Experience an internship at the technical pioneer of Curaçao
Intern Mechanical Engineering Dennis is doing his
internship at the Dynaf Group from June untill December (2019)
Technical pioneer of Curaçao
I started my internship for my study Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Energy
Technology at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The most important requirement that I set for myself in the search for an internship was that I very much like innovation that has an impact on society. This is however a broad concept, since for some communities innovation in Energy is a reliable fossil fuel powered generator giving the community access to industrial appliances or water, while in other regions innovation is designing an Energy system that is CO2 neutral and environmentally friendly.
During the Master’s do we get the assignment to become a TU/e ambassador and follow an internship abroad. Since we never got the chance to do an internship during the Bachelor’s did I figure that it was time to seize the opportunity and really do something extraordinary. I started looking for regions in the world which on the one hand had an interesting Energy story to tell (impact on society) and on the other hand would be a region where I could live for an extended amount of time, whilst feeling like a vacation. I started to talk with friends and colleagues in my surroundings and quickly came to an interesting conclusion: one region was recurrently popping up that had these requirements, accompanied by expressions like: Unforgettable experience, Best time of my life and I will definitely go back there one day, namely: The Dutch Caribbean. I presented my plan to search for an internship on Curaçao to my supervisor, about which he was immediately enthusiastic, since he went there himself for technical consultancy work. All the pieces of the puzzle therefore came together and I decided that Curaçao would be the place to which I would dedicate myself to find an internship.
An interesting Energy story
Curaçao has a long and vibrant history in Energy Technology, starting in the 1920’s with the opening of the Shell refinery, the largest refinery in the region and for a long time one of the only refineries being able to refine the sulfur rich oil of Venezuela. Later in the second world war was this refinery of utmost importance for supplying the allies with Energy for their war efforts. The on grid energy market on Curacao does not have the best image which is why many businesses and individuals prefer an off grid energy system, making the off-grid market a large and robust market on Curaçao in which innovation is constantly playing an important role.
An innovative company
This is where Dynaf comes up in the story. I was looking for innovative Energy companies by checking out what renewable projects recently started on Curaçao. Dynaf quite quickly came in the picture since they are for instance building the solar PV plant for the new Corendon Beach Resort.
Dynaf is currently in a phase where they are rapidly growing and innovating in both hardware and software for their operational activities. These include: install and service of State-of-the-art Diesel generators, large and small PV plants, UPS back-up systems and most recently accepted the challenge to fill the island with Electric Vehicle charging points, kickstarting a transportation revolution on Curaçao. This shows how dedicated Dynaf is to innovate with the goal of keeping ahead of the competition and making sure that in the process, the community of Curaçao can also benefit, like with the renewables that enable cleaner air and less pollution.
Working at Dynaf
Interns at Dynaf are supplied with three floaties before they are thrown in the deep; You get an experienced and diverse team of professionals at your side which will always try to help you, you receive supervision from managers that have a lot of experience with interns and get the freedom to choose the way you want reach your goals. This gives you the extraordinary possibility to obtain a lot of responsibilities and freedom in your work, which you would likely not get in countries in Europe, South-East Asia or north America. If you are able to deal with these responsibilities properly, do you have an unique chance to develop yourself in a fast pace and for a huge number of skills. For me, this really felt like an accomplishment and helped me to discover the things that I liked or didn’t liked, making my time on Curaçao for this point alone absolutely priceless.
The assignment that I received from Dynaf was to supply them with an analysis and an advice on how they could improve their Service and Maintenance activities. This resulted in a research in which I analyzed the processes of the department, uncovered the challenges that they face, built a model to test feasibility of a new software tool and helped decide which software tool fits Dynaf’s requirements the best. During my work was I helped a lot by all of the different people that work at Dynaf, who also gave me feedback from time to time and gave me confidence about the actual work that I produced. The final conclusion of my research will probably be executed in broad lines, which is something that I find very satisfying.
Feeling like a vacation
Curaçao has much to offer in terms of leisure activities. They are recently really booming with tourists and other interns which come for the stunning beaches with clear blue water and white sand. These beaches are during the day a great place to relax and drink some cocktails, while during the night are the beaches of Jan Thiel and Mambo converted to large party beach clubs where you can enjoy your evenings of your precious time on Curaçao.
Dynaf itself also organizes many special events for marketing or sales, which Dynaf interns can join if they like. One event was for instance standing on a job fair with the electric vehicles of Dynaf and talking to potential customers to explain them the (for Curaçao) novel technologies behind it. Another very special marketing gimmick was climbing the Christoffel mountain with a Dynaf team and the popular radio station ParadiseFM. We planted a Christmas tree on top of the mountain together with a solar panel and battery for power, making it the highest illuminated Christmas tree in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. My internship ended with a beautiful trip in a small aircraft over Curaçao and Klein Curaçao, provided by Captain (and usually referred to as CEO) Hans. In the evening the same day did we got a delicious Christmas dinner at the Landhuis Bloemhof, also provided by Dynaf.
An internship at Dynaf is more than just work, it truly is an experience that you will never forget.
Let’s Power The Future Together!
Dennis van den Broek