Research experience at Philips, Netherlands

The last week of September 2022 was very special for me, especially regarding travel. During that week, I first witnessed the best experience participating in a second network-wide event in Lisbon, Portugal; then, I returned to Belgium; and again, traveled to the Netherlands to start my secondment at Philips in Eindhoven. I was already quite excited to start my secondment together with my fellow ETERNITY ESRs Marc (ESR1), Miriam (ESR3), Simon (ESR10), and Nandun (ESR11). It was the perfect opportunity to practically understand EMC risk management and compliance in practice.

Way to work through a cyclist’s paradise !

Like most of the researchers, I initially struggled to find accommodations. Unfortunately and fortunately, I stayed in accommodations that were 13 km away from Philip’s work location. ‘Fortunately’ because I had grown accustomed to cycling 26 km daily during my almost 3-month stay. Cycling along the scenic route was already a great way to start and end the day.

A serene and beautiful cycling route along the canal

Setting up the research objectives!

To get the research work moving quickly, the first task was to write down five concise bullet points with objectives in just 20 to 40 words. I should be very honest here; it took me more than one week to refine those five objectives. I strongly realize how complex it is to make something that, in the end, is simple. Over the course of 3 months, those simple goals kept me grounded and helped me stay focused, determined, and motivated to reach my goals.

More than a perfect start! Special trainings, system hands-on, technical tours, and ….

In the first week of my research stay, I attended a short tour of the R&D labs, the EMC facility, and the Customer Visitor Centre to get a complete overview of the types of medical devices that Philips has on the market. Multiple training sessions were given to cover the ISO 14971 standard for risk management, different applicable IEC standards, an architectural overview of IGT-S and MR systems, methods of operation and main safety concerns, EMC compliance ways of working, and regulatory aspects. The hands-on training on a complex image-guided therapy system helped me to understand the safety and performance critical aspects in the context of EMC.

Philips campus, First Day

Refinement of secondment research results!

At the end of my secondment, a risk-confidence-compliance framework and an EMC assurance case for the IGT use case were created. Many discussions, reviews, and multiple refinements led to those outcomes, which are still under revision to make them concrete. Being on a secondment at Philips gave me the chance to get more helpful feedback and ideas for these results from the other ETERNITY ESRs and the Philips risk management expert, who is also involved in making the ISO 14971 standard.

Secondment research presentation

Must-see events Lightroute Eindhoven & Glow Eindhoven—two unforgettable memories !

Besides doing research, especially on the weekends, it was fun to visit Eindhoven’s many tourist spots. During my research stay, I was lucky enough to see how the Lightroute and Glow festivals created the illusion of “fairytales in light”.  It was extremely special to cycle a route of lights through the center of Eindhoven and the suburbs, which also has a special historical significance, and there were many “wow moments.”

Lightroute festival 2022, Eindhoven

Glow festival 2022, Eindhoven

Leisure time with ESRs Marc, Miriam, and Nandun

Special gratitude to

I would like to express my gratitude to Rob Kleihorst, my secondment supervisor; Prof. Davy Pissoort, my main supervisor; and Dr. Dries Vanoost, my co-supervisor, for their valuable suggestions and guidance throughout my secondment research. I would also like to thank Mark Helvoort and my fellow ETERNITY-ESR colleagues Marc, Miriam, Simon, and Nandun for their support and for making the secondment pleasant. I also acknowledge that the European Union MSCA grant agreement funded the secondment.