Board Xootic

XOOTIC spring Newsletter 2023

Overcoming challenges through excellence

with help from the External Advisory Committee

It is worth noting that in recent years, the availability of housing in Eindhoven has become increasingly limited, making it more difficult for new trainees to find suitable accommodation. This has been a challenge for trainees in the ST EngD program at the TU/e, as many of them come from outside the region or even outside the Netherlands. As a result, some students have had to resort to temporary or suboptimal housing arrangements, which can be stressful and distracting during an already demanding program.

Despite the housing challenge, the ST EngD program has produced outstanding graduates who have received recognition for their achievements. Robin Mennens and Raha Sadeghi won the ST Award 2021 and 2022, respectively. In addition to these achievements, the ST EngD program has an impressive track record of producing graduates with academic excellence. Four trainees from the cohort of 2019 and three from the cohort of 2020 graduated cum laude, demonstrating the program’s emphasis on rigorous training in software engineering.

Despite the housing challenges faced by trainees, the ST EngD program remains at the forefront of advanced software development education. Graduates of the program are well-positioned to excel in their careers and make a positive impact on the future of the field, with a focus on cutting-edge software technologies. As demand for highly skilled software engineers continues to grow in the region, the program plays a critical role in preparing the next generation of technical leaders, equipped with both technical and soft skills. With emerging technologies and software’s increasing importance in our daily lives, the program will shape the future of the industry, contributing to the development of new software technologies that will transform our world for the better.

Christmas drinks 2022

Last November we organized our traditional Kerstmas Borrel, with the slight difference that this time we prepared an energizer activity with the goal to encourage interaction between XOOTIC members from different generations. This was an important goal for the board, since we wanted to create a space where our fellow members could share their experiences with the OOTI programme and living in The Netherlands. 

The proposed activity was a race to see who could fulfill the following objective the fastest: win X times to a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors against fellow Xootic members. To avoid foul play the winner should collect the name and generation year from the defeated and present the board the list at the end of the run. We prepared a set of gifts to give to the first 3 who managed to fulfill the task. 

Overall the energizer had the expected effect, and there were plenty of interactions between XOOTIC members. We are looking forward to our next social event this year, in hopes that the scenario repeats and everyone has a good time. Will you join?

Sailing trip 2022

In April 2022 we finally celebrated our traditional sailing experience. Originally planned for the spring of 2020, adverse conditions forced us to reschedule until last year. Expectations were high after such a long period. Reminders for registration and updates were sent in the weeks prior to the journey and many people registered, initially filling the entire ship. Even one of our Xootic members brought his dog!

However, due to the complexity of the logistics for reaching the boat and some miscommunication with some of the registered participants, the total number of passengers was 16 including the dog, much less than the full capacity of the ship. As a result everyone was able to enjoy a private room by themselves or with their desired company.

We met on a friday evening at our ship, Nil Desperandum, docked at Enkhuizen, by the Ijsselmeer. The ship was well equipped for this sort of trip, with plenty of rooms, toilets and a shared kitchen. That evening everyone had the chance to pick a room and due to the lack of passengers some of them remained free for the entirety of the trip. 

After considering the weather forecast, we decided our destination for the weekend. Although all services predicted a weekend of good weather and low winds, we chose to sail for Lemmer on the opposite side of the lake, as it could offer a bigger window of opportunity for sailing in case the weather conditions spontaneously improved. That was our bet.

On Saturday, after breakfast we got out of the pier and set sail to our destination. Raising the sails is a tough job and requires the strength of many people. Luckily plenty of us volunteered to help and the task was achieved. Our help was necessary as the crew of the ship consisted of the captain, his wife and a sailor. Regardless of our enthusiasm while raising the sails, soon we realized that the forecast was right on point, and it didn’t take long before the wind stopped blowing. After deploying additional sails and seeing the complete lack of movement, our captain decided to start the diesel engine. 

During the navigation, we had plenty of time to get to know each other, enjoy the weather and have fun with board games. We came prepared for the trip and there were plenty of snacks and drinks to make the experience a five-star one. The weather was clear and the sun so intense it felt like summer at times.

We arrived at Lemmer around 6pm, shortly before supermarkets closed. That evening we would have a group dinner with all of us, the captain and his crew, so while some explored the village, others stayed on the ship preparing our meal. After dinner, drinks and board games, everyone got ready for our last night on the Nil Desperandum. It was the beginning of the end for our trip.

The next day we woke up early and repeated the same sails-rising routine, hoping the wind would behave differently. The outcome was the same as the day before, we clearly didn’t have Aeolus’ blessing. Despite the lack of opportunity for showcasing the speed capabilities of his ship, our Captain offered the ultimate closing experience a trip like this could need, a good luck dancing routine, which we all repeated.

Back at Enkhuizen, we cleared the sip of our belongings and said our goodbyes. It was an amazing experience, which we will remember dearly.

Software Technology Awards

It has been a while since our last shoutout to our magnificent peers who proved their value by winning the highest award in the EngD program. Our congratulations to the winners.

Robin Mennens (generation 2018)

His thesis ‘The Philips Remote AI Streaming (PRAIS) platform’ conducted at Philips Research was nominated for the TU/e EngD Thesis Award 2021.

Raha Sadeghi (generation 2019)

Her thesis ‘Feasibility and prototype of replacing commercial off-the-shelf pattern recognition solution’ conducted at ASML was nominated for the TU/e EngD Thesis Award 2022.

Shubham Rawal (generation 2020)

His thesis ‘Automated Transformation of Picture Archiving and Communication System Reporting Templates to HL7® FHIR® Models’ conducted at ROYAL PHILIPS was nominated for the TU/e EngD Thesis Award 2023.

XOOTIC visits the 30th OOTI lustrum – October 2018

This October, many XOOTIC members came together to celebrate the 30th lustrum of PDEng Software Technology (OOTI) at a symposium. The overarching topic was “Smart Industry” / “Industry 4.0” and we saw speakers on various aspects of this interesting development. In addition, we had some great lunch and snacks to accompany the breaks, in which XOOTIC members and OOTI staff caught up with each other. In short, it was both a great social and learning event for all involved. For more information and some nice pictures, please check out the official PDEng ST Facebook page:

An update on the GDPR – August 2018

As any association, we have to comply to GDPR and are taking steps to do so. The purpose for XOOTIC to hold your data is being able to contact you and we have sent out a message in the newsletter with the exact details and steps you can take. In short: We removed all unnecessary data from our database and made sure it is stored securely with a limited amount of people that have access to it. Of course, we will do our best to respond quickly to requests for changes in the data we hold. If you have any other questions or remarks, feel free to contact us!

A trip to the Ardennes – June 2018

We had an amazing weekend experience at the Belgian Ardennes. Taking our cars we got there on a Friday night and prepared for a couple of days full of activities!
We rented bungalows at the Sunclass Holiday Park. These nice and little houses proved to be well equipped for our weekend adventure!

Saturday morning we went to the river at Bomal to pick up the kayaks. In groups of three, most of us navigated the river until Hamoir. The river was fast since it had rained the day before so it presented a bigger challenge than expected. Good thing that we were able to recover the energies invested with a super barbecue in the evening.

On Sunday we went back to Bomal in order to start a cycling track that would take us through the surrounding mountains. Not everyone managed to complete it, but it still was a hard challenge! Good thing that Bomal had a lovely market and a great variety of restaurants to choose the last supper before going back to NL.

XOOTIC Lecture 23 November 2017 – Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 – How big of a deal is it? This XOOTIC lecture took place in Zwarte Doos, where we had a great buffet dinner and caught up with our fellow XOOTICs. After the lecture, we also had some drinks and discussion about the lecture. In these activities, we mingled and enjoyed, also between generations.

So, Industry 4.0: what does it mean, and how will it affect factories in the future? In this lecture we got the opinion of Jeroen de Bruijn of FESTA. He explained that Industry 4.0 is a must given the developing market needs: I want it now, I want it customized to my needs, and I want you to take care of the service. Of course, not every product, e.g. a pack of milk, fits directly in that category. The main trend is expected to be: more local and flexible factories, where data is the new oil.

FESTA, together with Unity040 and CORDIS , attempts to provide a tool-chain to do complete software-based development before hardware manufacturing. As XOOTIC we voiced some concerns here: we cannot measure everything in physics e.g. an ASML machine,  even formally proven pieces of code can fail in a new context, and most importantly: where are the practical examples? How do you think this  will continue: what part can we do digital-only, and what part will we always need a physical prototype for?

I am happy so many of you (almost 40!) turned up for this lecture, and that you enjoyed both the social aspect and the lecture content.  Next time, let’s do it even better with the help of your survey input! Hope to see you all then.