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Alumni Story: Jony Heerink

Jony Heerink started studying Industrial Design Engineering in 2004. At that time, the bachelor existed only for a couple of years. In her masters she stepped away from IDE and started teaching. Nowadays she is teaching O&O, (Onderzoeken en Ontwerpen) at a high school. In this course students work several weeks on a project to solve a technical problem for a client. Besides that, Jony works for the UT as a teacher educator. This is Maybe not something you would expect from an IDE’er? In this blog Jony tells about her student time, previous jobs and what she is doing right now.


During her bachelor, Jony was an active member of S.G. Daedalus. To give an example, once she joined the Prom committee to organise the yearly prom. Next to that, she could often be found in the association room for a cup of coffee or tea. At that time, the year layers weren’t as big as they are right now. Think of around sixty students per year.

In her third year, Jony started with the education minor. The course chosen for this minor was physics. To be able to choose this course certain pre-knowledge was needed. Because of the mathematics courses in the IDE bachelor this was possible. This minor programme connected well to her studies in relation to the difficulty of the courses.

For her bachelor assignment Jony did a project in Cambodia. It was about a solar light designed in Delft. Also, packaging and teaching material for the usage needed to be designed. Three people were involved in the assignment. They went to Cambodia where they could test their designs.

Thereafter she decided to do the master Science Education and Communication to become a physics teacher. IDE involved too much computer work for her. During her masters she also got to teach O&O and this is what she is actually teaching nowadays. The master programme was a bit more difficult, because the level of physics didn’t match with knowledge gained during the bachelor. However, currently this is not the case anymore. 

Even though Jony did another master, she said she learned a lot from IDE. Among other things, Jony learned to work together and think critically. This is something she wants to teach her pupils as well. She thinks it is important that students don’t just accept everything. They should be able to formulate their own opinion and think critically about what is said to them. Next to that, having conversations and asking good questions is something she has learned during her studies as well.

She notices that the mathematics and physics teachers don’t have design experience which they can use in the classes. This skill she has gained during her studies is helping her with teaching.


After her studies she applied for a job at a school. She has worked at several schools now. First, near the city she lived in. Later on she went searching for technasium schools nearby, in Harderwijk. Fun fact, she used to teach Alexander, the current Officer of Educational Affairs, when he was in highschool. Jony also got a job at the University of Twente. They were searching for someone who has experience with design processes.

At a certain point, combining these two jobs wasn’t possible anymore. One of the reasons for this was doing triathlon on top level. Therefore she quit teaching at the school in Harderwijk, but continued working at the University. She barely teaches physics anymore.


When looking back, Jony experienced her life as a student in a positive way. It was a great time. After her studies she started sporting more. She participated in triathlons on a high level until recently. She even participated in the European Championship! There are a lot of students who are training on top level as well. She wonders on what level she would be if she was sporting already more fanatically during her student time. However, then she would experience being a student completely different. No Thursday nights and hangover Friday mornings.


Her master was quite a challenge to finish, because it didn’t succeed her bachelor well. That’s why she is proud she finished it. She wants to say to the current students that you should do something you get a lot of energy from, but sometimes you just have to keep going, you will encounter struggles anyway.

Currently, it is easier to follow a Science Education and Communication Master, if you choose the right courses. As IDE’er you can now choose the design direction. It is also possible to do this as an extra master for 60EC, or 30EC when you finished the education minor.

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