Development Engineer Engines
"DAF has a unique status in the Netherlands when it comes to engine development."
Niels Leermakers first came in contact with DAF while he was studying for his degree in Mechanical Engineering. He ended up doing his work experience at DAF as well as his final project, which involved a study of the fuels of the future. DAF even sponsored his project.
With this experience to back him up, Niels was an ideal candidate for the engine development team. 'Thanks to my network I had a good idea of what the work would demand of me. And I had already seen for myself how positive the working atmosphere was. DAF is an attractive employer and has a unique status in the Netherlands when it comes to engine development.'
Niels has been working for several years now as a Development Engineer at DAF. ‘Last year my attention was focused on a project that was aimed at making the calibration of engines better and faster using computer models. My job is to establish a link between the engineers at DAF and the engineers at the consultancy firm that is helping us with the introduction of this new working method. In this coordinating role I can make a real difference by making the right technical decisions and setting the right priorities; responsibilities that make my work very challenging. It’s great to be trusted with the responsibility for overseeing such a major project.’
Niels is proud of what his small team is capable of. Niels: ‘We work hard and we get a lot done in a very short amount of time thanks to our excellent teamwork, but it is also important to set the right priorities. DAF is a production company that invests a lot in development, but production planning always takes the lead. That is why the development of an engine must be finished before the production process kicks in. This requires the ability to work on an ad-hoc basis at times and we are also good at that. We have a lot of inhouse expertise and a very lean organisation, and that is why we can be very flexible when required. Working at DAF provides you with plenty of opportunities for personal development and for building the kind of career you want. However, you have to take those opportunities yourself when they come along.’