career story Niels Van Ransbeeck Gent
"I don't know which job would suit me better." Since graduating, Niels Van Ransbeeck (28) now works as a senior mechanical designer at ACE in Ghent. A place where he can solve riddles to his heart's content and think creatively.
K’nex used to be his favorite toy. Niels usually did not follow manuals, he usually made his own constructions. How can you put something together in working order? Thinking instead of remembering, it was clear early on that the former had his preference. Mathematics and physics above languages. "I don't know what specifically attracted me. I think it is logical and independent thinking, daring to think out-of-the box to arrive at a solution. "
There was a very specific moment when it became clear to Niels what he finds important in work. A realization that is in line with his younger preferences. "I was working in a summer job: placing board in a machine. I thought, “I don't want to do this later. I want to think, I want variation. “This realization and the stories of his cousin who studied industrial engineering made him enthusiastic and gave direction.
a straight line
"I went to study as an industrial engineer in electromechanics without any pre-orientation. The stories matched my interests perfectly and I had no idea what else to do. Fortunately it was very interesting."
And once graduated, finding a job was just as easy as choosing a study. “I wanted a work place near Ghent and something in the field of electromechanics. I found ACE through Google. "Niels had never thought about working for an engineering firm like ACE beforehand. "It's actually the perfect place to get a lot of different experiences."
nice and easy
As smoothly as Google gave ACE as a hit, Niels had a contract with ACE in his pocket. "I believe that within two weeks of my letter of application, I had all kinds of pleasant conversations where I could indicate my interests. I still had to take a mechanical test, but that was a lot of fun to do. I still remember issues about gears and unfolding. I could start almost immediately afterwards. "
During the first three months, Niels received internal training to master the Creo Parametric drawing program. In the meantime, manager Kurt went looking for a first assignment for Niels. It was a client at 100 km from Ghent, but ideal for gaining experience. "The difficulty was that they used a different drawing program (Autodesk Inventor) here. I learned this in a week or two thanks to the help of a colleague." Niels happily drove up and down every day to the company that was involved in planning OSB and MDF factories. "For me an ideal learning experience where I was involved in, for example, drawing out belt conveyors and chain conveyors, among other things. In addition, the focus was also on developing simplified models of the machines so that planning can be easier. Thanks to programming with "ilogic", this process was partly automatic.
200 kilometers a day became a bit much in the long run. "I made this a topic for discussion at ACE and the good thing is that at ACE they listen to this seriously and actively participate."
tetris with terminals
At his new client "Diebold Nixdorf - Custom solutions", Niels is engaged in the design of custom build banking and self-service terminals with requests from all over the world. Modules such as a cash dispenser, card reader, screen and printer are existing parts, but Niels designs the specific composition and appearance together with colleagues based on the demand. "The demand can differ from customer to customer, so that there is sufficient variation in the work," Niels says enthusiastically. The technical challenge lies mainly in the interior. "Together with colleagues, we actually play a kind of Tetris with the modules that have to be placed in the terminal." How can we place all the desired modules as efficiently and compactly as possible in the desired design? "
The nice thing about this client is that Niels not only makes a design behind the computer, but tests the designs by building them himself. "We build every first terminal ourselves. We will then notice whether our design works and can make immediate adjustments. I find this very valuable and a nice change. "
"I really feel at home here. There is a lot of variation and the atmosphere is fantastic. We are fluent in communication here and there is plenty of time for humor during work. A lot can be said to each other. That is very important to me. Just like being proud of your work. "And Niels certainly is proud. "When I'm out for a walk with friends and we pass an ATM, I catch myself saying," Look, that's one of us! "