Testimonial Nikhef

Nikhef’s Theoretical Physics group performs theoretical research on a wide range of fundamental topics in high-energy physics, ranging from particle and astroparticle physics to cosmology, gravitational waves and string theory.

The department of Mechanical Technology (MT) consists of about 30 technicians trained at intermediate/higher vocational education (MBO/HBO) and university levels. The core task of MT is to develop, design and realize mechanical solutions for the mostly international projects in which Nikhef participates.

The development of equipment at Nikhef is done through a close collaboration of physicists, mechanical engineers, instrument makers and electronics experts. A range of mechanical technologies is utilized to this end: lightweight and rigid structures; vacuum, cooling and accelerator technologies; cryogenic techniques; welding and gluing techniques; high-pressure applications, etc.

At the workshop, the instrument makers have modern, computer-guided metal working machines at their disposal. Parts and composites are checked on measuring machines to the micrometer level. Assembly takes place in dust-free environments (cleanrooms).

Optimization in advance saves time and money in the subsequent phase: the construction of a functional prototype. When building the prototype the construction process is evaluated; which possibilities are encountered, how fragile is the product, what is the quality, which precision can be achieved, have the specifications been met, how efficient is the construction process? Next, the prototype’s functionality is tested.

Based on the prototype test results, a final product design is made. In the last phase, the final product is built and installed at its destination. STODT helps Nikhef to improve production and engineering processes, in order to achieve a lasting higher return. The courses are practice-oriented and adapted to the latest technological developments. STODT also offers consultancy on the cutting edge of technology and organisation.

STODT is the perfect party for me. They used our practical cases as a starting point. This led to strong and instructive discussions on content.

Martijn van Overbeek

Department of Mechanical Technology

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