Science of Intelligence

INTERVIEW: Rolf Struikmans and Satyendra Nishad on being lab managers at SCIoI

Rolf Struikmans and Satyendra Nishad are lab managers at SCIoI. We had a chat with them to better understand their role, their background, and their passions.  

The two of you work as lab managers for SCIoI. What are your special skills?
Rolf: I specialize in electronics and anything that has to do with that. I assist researchers with electronic equipment and help them prepare their demonstrators, I manage the electronics workshops and help the scientists come up with solutions to their problems.
Satyendra: My areas of expertise are robotics, prototyping, 3D modeling, 3D printing, laser cutting, and basic electronics. In addition, I am very good at workshop work, so I am always happy to help researchers with any technical issues they may have with their projects.
What does a typical day look like for you?

Satyendra: I am always very busy answering tickets, attending meetings, and visiting labs and workshops to see if everything is in order and if anyone needs help. Ordering devices and components for researchers is also a part of my job, and in between all the above there are always the sudden and urgent requests, which need to be handled right away.
Rolf: Every day is different and you never know what is going to happen. This makes working at SCIoI challenging and exciting.

What is your background, and why did you come to SCIoI?
Satyendra: I studied robotics and I have always been good at interdisciplinary work, so SCIoI is the perfect match for me.
Rolf: I am an electronics engineer. When I saw the job ad for this position, I thought that supporting intelligence research at a Cluster of Excellence would be exciting and enriching challenge – and I was right!
What are the biggest challenges of a lab manager at SCIoI?
Rolf: Adapting to unforeseen events, and there are lots of those around here! But also taking care of purchases. University work can be very bureaucratic sometimes.

Satyendra: I agree: the biggest challenge is handling multiple sudden quick requests.

What is the best part about working at SCIoI?
Rolf: The contact with the other people in the coordination office, but also with the researchers at SCIoI. What I really like about this crowd is that they are all enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and wonderful people.
Satyendra: It’s a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art research group on intelligence with a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural crowd. What more is there to say?
What do you like to do (besides working at SCIoI)?

Satyendra: I love meeting new people, cooking (especially Indian cuisine).
Rolf: I really like chess!