Testimonial Ravi Autar

My name is Ravi and I am currently in the second year of my master studies in Computer Science at Delft University of Technology, specializing in Data Science and Technology. I come from Suriname and initially took great interest in Physics, but for my University studies, I had decided to try something completely new. I chose Computer Science and started my bachelor studies at this university in 2014 and completed it 3 years later in 2017.

Since my first year in Delft, I knew that I wanted to do something more than my studies; I wanted to put my learned knowledge into practise. I had heard of the University of Delft dream teams, which are student teams involved in amazing projects. At a early stage I was already eager to join one of these dream teams. However, with me having no prior knowledge in programming, my bachelor studies proved to be quite challenging and did not allow me to pursue any one of these project; I did not believe I had the required skills nor time to significantly contribute to these projects.

While I was in the final stages of my bachelor studies, I was already looking forward to be part of a major project during my master studies. It also happened to be that the Delft Hyperloop dream team started to recruit team members for their new team. Delft Hyperloop aimed to design and produce a futuristic high-speed vehicle that travels in vacuum and would eventually compete in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. Since the both the team and the concept were new, I knew that I could significantly contribute to the team and also gain enormous amount of experience by being part of the team. The decision was made: I really had to join this new dream team.

After my application and interview, I was selected to be part of new team as a part-time Software Engineer. My responsibility was to ensure that the team had a fast and reliable way to communicate with the vehicle during the competition. I also contributed to the main computer on the vehicle, which was responsible to control and read all sensors on the vehicle.

Starting the project, I did not have any knowledge (other than programming experience) of the tasks that I was given. I really learned an enormous amount about the subsystem I was responsible for, but also how to work and communicate effectively in a team. But to me, the most valuable thing that I gained as a member of the Hyperloop team was the experience throughout the whole year. I got the opportunity to work with brilliant and intelligent people through amazing times, but also through the stressful times when nothing seemed to work. For me the whole year was very much worth the effort and I would strongly encourage students to join a dream team or pursue a major project during their studies. That is where you will learn all invaluable practical skills.

- Ravi Autar