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Electrical Extravaganza

Have you ever wondered why you study electrical engineering? You might have thought about it for your whole life, just before you started, or not at all, and just picked a study with a high salary. Is it because you wanted to explain lightning, build the newest sound system and/or follow in the footsteps of Rowan Atkinson, a.k.a. Mr. Bean?

Anyway, I just wanted more of the adrenaline rush I got from working with electrical systems. Occasional sparks that hit you when you accidentally touch the leads of charged ELCO’s. Connecting wires that should not be connected causing components to explode in front of your eyes. Seeing the wondering eyes of little kids when you just showed them an exploding capacitor with lots of smoke. Isn’t that dangerous? Nah, not when you know your shit. Which is where your teachers come into play. A good education is key if we do not want to blow up the world.

So, how do we make sure that the education stays on the level its supposed to be? As you might know there are a lot of organizations dealing with the quality of education. If not, I refer you to edition 35-4 and 36-2 of the Vonk where Stef van Zanten explains it all. In edition 35-4 he states that Scintilla is one of these organizations. Which is logical. Why would it otherwise be called a study association. Within Scintilla there exists a committee called the VAUXHALL*. This yearly award is a way for us to show appreciation for the effort the lecturers put into the education and most of all a method for giving teachers constructive feedback on their way of teaching in order to improve the overall education.

You can imagine that this award is highly wanted by your teachers. It is the first round leading up to the central educational award of the university. When teachers win this you can compare the emotions they are experiencing to the feeling of when your electronic circuit finally works or when it is 16:00 o’clock on Friday. With every award there is an award ceremony in the same way as that Kierewiet de borrelkip never comes without his boot of beer. The award ceremony of this academic year took place on the 3rd of April. If you weren’t there that’s a pity since the event is paid entirely by the faculty which means the drinks as well. If you were there, you know what I’m talking about.

Tara congratulating the winner of the VAUXHALL.

Tara congratulating the winner of the VAUXHALL.

Each year the VAUXHALL award is connected to a different theme selected by the committee members. This year our theme was ‘Educational Extravaganza’ which relates to the workload teachers experience and the chaos that ensues from it. After collecting your votes four teachers stood out and became the nominees for the VAUXHALL award; Bram Nauta, Luuk Spreeuwers, Ronan van der Zee and Tracy Craig. Aside from the statistics the nominations were also based on some of your awesome comments like he explained sonic fast, she is lit, #1 table climber and keeps the students awake**.

After conducting interviews with the nominees on the theme Tracy Craig came out as the winner. Her eagerness to perform research in the field of education is fuelled by her passion for education which can be identified by the students during her lectures. This helps her with dealing with the attractive force of both research and education. What really amazed me though is that as a mathematician she is also interested in the practical part of electrical engineering to be able to explain the way electrical engineers use math better. As a prize she got her very own Arduino toolbox with a nice wooden enclosure. I wish her the best of luck with the central educational prize and hope to see you next year at the VAUXHALL drink!

*Yes, this is an abbreviation. Every committee has an abbreviation. Don’t ask me why. This one means: Valuable Award for University’s most eXperienced, Helpful, Appealing and Lustrous Lecturers.

**It is left to the reader to link the comments to the right nominee