Mads Nielsen Kjærsgaard

Image of Mads
Helping real customers with real problems

R&D Hardware/Software, Kosan Crisplant, Denmark
Intern from August 2015 to December 2015

Why did you choose to do an internship in Kosan Crisplant?

Prior to reading the job ad for the internship with Kosan Crisplant (part of MAKEEN Energy, ed.), I knew neither who the company was nor what it did. I found it rather intriguing to choose a company that I didn't know anything about because the potential learning outcome would be that much greater. Besides, I know a couple of the previous Kosan Crisplant interns from the School of Engineering who recommended the company to me saying they had had a great internship there with challenging assignments. They also told me about the tasty lunch from the company canteen, which was tempting - and my expectations were definitely met!

What has been your primary role in the company during your internship?

Primarily, I have been working with embedded software, which is the lower level of software close to the hardware. The main task during my internship has been moving the existing system of the CUC controller onto a new microcontroller, which is a smaller, newer and more modern computer inside the CUC, in order to optimize speed, design, user-friendliness, etc. I was also tasked with smaller assignments such as developing new drivers for the hardware in the CUC, which are programs to control the keypad and screen as well as input and output. Theoretically, I already knew about these tasks, but performing them for real has been exciting.

What has been the best part of your internship?

The best part of my internship has been the chance to work with real problems and real applications. Getting the practical experience instead of relying on just the theoretical from school is very valuable and inspiring. Here, I have been solving issues that make a difference to people in the real world - I am helping customers solve their problems! I have very much enjoyed the amount of liberty that comes with a job in Kosan Crisplant; I was given a task and expected to complete it independently. If I encountered any problems, I had a mentor to ask, of course, but otherwise, I was trusted to deliver. I like the responsibility that comes with that liberty.

What has been the greatest challenge?

Definitely the system that I work in! Understanding the system and really getting to know it in order to contribute to it has taken me quite some time. Needless to say, the entire system contains filling machines, but I only work in a very small part of the system, so actually I could be programming for anything. The fact that my job relates to gas isn't relevant to the specific tasks that I perform. This illustrates the magnitude of the system. There are victories too, though. The work is very iterative so when you change something in the system, test it, modify it, test it again and succeed using the results from the previous stages, it's very fulfilling.

Can you describe the culture here with only three words?

Kosan Crisplant is an unpretentious workplace. People are very frank with one another and the tone is informal and pleasant. I like the fact that the organizational structure is flat and that everyone is valued and respected, regardless of position or seniority. That way, being an intern in an organization that has a lot of experienced employees is still professionally satisfying because my contribution counts as well. It's a very social workplace too, and a lot of social events are initiated by the association KC Events. I get the impression that people feel a great sense of responsibility, which I admire. Kosan Crisplant is a responsible company that values quality, honesty and durable equipment and delivers just that to its customers.