It’s All About The U(trecht)!

Back to back nights of good sleep (I know, amazing right)! Today was our planned day in the wonderful city of Utrecht, which is not too far from Amsterdam. I got to take the train once more, this time it was not flooded by Feyenoord fans celebrating the Eredivisie title though. Surprisingly, the train was pretty empty and we were all able to find seats. The ride itself was rather short, at least it felt like it. After two stops in which I passed by the Johan Cruijff once more, we all arrived at Utrecht Centraal, followed by a bus towards our destination. We all walked through a series of warehouses and backstreets before finally arriving at the campus that Aurea Imaging was located, the site of our visit for today!

We were given a presentation on the company, a fairly new crop intelligence company founded in 2016 that aids the development of crop breeding through precise data analytics and processes. As an Industrial Engineer, I found this presentation extremely interesting, aligning with my personal career interests. Working with breeders allows Aurea to deliver optimal results through the use of drones, sensors, and AI by collecting data that is used to help manage various properties of crop yield. These metrics are stored in a cloud based management software and its usage is aided with APIs. In the end, farmers are able to have a healthier, more sustainable, and more desirable yield of crops that specifically meet their needs, significantly enhancing the agricultural industry as a whole.

After the presentation, I got to each lunch on the campus, which consisted of plenty of lounge areas and a very fancy gym that beats just about every public (and private) gym I have seen in my life. It looks like a truly nice place to work at. From here, I then made my way to downtown Utrecht, where I took part in a guided tour with the rest of the group! Utrecht reminded me a lot of parts of Old Town Alexandria and Georgetown back home and was a very fun and vibrant place to be as we were walking around. My favorite part of this was definitely the chapel we visited, which was where the tallest building in the city was. Fun fact: that building MUST be the tallest in Utrecht, which I thought was quite funny. Inside the chapel was impeccable and kind of reminded me of Cathy back in Pittsburgh, just obviously a place of worship instead of a study area. Overall a very amazing day in Utrecht that was topped off with two scoops of ice cream on the house (siuuuu).

Inside the discount version of the Cathedral of Learning!

After our guided tour, everyone was sent off to do their own thing. I decided to head back towards the train back home with the rest of our group. When I finally made it back home an hour later, I took a deep 90 minute nap that I could barely remember. To be fair, I was on my feet just about the majority of the day though, so very much needed. With only two more full days to go, my Dutch adventures are almost at its end! Looking forward to closing the chapter in the best way possible!

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