Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Roderick Wassenaar

Learn more about Roderick Wassenaar, Alumnus (Class of 2016)

Class of (or years attended): 2016 (attended 2014-2016)

Where are you living now?
Delft, NL

What did you do after you left ISL?
Went to study aerospace engineering at TU Delft

What are you doing now?
I am currently working on two different projects. Within the university, I am working on getting my MSc in Aerospace Engineering, focussing on Space Exploration. Next to my study, I am also busy working on building Stratos IV with a group of students, the flagship rocket of the student rocketry society, Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering (DARE). This rocket will be launched in October this year, aiming to at least break the current European altitude record for a student-built hybrid rocket.

What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
Studying at ISL gave me a very broad approach to solve problems which gave me a definite advantage when coming to Delft – I was a lot more prepared compared to other people in my degree program which allowed me to spend more time on hobbies and eventually led me to do extracurricular things such as building (and eventually launching) Stratos IV while I am in Delft.

What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL? 
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try something unconventional – that is the only way that you can learn how something works. With this, you might have to think outside the box; take a look at SpaceX – they decided to try landing rockets, or using the very unconventional belly flop manoeuvre for their Starship project and through failure and not leaving a stone unturned for solutions, they have altered the path of rocketry.

Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning:
ISL supports its students well in achieving their goals. The staff take an interest in what the students want to learn and do, and this is something that is also quite unique about ISL. Even now, I try to go back to ISL when I get the chance to visit some of my old teachers because they are invested in the success of their students.

How did your time at ISL help shape you as a person?
ISL (combined with the IB) made me more curious about the world, and motivates me to visit many different countries and cultures.  

If you could thank a teacher or staff member, who would it be?
Mr Bahrich, my EE supervisor and teacher for physics really supported my enthusiasm for his subject, and alongside my classmates, physics was never boring!

Describe ISL in 5 words:
Supportive, accepting, multi-cultural, friendly, invested


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