A little about me,
My name is Eric van Velzen. I am currently completing my first year of engineering at the university of Toronto. My specific engineering program is titled Engineering Science and will take me through 2 general years of study before I specialize into a stream.
I’m from Calgary, Alberta, where I grew up and began to discover what the world had to offer. I was a speed skater for 5 years, a sport which is as intense as it is technical, requiring skill blended with strength. Speed skating would not work without the equipment we use, either, which has been carefully designed to allow us to go faster. Over my years of training, I improved mentally, physically, and learned to tune my gear to it’s very best. This is how I learned to go fast. I discovered that the balance between strength, knowledge and design is entirely necessary to achieve the speeds desired. I feel this balance is required in many more things in life. Much of the work I do as an engineer is no exception.
And About myself as a Student Engineer:
Engineering continues to attract me because of the three elements engineering brings together: the diverse studies of math and science that I love; putting the studies to use in real world applications, solving the kinds of problems I want to solve; and constructing my own designs, where I am involved and ‘getting my hands dirty.’Following from this are my future aspirations in my engineering design career:
My current area of interest is aerospace, and I plan to pursue that as my discipline of choice after second year. I like this field because of the current advances being made by companies like SpaceX, which strikes me as extremely meaningful and important. Further to this, I am interested in being a part of the development of such leading edge technology.
In or outside of aerospace, I also aim to have a strong role in team projects engaging in engineering design. As a result, developing my teamwork abilities is something I would really like to do. Even better would be to develop my skills in a team working on an engineering design project, which allows me to practice and improve on the engineering I really enjoy.
My strengths and weaknesses in with respect to the above are as follows:
On a high level, my key strengths follow from my strength in writing and documentation:
Generally: My work and processes are heavily documented and well written out, making them easy to go back to for reference or recovery of an old or discarded idea. In combination, I am comfortable using document sharing platforms like google docs that allow me to fully document all my progress, and also make that fully available to my team members so they can also leverage all the documentation.
- Document based team collaboration
- Idea development through documentation
- Articulating ideas through use of visuals:
- Organization of information
- Engaging with stakeholders
- I am also an articulate communicator.
Find out more about my strengths on my website here!
My weaknesses primarily follow from being limited to only one year of engineering education:
- My interest in working with leading edge technology is severely limited by having only complete first year in engineering, and having very little relevant technical expertise gained from high school.
- Limited experience working on design projects that take place over a long duration (more than about 3 months).
- Also limited experience working in design groups of more than 3 other people.
My weaknesses will all be improved with more experience in engineering jobs, which makes me eager to take up engineering design work where I can find it.
Taking these strengths and weaknesses into account, I have developed the following process that is partially a reflection of what I have done, and partially aspirational in what I would like to become: See My Process below.