effort to be heard through the chatter.

To dip or not to dip?

The coffee round with stroopwafel puts on happy faces, both among Dutch people and internationals. The latter group immediately receives tips on how to best eat the famous cookie from Holland (or from the Netherlands? That discussion is explained later in a video): let it melt on top of the cup of coffee and then briefly dip it in. Or not. Not everyone is on the same page here. Various internationals are happy to try it out for themselves.

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The slogan ‘Where innovation starts and where people matter’ is well looked after by Lambriks and Verheggen. The quality of the research is of great importance to the university. But there’s more that matters. "The people behind the researchers must also feel at home," Lambriks adds. That is why during the introduction day network initiatives like the Get in Touch program and the Spouse Initiative are presented.

After the informative morning with presentations, the group moves outside to explore the campus. The tour starts at the TU/e innovation Space where the Equipment & Prototype Center is visited. Instrument makers Jeroen Baijens and Erwin Dekkers show how we make all kinds of instruments and prototypes for research on campus. Enthusiastic participants can also try to blow glass themselves in the glass workshop.

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The human against the robot

After a nice lunch in the community cafe Hubble, the group continues its way to the robot soccer stadium in Gemini. Tech United gives a demonstration of what the soccer robots can do. Here is room for challenge as well: “Who dares to keep if the robot takes a penalty?” Two gentlemen present themselves. After one goal for the robot, they manage to block the remaining attempts.

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With the active mindset of robot soccer, we continue to the Student Sports Centre (SSC) where marketing and communication staff member Raymond Starke gives a tour. There are plenty of different sports to practice, but Starke says that early morning and lunch lessons are very popular with employees because they fit well into a work schedule. "Yoga is a good example." Some people already show interest in a sports card.

First new friends

The first telephone numbers are already being exchanged at the end of the day. Verheggen: “We see that some people already make friends during the introduction day. That is of course great if you are new to Eindhoven and it’s also one of the goals of the introduction day. ”

The reactions in the group are very positive. The day is diverse and despite the large amount of information it feels very light. Benjamin Büttner, PhD student at the department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, thinks it is a nice day and is certainly also happy with the information about his new hometown Eindhoven. Sylvia van Beek-Verschure, who works at Biomedical Engineering, already feels "like a fish in the water here. It is very nice that there is time for something like this.” The day ends in the sunshine on the terrace of De Zwarte Doos. Cheers, to a successful career.

All new employees and their partners can participate in the introduction day. This also applies to PhD and PDEng students, because they are seen as employees in the Netherlands. Are you starting soon or have you recently started at TU/e and would you like to participate in an introduction day? The next one will take place on September 6th. You can register by sending an email.

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