His scientific focus? Smart railway maintenance on the basis of the early detection of malfunctions and defects. The Maintenance Development Engineer job vacancy at Strukton Rail was a perfect fit for this. And so, in the summer of 2018, Ali did not hesitate for a second and applied for the job.
Room for innovation
‘I was already familiar with Strukton Rail through my research work for the university. It is the largest railway contractor in the Netherlands and the projects carried out here are an extension of my research. In that sense, I view this job as a logical continuation of my scientific career. Furthermore, I like working in a flexible and progressive working environment. This is why Strukton’s corporate culture is a good fit for me. There is lots of room for innovation and I am given full freedom to shape my position as I see fit. For example, recently I became the product owner for the Axle Box Acceleration project and task leader for In2Smart2. These are innovative international projects in the field of railway maintenance. Here I work closely together with colleagues throughout Europe and even as far as Australia. Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) play an important role in this respect. Sensors, satellites, inspection trains and monitoring systems that collect valuable data come to mind here. Data with which we improve the railway maintenance of tomorrow.’
‘Expert knowledge is extremely important in my profession. If you want to get ahead, you must constantly stay abreast of the latest technological trends and developments. This requires specialised domain knowledge and the capacity of looking beyond your own boundaries. Literally and figuratively. This is very well understood at Strukton Rail. The Netherlands has one of the busiest railway networks in the world. We combine that knowledge and experience with international data and scientific research. This is why it is an extremely fascinating place to work for Dutch as well as international experts and professionals.’
Commitment and open working atmosphere
‘What I am most proud of? Of the dedication and commitment of the colleagues on my team. Because we work together in an open and constructive way, we are able to take tremendous steps forward. This gives me the drive and inspiration to work even harder on the future of railway maintenance in the Netherlands and beyond. My ambition consequently primarily pertains to the substantive domain. I would like to continue to develop myself and this way fulfil a pioneering role when it comes to inventive railway monitoring systems. I am given plenty of opportunities and options to do this here. This is also in part due to the open working atmosphere, which contributes to a pleasant way of working together and knowledge sharing.’