I have always loved creating things that would be both useful and appealing. From sketching designs for building my own small Lego mechanisms, making intricate birthday cards that my friends would always look forward to getting (so much so that they would forget to look at the actual present I bought them) to designing a medical device that would help with back stiffness and muscle relaxation, creating something that brought joy always made me extremely proud.
In high school I did various activities that would help me learn both technical and soft skills, for example obtaining pitching skills by competing in the Public Speaking Competition and learning several technical skills by taking part at the First Tech Challenge competition alongside my high school’s robotics team, in the construction department. Other than construction, I did a lot of designs for the team’s posters, roll-ups, diplomas for Velocity-organised events, never losing touch with my artistic ability. I found my passion for industrial design when working as an UI/UX designer for the app Biosense, an app that is supposed to measure how clean the air in a room is, for the company NAPA Romania.
During my first year at TU/e, there have been countless challenges I had to face. Most of them were related to hard skills, and more specifically my inexperience when encountering technical difficulties. I have learned more than I could have imagined, and developed not only in the technical departments, but also in the soft disciplines.
My first goal when coming to this university was to develop my technical skills in programming and technical sketching. In the first two quartiles however, I broadened my horizons and dived into more hard disciplines: complex prototyping with hard materials, 3D modelling and printing, and working with circuits. I am proud to say that I have managed to develop in all of these skills. Researching is also something I have learned to do in a professional way, by following courses such as USE Basics, From Idea To Design and Project 1. This allowed me to gain valuable insights into the wants and needs of the stakeholders involved in my future projects.
I am also satisfied that I had the opportunity to greatly improve my soft skills as well, such as pitching, organisation and using my ability to relate to the users. All of these skills I acquired not only by following the set curriculum but also by attending extra curricular activities such as Design Cases.
Every day that I gain more knowledge, I become more balanced as a designer, and am able to reach higher and higher in my ambitions and goals (both short term and long term).
Theory is something I am used to learning, however here in TU/e was my first time actively implementing all the theoretical knowledge I accumulated throughout the years. At first, I found it hard to understand all the formulas from a real-life perspective, but once I did, my design skills vastly improved.
During the course Creative Mechanical Design, Engineering and Manufacturing I took the knowledge from Calculus and Applied Natural Sciences in order to create a kinetic chain reaction mechanism alongside my team. While designing the mechanism, physics and mathematics became a crucial part of both the iteration and implementation of the project. Any little change in the dimensions or distance between elements made a huge difference in the final outcome of the mechanism. I learned not only how to pay attention to details, but also developed a deep insight into how formulas are implemented into real life situations.
The courses Data Analytics for Engineers and Making Sense of Sensors was a great opportunity to learn Python, and use it to conduct proper research. Gathering, analysing and interpreting data are all very valuable skills that I can later use in the user research stage of a design. Learning about machine learning has also provided me with valuable knowledge concerning AI, a topic I am very passionate about. This knowledge was also very useful when designing our Intelligent Agent over the course of Project 1.
I took this knowledge further and implemented it over the course of Project 1, where the theoretical knowledge of electricity (acquired from both Creative Electronics and Applied Natural sciences) allowed me to predict any potential errors of the circuit.
Math, Data & Computing
I’ve always known the importance of becoming a balanced designer. I pride myself in my ability to create concepts of both practical and aesthetically pleasing products. But in order to bring the design to life, I must learn more technical skills other than sketching and complex prototyping. I wish to do more mathematical-programming and go more in depth than what I have already learned so far, and dive in further into the usage of electronics. I also wish to develop my skills within the Business and Entrepreneurship expertise area.
To achieve this, I plan on taking the USE track “Internet of things” offered by TU/e to learn the specified skills, as well as courses such as Digital Craftsmanship and Intelligent Interactive Products. I wish to work at least 4 hours a week for every skill and keep track of my progress so that I know what still needs improvement. I also plan on working on my hard skills during Project 2 and Project 3, as well as taking on extracurricular activities such as Design Cases, workshops, presentations and so on. I also wish to self develop outside of the set curriculum by joining a student team (team Ignite, once again in order to improve my technical skills) or joining the Honors Academy (the Empowerment for Health and Wellbeing track).