After finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in India, Norman came to the Netherlands to do his Master in Automotive. There he specialized in electric and hybrid vehicles with an emphasis on control systems engineering.
So Norman, how did you get in touch with BRACE?
“I think it all started with meeting Avinash, who was my program senior then and a colleague at BRACE now, at the intercultural house at TU/Eindhoven. From then on, I kept in touch with him for some guidance related to my study- program. So obviously after my graduation, I contacted Avinash about my career start in the Automotive industry and he introduced me to Jelle at BRACE. That’s how it all started at BRACE Automotive.”
How did you end up in functional safety?
“Indeed, I applied for the position of Junior Development engineer, however I got a brief introduction by Avinash and Ruud to the Functional Safety domain at BRACE – in which BRACE believed I might potentially excel. The very way of thinking required in this safety domain got me very much interested and now I am Functional Safety Engineer at BRACE Automotive.”
What is the project that you're currently involved in?
"Currently, I work with a car manufacturer who makes a unique solar powered electric passenger vehicles"
So, how does your day at the office look like?
“I think, one of my role is, to add more chaos to an existing one in automotive product development especially if it’s a new development – at least that’s how some people see it.
On a serious note, I am mostly involved in safety activities like deriving safety requirements, drafting safety architectures, performing safety analysis, supporting the test team and creating lots of documents. The objective of these activities is to support the system development according to functional safety standards like ISO 26262 and other safety best practices to ensure that a vehicle in which these systems are put in does not pose a serious danger to the road users.”
Do you like this job in Functional Safety?
Well, the role requires constant and consistent update in your thought process. That adds more excitement and challenge to the role. It's just not doing something that someone or a standard has requires you to do. It's more than that.
What do you want to become in this field of functional safety?
In the future, I would like to see myself as a Safety Lead with not only technical expertise but with strong social skills as well.
So, an interesting thing that you mentioned, is the social perspective. Can you tell us a little bit about your colleagues
“At BRACE, it's multicultural. The first thing that comes up when I think about my team is the energy and the outwardness that we share. That suits me perfectly and helps me to be myself in the team and at work!”
How do they support you technically?
“First up, BRACE is one of the experts in the Functional Safety domain. They were and are championing Functional Safety in this region. My colleagues support me with their safety expertise and open-mindedness. It's not just telling me what to do or how to do, but they challenge me in finding my own solutions as well. The best part is they also give me an opportunity to challenge their opinions and solutions.”
"What keeps me moving, is the challenge to build a safer vehicle"
"My dream is to start my own company for developing cars"
AND WHAT ABOUT NEXT TO WORK? WHO IS THIS NORMAN?
Apart from work, I am more of an outgoing person. One of the hobbies I take seriously is the sport Cricket. I play cricket at one of the cricket clubs here in Eindhoven. Besides playing cricket and reading books, I have recently developed a fondness for collecting and building Lego Technic cars.
I ALSO HEARD THAT YOUR CLUB IS SPONSORED BY BRACE? HOW DID YOU MANAGE THAT?
It all happened during a lunch walk. At BRACE, we usually take a walk over lunch, where we talk about topics other than work. On one occasion, I started talking about my cricket club and how the cricket club was looking for a sponsorship partner. Since both BRACE and the cricket club were in the process of rebranding, it seemed like a win-win situation. And fortunately with the support of Jelle Claessen and Maurice Moens, it was approved.
THAT'S NICE TO HEAR! HOW DID YOU COME TO THE NETHERLANDS? OF ALL THE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME HERE?
It all started with my interest in moving machinery. Initially, this was about trains and locomotives. Later during my undergraduate, the interest shifted from trains to cars. And I decided to study further at the best institutions for automotive engineering. Initially, I focused only on Germany. Soon I found out about a neighbouring country with a futuristic vision of mobility. This motivated me to apply for the master's programme at TU/Eindhoven specialising in sustainable mobility and the application was accepted. Thus began my adventure in the Netherlands.
SO HOW DO YOU FEEL HERE, LOOKING BACK AT LIFE IN INDIA?
What I like best here is the lifestyle I get along with my knowledge. People here are relatively more open to new ideas. That gives me a chance to be myself and express myself. Compared to my home country, the main difference is the peace and space I have in my personal life.
WERE THERE ANY THINGS YOU HAD TO ADJUST?
It is a fact that for those coming from tropical regions, the weather in the Netherlands is quite a thing to adjust to. But now that I have lived here for years, I am used to it. The only challenge I have left is my weight and the wind.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?
Future seems to look great in Netherlands and at BRACE. In a year’s time, I will be eligible for my permanent residence. And why not experience the country’s balanced life longer and explore this adventure at BRACE further.