The Chemelot Young Professional Sessions (CHYPS) are organized by the Young Professional board. But who are we and what do we do? In the next few weeks the members of the board will introduce themselves.
Who are you?
Greetings fellow young professionals, my name is Ryan van Zandvoort, 28 years old. I’m a chemistry graduate from Zuyd University, B.Sc, and currently employed by TNO as a research engineer at the Brightlands Materials Center (BMC). As to my hobbies, I’m very passionate about making music as a percussionist in several wind orchestra’s in Kerkrade.
What do you do?
In the past five years, working as a research engineer, I’ve become specialized in colloidal chemistry. At TNO I’ve worked on several projects in the fields of nanoparticle synthesis, wet-chemical coatings, photocatalysis and integration of nanoparticles into polymer matrixes. Now, at BMC as part of the Sustainable Buildings program, my main research focusses on the latter to form materials with advanced optical properties to help regulate the energy consumption of buildings and aiming to improve the cell efficiency of PV-modules.
Why the YP board?
When I first started to work at this campus during the beginning of BMC, already four years back, this campus felt very different in comparison to the current one. It’s population has changed and it’s seen a large increase of young people either working or studying. As a board member I hope that by organizing events focusing on topics such as content and career outlook, we can inspire young professionals to connect and learn from each other.
What do you think are the right tips & tricks for young talent at campus?
An advice I would like to share is one I received at the start of my career. Don’t be afraid to challenge your superiors. I don’t mention this to spark a revolution. I’ve learned that they don’t always hold the answers on how to proceed with the research and that our input as researchers/engineers is vital for the success of projects. If you feel the research is heading in the wrong direction, speak up. In the beginning it might be overwhelming to speak up, but keep in mind that those above you also started out once as a young professional.
How do you see the future?
Although we’ve kindly inherited the environmental problems modern day society faces today, I’m positive that our generation will make a large contribution into solving them. If you look at the technologies that are currently being developed to help tackle these problems then I’m convinced that a major part of the environmental challenges can and will be resolved.