Ten technical talents from all over the world who will get the chance to discuss the latest developments and projects with various companies from the high-tech region of Brainport Eindhoven, this is the Tech Xperience Week. One of the lucky ten who got selected is Tim Schürmann, mechanical engineering student at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. Why did he apply? What does he expect? And what does all this have to do with innovation? – while he was packing his suitcases, we talked to him.

What are you doing now?
“This week I finished my bachelor thesis in mechanical engineering and this weekend I’m going to Eindhoven.”

That sounds like extreme timing…
“I like that. When I heard about the Xperience Week, I still had exactly 90 minutes to compile and upload the documentation, including my Motivation Video. It worked, even though the announcement focused only on master students or professionals.”

Do you need a little stress?
“It’s about the goals you set for yourself, not about the time pressure. Ambitious goals, where others tend to shy away from them, take me further. Even if I don’t achieve something. The road to it is usually so instructive that it is definitely worth it. This also explains why I call myself a ‘crazy inventor’ in my short online introduction. I see opportunities where others just shake their heads right away.”

What are your expectations for Eindhoven?
“In my opinion, the most important keywords are internationality and interdisciplinarity. Each of the ten of us comes from a different country. We meet in an eleventh country. It is a promising mix. And a variety of topics: we meet experts from different companies in the region. They all have different themes and different strengths. I can certainly learn a lot. Networking, experience, inspiration – that’s how innovation works.”

You have to explain that
“Usually it’s like this: people simplify the world around them to understand it better. We look for patterns and build structures to make complex processes understandable. Especially in science, these structures are often very rigid. The problem is that it is difficult to get out of them and find new insights. This is where interdisciplinary work comes in. Structures are not the same in the different disciplines. A biologist describes the world very differently from an engineer. And that is great. You can then try to transfer ideas from one area to another to find new solutions. The more different disciplines and subjects, the more numerous the possible solutions. The week in Eindhoven is a great opportunity to practice this.”

What else will you take with you to Eindhoven?
“My experience. During my studies, I already worked for a company group and for start-ups such as ProGlove. As part of my studies, I also worked as a teacher, set up my own course and developed a production process. I have always wanted to go beyond studying alone. I always want to discover new things, so that I can grow more. That interests me and brings me further.”

Your perspective?
“Gaining even more experience. Possibly in a job – Eindhoven seems to offer many possibilities – but perhaps first on with a number of own projects. One thing is certain: there is nothing more beautiful than being able to realise your own visions as directly as possible. My ultimate goal is to start my own business. But before this can really begin, I still have to gain a lot of experience. A  job as an employee can then be the right first step.”

Learn more about the Tech Xperience Week, from 22 to 28 October in Eindhoven.

Header photo: Max Schürmann

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.