Renske Free

International Trainee (Boskalis DTED), Master Applied Earth Sciences (Class of 2022)

Renske Free

My name is Renske and I am currently a Boskalis International Operations Trainee. I started with the Traineeship in September 2022, right after graduating. The traineeship provides a perfect opportunity to experience three different projects or assignments over the course of 1.5 years.

What projects are you working on?

For my first assignment, I was working at the Rock Department. I visited various quarries in France to find the right quality and quantity of rocks for the use of breakwaters. Also, I investigated how rocks for protection can be substituted to a more biodiversity enhancing alternative.

One of my next projects is in the Maldives where I will be working as a social advisor. For this project, we are creating islands which should withstand the rise in water for the upcoming years. My main focus will be assessing the environmental impact of our work activities and collaborating with local stakeholders. In the future I will be stationed in the sustainability department of Boskalis.

Why are applied earth scientists so important for the future?

The world is facing various problems and a transition to a more resilient and sustainable future is needed. We can only achieve this if we understand the earth, her processes, and her resources. As an applied earth scientist, you gain during your studies exactly that combination of knowledge as well as engineering and social skills, and experience in the field. Environmental and climate challenges cross borders. As a master in Applied Earth Science (AES) at TU Delft, you learn how to study in an international atmosphere and work on global challenges. I think it is important to understand the earth/the work/the impact before you (try to) change it.The AES programme has equipped me enough to try to make a global impact now during my work.

What skill sets do you need as an applied earth scientist?

You need to be curious - why does the earth and the processes involved work the way they do? And how can these be used to create the best or most sustainable working method? You need to be determined to make an impact in the global transition.

Be open-minded and be adventurous. You will work all around the globe and you will have to deal with different challenges, cultures, climates, and colleagues.

And finally, enjoy! You can work both in the office and on-site. You can work as an engineer and calculate/make designs, or you can have a more social role. There are endless possibilities, make sure to try out as many as possible during or after your studies to find that particular job that you enjoy the most.