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Day 2, 3 and 4 – Settling in Singapore

Day 4 – Marina Bay Sands

The next day started for a lot of participants with a little hangover. Luckily enough we were allowed to stay in our beds until 8.30. After having breakfast, we started our journey to the VDL Enabling Technologies Group, a Dutch country which is specialized in high tech solutions for technical challenges. Like every other day, we took the metro and during the ride we witnessed the first rain of the study trip; it was a huge cloud-burst. Once arrived at the end station of the metro, we first bought some lunch before making the final walk to VDL ETG. There, we were received in the board room for a safety instruction, followed by some presentations about VDL in common, VDL ETG and VDL ETG Singapore. After a short break with real coffee (!), the factory tour started along different manufacturing rooms where the milling, welding, laser cutting, assembly and quality control works take place. Some of these activities happen in cleanrooms of different gradations. The tour was followed by a presentation about the career opportunities at VDL ETG and a lot of Q & A.

We took the metro back to our hostel for a quick refreshment and went to the Square City Mall. This is a mall full of shops and eating facilities where everybody had the opportunity of choosing the food of their choice. In the case of the author of this article, we went to ‘Pastamania’, which is an Italian restaurant where we ordered a pizza with student discount. Our money for the dinner was not totally spent so we decided to order an ice cream at a random stand.

Once all stomachs were filled, the journey brought us to the top of the massive Marina Bay Sands building. There, we enjoyed the amazing view of the skyline of Singapore during sunset. Once all cameras ran out of memory and we were not allowed to enter the casino because of one single under 21 group member we went on a boat trip through the city centre. The absolute zenith was the spectacular lightshow (different one than the one from yesterday) at Marina Bay Sands at the lake next to it.

Now, it was time to find out what the night life of Singapore had to offer us. First, we joined a little festival in Clarke Quay, the capital of the nightlife of Singapore. Some very crappy bands played at the stage and we were actually the ones to steal the show there; a lot of Singaporeans wanted to take pictures of us. The last stop of the night was a club called Attica. In contrast to the locals, we did not have to wait in the line to go inside, but we were allowed to enter the club at a side entrance. Besides the extreme high price of a beer (almost 15 euros), the men’s toilets were another thing to mention: the urinals had the shape of a woman’s mouth and after flushing they blew smoke. As a European, we gained a lot of attention from Singaporeans of the opposite sex; that is why some of us tried to get free beers from them, unsuccessfully. After a lot of dancing and some successful flirts, everybody returned to their beds, tired but satisfied.

Rik van Cauwenberghe

Day 3 – Hercules III

6.00 AM. The alarm clock goes off and only a few moments later Kelsey knocks on our doors to ensure we’re really awake. Well, let me rephrase that: to ensure we’re up. Being awake will take some more time and coffee. With some reluctance and still a bit groggy from the jetlag we manage to get out of bed for our first real day in Singapore.

Today’s agenda consisted of two company visits to Boskalis and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and cultural excursions to the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. After a short breakfast, we were headed to the metro for our first company visit of the day, which was Boskalis. This company provides maritime services including dredging, towing, salvaging and furthermore operates in the inland infra and offshore energy sectors. Following a warm welcome (although it was almost freezing in the meeting room because of all the air-conditioning around here), we were given a couple of interesting presentations. One of the interesting facts told by one of the presentators was the difference between a civil and mechanical engineering; mechanical engineers build weapons, civil engineers build the targets. The presentations were followed by a tour through their warehouse and around the yard. Saving the best for last, the tour was concluded by a visit to one of Boskalis’ ships, the Asian Hercules III. This is one of the largest floating sheerlegs in the world and is able to lift 5000 metric tons with its 136 meter boom. It was truly an amazing sight, with the pulleys being larger than an average sized car and steel cables as thick as a man’s leg.

Next up on the list was a visit to the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering of the NTU. After a short bus ride and hike, we arrived at the faculty where we were first shown around in the robotics lab. Here, we received a couple demonstrations after which we were given a tour through the automotive lab with projects very similar to the ones being run at the TU/e. Subsequently, we were given a blitz tour through the aerospace lab and cafeteria, concluding the tour at the NTU.

It was now time for some sightseeing in downtown Singapore. After cramming ourselves into a couple of crowded busses at the NTU, we first headed to the Singapore Flyer, a large ferriswheel near the financial district. As we passed the many high-rise buildings and famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel on our way to the ferriswheel, a galore of photographs and selfies ensued, obviously. When everyone was done taking pictures, we continued to the Singapore Flyer where we dined at a food court, a plaza with all kinds of small food stalls.

Before calling it a day, we went to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel to view a light show at the Marina Bay Sands. In all honesty, this turned out to be kind of an anti-climax after all the great things we had seen earlier that day. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time left to visit the observation deck of the hotel, so this was postponed to the next day. Finally, we split up into a couple of smaller groups to enjoy a couple of welcome cold pints before wrapping up the day.

Marc Beerens

Day 2 – Hot and spicy

Day 2 started in Dubai, the transfer where we got on the flight to Changi airport (Singapore). The 3 hour wait in Dubai had been reduced to 1 hour after our previously delayed flight. From our arrival terminal to the departure terminal C took around 15 minutes. An elevator, an automated train and another elevator took us to terminal B, gate B20.

Boarding already started. Since we still had 30 minutes to board the giant Airbus A380, everyone got 20 minutes to check out the modern terminal. As soon as everyone left, the gate screen displayed ‘Final Call’. Everyone was politely requested to get their asses back to the gate. Some ‘buddy checks’ and headcounts later everyone was on the plane, which turned out to be half empty. Soon, all places with extra space were confiscated. Everyone else redistributed to assure maximal sleep comfort.

Around 7,5 hours later, we landed at Changi International Airport in Singapore. First a quick body heat scan, a toilet break and we were off to our transfer to the hostel. The bus, as it turned out, had been waiting for us for over an hour and had left to complete another transfer. After some vague promises, the bus was supposed to come in shortly. In the meantime, everyone had agreed on one thing: the temperature of 32 degree Celsius in combination with the humidity made it hot, very hot. After 2 hours the bus arrived and brought us to the hostel. 30 minutes later we entered ‘the Mitraa’ hostel. Everyone was divided in groups of 6 and each group was assigned to a room. First impression: bunk beds, tight, clean and air-conditioning.

A 20 minutes quick refresher later, everyone was ready to go to diner. This diner was taking place at a restaurant in the district called: Little India. It was a 15 minutes’ walk from the hostel. The menu was already predetermined. We all got the same, consisting of among other things: chicken, fish, vegetables, of course rice and other dishes. Judging by the red color on several faces, in combination with extensive sweating, some of the dishes turned out to be spicy. The complementary lime juice was not unnecessary for this hot food. A few reorders later, everyone was red and satisfied. A cold ice cream was the perfect end to this meal.

After diner, everyone went to the hostel to sleep and shower. An exhausting day of traveling has ended.

Florian Bastiaens

 

Day 1 – Ready for take off!

The first day is all about traveling. The participants meet at the Piazza in Eindhoven. Here the participants get their information and check their backpacks one last time before saying goodbyes to their family and loved ones. We start a dangerous trip of around 200 meters to the train station where our buddy systems (Where every person looks at the presence of two other persons) comes into play numerous times. Fortunately, no one was left behind on this treacherous path and everyone ends up in the train safely. After the familiar public transportation delays we reach Schiphol.

We are all excited to get to our plane and take the journey. However, it turned out that the plane had a delay of one hour. This was answered by “They are filling it up with more liquor for us” and similar comments, since we are students after all. Going through security with enough strange man and women groping in the groin area, going through your luggage and for good measure have another touch in your personal spaces, we are free to look around the duty free stuff in Schiphol. After looking at these overpriced shops and cafes we finally assemble at the gate. Where a huge airplane, which I found out is an Airbus A380-800, slowly rides up to the gate. Three full crates of food, liquor and rinsing towels are loaded up in this friendly monstrosity. Thus in a way our prayers have been answered. Personal is crawling around this machine as ants under Mount Everest. When we are finally called, another long trip of 200 meters, this time without buddy checks, leads us into the airplane’s belly.

Meeting the staff which directs us to our seats we can see a large seat with a personal computer screen with videos, games and music. Eagerly the participants start a game of Texas Hold’em where in the first round half of the competitions was eliminated with a ‘flush’ due to an all-in of five inexperienced players. After this quick game the other entertainments which were available to us were put to the test. So, instead of getting sleep and stepping out of the plane somewhat rejuvenated, we ended up eating cold microwave-heated food and drinking our way through the movies. This chain of events led us to some of the participants missing the last call to the gate only to end up sitting in the next airplane from Dubai to Singapore for 3 hours standing still. Eventually after a long day of flying and travelling we made it to Singapore.

Written by Thomas van Westendorp

Welcome!

Welcome to the web page of study tour 2015 Singapore & Malaysia. This study tour is organised by the study tour committee 2015 from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Technology Eindhoven. The website contains information associated with the study tour and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. You can find the latest blog posts below. It contains the updates of past events and work in progress. On behalf of the study tour 2015 committee, we wish you a pleasant stay on our website.

Preliminary activities: Continu and Sensata

On Monday the 15th of June, the participants joined a CV workshop hosted by Continu. Continu is an intermediary for the contruction and technical industry. The presentations given sparked the interest of the listeners. Some topics discussed were on how to improve your CV, do’s and don’ts regarding a job interview and how to network properly. At the end of the workshop many of the people got inspired to improve their CV and now feel motivated for their future job hunt! And some of us instantly took advantage of the workshop and started networking with the people of Continu!

Around the lunch break on the same day we welcomed an employee from Sensata (Latin-English translation: those gifted with sense) to introduce us to the company and a glimpse of the possibilities as a mechanical engineer in the company. Designing and producing sensors turned out to be more complex and detailed than expected. It is noteworthy how many sensors and components are required in a single airplane or for other transportation vehicles. Mr. Vonk definitely gave us an impressive perspective on Sensata!

Preliminary actitivities: Tai chi, SKF excursion and cooking

The first three preliminary activites took place the last month. To give the readers a short impression:

On the 20th of April, the study tour participants joined Mr. Van Deelen at on the TU/e campus for a short tai chi workshop. Mr. Van Deelen told us about the origin of tai chi and the culture in Asia. After this workshop the participants got to know each other better at while having some drinks.

The 4th of May, an excursion to the SKF facility in Nieuwegein took place. SKF is one of the largest ball bearing companies in the world.  We arrived at the destination at 10 AM by train. After a cup of tea or coffee we got an introduction followed by a guided tour through the research and test facilities of SKF. After the lunch break we had to solve a small case: it involved using a newly developed tool to determine the correct ball bearing for a given scenario. The day ended with an applause for the SKF staff and a certificate for every participant before heading to the bar.

On the 12th of May the participants gathered together to start a cooking activity. We made our own satay ajam and laksa. These traditional dishes tasted great, yet the taste was just a sneak peek of what will be served in Singapore and Malaysia. With some music and beer, everyone seemed to enjoy this evening!

 

Apply now!

For those who are still interested in joining the study tour and have not yet registered, you can apply for the reservation list. In case a participant drops out we will select the next candidate in the list. So keep your hopes up and send an e-mail to info@studytour2015.nl if you wish to join!

Exciting update week 10

Yesterday the registration period for the study tour to Singapore & Malaysia has been closed! This means that 28 students and 2 companions (doing their PhD) of mechanical engineering will go for 3 weeks to Singapore & Malaysia!

Get hyped to register!

TU/e students Joeri and Lex have been travelling through Singapore and Malaysia. Take a look at their aftermovie to get a good impression what will come! If that still does not convince you to register, have a look at the aftermovie of 6 years ago: Study tour 2009 Korea!


Malaysia & Singapore – Exchange Semester from Lex Roording on Vimeo.


Korea 2009 from Frank Coerver on Vimeo.

Registration protocol

The registration protocol is available on the website! Please take a look before registering for the study tour.

Update week 8

Promo_poster_A2_nieuwThe registration protocol is still being finalized and expected to be available online in the upcoming week before the registration opens. Meanwhile the promotion posters are already hanging in Gemini building. You can find these on the billboards of multiple research groups of mechanical engineering! Do you have any questions unanswered up until now? The FAQ page is available and hopefully it gives answers to the unknown. If that still does not clear things up, try sending an e-mail or place a question on the FAQ page!