'Developing embedded software as a mechanical engineer is ideal for me'

  • 21 December 2023
  • 3 minutes

Embedded software developer Dirk van Wijk has been working at Fourtress, part of ICT Group, since May 2023. In his student days, the mechanical engineer was one of the members of Solar Team Eindhoven. It was there that he discovered the combination of hardware and software. 'For me, it was a foregone conclusion that I wanted to go in that direction.'

Dirk worked at Lightyear for a short time. When he then started to orient himself on the labor market, he could choose from several employers. "I started looking for the combination of mechanical engineering and software and found the ideal place at ICT Group." As an embedded software developer, he writes software that is integrated into hardware and thus controls a machine or device. "The chips are usually on a printed circuit board that is also specifically designed for the application for which the machine or device is used," he explains. "With my mechanical engineering background, I understand how such a machine works and I write the software."

"A new challenge every time, that suits me."

- Dirk van Wijk


Dirk continues: "Because I work at the interface of mechanical engineering and ICT, I work together with colleagues from different disciplines." He is now working on a paint mixing machine. "There were various issues with that," he explains. "I made a plan to tackle all the problems and then implement the solutions. It's great to be able to use new techniques and be able to test them right away. You can immediately see if the machine is doing what you have programmed," he says.

After this assignment, there will be other projects with different hardware and software. Dirk: "For my job, it's useful to be flexible. Sometimes I work in-house with a client, other times among my colleagues at the ICT Group office. That makes the work varied. A new challenge every time, that suits me."

"With a team of like-minded people, you take on a complex, challenging assignment."

Dirk van Wijk
Embedded Software Developer

Solar car

Dirk has been employed by ICT Group for less than a year. "Through the onboarding, I have already met colleagues from completely different divisions of ICT Group. I also had a training in which people from other divisions participated. Then you speak to colleagues who do completely different work. That's fun and educational."

During his studies, Dirk worked on the solar car of the Solar Team Eindhoven. He was also involved in 2022. He says: "The team then had the misfortune that they only had software engineers available very late, which meant that they would have fallen behind considerably. I helped them then, even though I was no longer a student. I was also there during the tour. We drove from the north of Morocco to the end point the Sahara. A thousand kilometers purely on solar energy! We were on the road for two and a half weeks. It took a lot of free time, but was more than that worth it."

The solar car remains one of his passions. "You integrate a lot of different disciplines and cars are something from everyday life. Super complex, but so cool. And solar is, of course, very innovative."

Multidisciplinary team

Dirk is a real team player, a character trait that serves him well. "I'm creative and an out-of-the-box thinker. That's very useful when solving problems." As an engineer, you have to be critical, also in the details, he believes. "I'm pretty pragmatic. This sometimes results in me overlooking certain small details. But I usually work in a team. Then you complement each other and a colleague pays more attention to the details. I feel very comfortable in the role of connector."

How does he see his future? "I don't look years ahead. For the near future, I hope to be able to use my expertise in the field of solar at ICT Group as well. And not only the technique, but also the atmosphere that was very decisive for our enjoyment in such a multidisciplinary team. With a team of like-minded people, you take on a complex, challenging assignment."

Photography: Bart van Overbeeke Fotografie

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