Researching her Ph.D. thesis entitled Rationalizing of Electrical Equipment Operation in Industry while at the Technical University of Delft was a rewarding experience for Svetlana Tzvetkova.
Work on her thesis is still continuing now that she has returned to her home institution, the Technical Institute of Sofia, Bulgaria, which she hopes to successfully defend by December 2018.
During her six months in Delft, Svetlana had the opportunity to use many research facilities and computer applications to facilitate work on her thesis.
This provided her with more information that would have been available to her at her home institution. She feels that she now has a better understanding of the principles of electrical equipment reliability, preventative maintenance scheduling, and control of spare parts – the basics for every technical company!
Svetlana’s colleagues were also an asset to her studies. Their simultaneously friendly and professional manner made her feel at ease. Svetlana was also responsible for teaching a graduate student who was undertaking related studies.
This gave her the chance to strengthen her knowledge of the subject as well as compare and contrast teaching methods in the Netherlands and Bulgaria. She also visited several Dutch companies associated with her field of research which helped to strengthen her study-abroad experience even more.
When it came time for Svetlana to return to Bulgaria she did not have any difficulties reintegrating into her native culture. She did, however, notice a difference in the amount of time she has for her research.
In Bulgaria, Svetlana is responsible for teaching a number of students which significantly cuts down her research time. While studying in Delft, much more time was left open for research as she did not have to carry out these duties to the same extent.
Svetlana thoroughly enjoyed her time in the Netherlands, however, there is one thing she wishes she could have done differently – stay longer! She regrets not having used the full ten months available from a Huygens grant instead of only staying for six. Svetlana feels that students should try to get the most of this opportunity as possible by staying as long as their program allows.