Fontys ICT students develop software for VDL

Fontys Information and Communication Technology
Seven students of the Fontys ICT course and High Tech Embedded Software (HTES) lectorate recently carried out an assignment at VDL Enabling Technologies Group (ETG) in Eindhoven. In this assignment they collaborated on developing and programming new software for a new, future-proof operation system.

Ton Peijnenburg, Manager Systems Engineering at VDL ETG, is happy with the collaboration with Fontys. ‘There is music in this collaboration. It took some getting used to for both parties in the beginning, but the initial collaboration went well in our opinion. Hopefully, this project was the kickoff for a long-term relationship between VDL ETG and Fontys.’

He sees several advantages in their cooperation. ‘First of all, it’s a nice way of preparing students for their working life, but it also gives companies the opportunity to get to know students. It’s also nice to see that these students are already updated on the latest technologies in the field of Embedded Software. Because of this, they can genuinely add something to this new operating system. ‘It’s remarkable that education often uses tools that are still unknown to companies! The cooperation with Fontys ICT thus ensures that my company continues to innovate.’

Real assignment
‘At school, students usually learn the basic principles of software development for embedded systems. They often do not come into contact with more complex systems until after their studies. It was very different in this case. The assignment at VDL ETG is a real assignment for the business world, where the client has high demands of the operating system’, says lecturer Teade Punter of the High Tech Embedded Software (HTES) lectorate of Fontys. ‘For students it’s a challenge to make this a success. At the same time, it’s also interesting for teachers. They are taken out of their comfort zone, but gain practical experience and can immediately let this knowledge flow back into education.’

Pushing boundaries
Kees Adriaanse, programme manager of the Fontys Centre of Expertise High Tech Systems & Materials, calls cooperation with the business world an opportunity for the companies and Fontys as well as for the students. ‘Companies get an answer to their research question and students can work with realistic requests of companies. This teaches the students much more than carrying out assignments from a book, and also has a motivating effect. In addition, direct contact is made between companies and students. If a company wants to hire a student, the student already knows the ropes and can start immediately. For companies it can also be attractive to push their boundaries. They can have something researched that is relatively expensive or just outside their core business, without having to invest a lot of money in it. At the same time, such an assignment for our school contributes to the further professionalization of teachers and the modernisation of the curriculum. We thus help each other get ahead.’

Author: Gerben van den Broek

Source:  regioinbed​