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DTU RailTech: a high-speed way into the Danish labour market

It is not very common to find young Spanish people working in the Danish railway industry. But actually Denmark is developing a lot in this field, so there are many opportunities for newcomers. In my case I work in Banedanmark as Test and Safety Manager of the New Line Copenhagen Ringsted, the first high-speed line in Denmark. My responsibilities are to coordinate all test activities before opening the line and to obtain the necessary approvals from the different authorities. It is a very challenging job but I really enjoy it, because the learning possibilities are infinite.

I consider myself very fortunate with my situation, but nothing of that could have happened if I had not chosen DTU for my Erasmus exchange semester. When I arrived in 2011, I could not imagine living in Denmark for 6 years. I was just planning to stay for 6 months writing my thesis and then come back to Barcelona. But during my first weeks, I had such a great experience that I decided to apply for a full MSc Eng. in Transport and Logistics.

That decision turned to be a great choice, because I really enjoyed my student life. The RailTech courses at DTU Transport were very practical and interactive, with many activities that prepared me for the future. There were also a number of external lecturers, who are big experts in the railway business. All this, combined with a variety of study trips to visit railway lines and different companies, turned to be a great motivation to learn as much as possible.

Aside from my studies, DTU offered a great environment for socializing and having fun: sports facilities, social events and many student organizations to join. In my case I was member of ESN DTU (Erasmus Student Network), which aims to help international students to meet new people and adapt to their new life in Denmark. ESN helped me develop a big range of soft skills that were very important for my first job, such as communication, management and public speaking. I would definitely recommend any DTU student to join a student organization!

But the real gateway to the labour market was to apply for a student job. My start in Banedanmark turned to be successful and I quickly got hired full-time as safety manager in Copenhagen Ringsted even before starting writing the thesis. Since then, I have had lots of opportunities to develop myself and my career. One of the most exciting was to be the project manager of the EU certification project of the Danish Catenary, in which we made the speed railway record in Denmark by running tests at Storebælt up to 230 km/h. From that moment on, I came back to Copenhagen Ringsted, where I got more responsibilities. The New Line should open at the end of 2018, so we are working very hard to make it happen. We hope to see you there in the inauguration!

Carlos, MSc Eng. in Transport and Logistics, Spain