Meet the Chairs of SensUs 2021

A new year of SensUs means a new SensUs Organization. The SensUs Organization 2021 is up and running and currently busy organizing the SensUs Competition 2021 with all its initiatives to create an even closer network in the field of biosensing. Another year also means a new duo of Chairs for the Organization. This year, Iris Schilthuis and Remco Aalsbersberg have taken up this challenge.

Both chairs are currently bachelor students in Biomedical Engineering. Their interest in SensUs is not only because of its mission of innovating the development of sensors for health, but also because of the possibility SensUs has given them to grow personally and as a team with the rest of the Organization.  

“Stimulating the innovation of biosensors in a friendly competitive way is still the goal, even in changing times.” ~ Iris 

The mission and vision of SensUs are the most important guide in these changing times. Being mostly online takes its toll on the Organization, but Iris and Remco have faith in the motivation of all Organization members. This is because everyone is still working towards the SensUs Event with the same mission in the back of their heads: stimulating the innovation of biosensors. The Event has different scenarios, based on the number of regulations from the governments in each of the participating countries. No one knows exactly what they are working towards and this uncertainty makes it difficult to organize and plan far ahead. However, even being online for most of the time is not a limitation, according to Iris and Remco, it is a challenge; SensUs always has been about innovation and accepting new challenges to work on.

Adapting is one of the strong suits of the new duo. Iris and Remco describe their role as chairs as keeping the overview of the Organization and doing a constant risk analysis: What can go wrong, what can we do to prevent it, and when do we take action? This risk analysis is based fully on their own Department meetings as a Chairs&Co, together with the secretary, treasurer and HR-manager, and all the meetings they have with the Department chairs, who update them on their progress of the 4 other Departments (Events, External Relations, Public Relations, and Technology). The goal of these meetings is to see where the Departments stand and where collaborations can be formed between Departments so that everything goes smoothly. This team spirit approach also improves the motivation of all members.

When asked about their hope for SensUs 2021, the answer is a direct one. Thinking so far ahead is difficult within this pandemic and so they don’t actually know. Iris and Remco take inspiration from the 2019 and 2020 Events. They strive towards a similar spirit as the one achieved during those Events. The weeks working towards the SensUs Event 2020 were not only inspiring but also a lot of fun. Even with all the measurements against the novel coronavirus and the stress of organizing, all members were constantly working together and having a very good time. Looking back at 2019, Iris mentions that she really enjoyed being in close contact with the Teams, and hearing their SensUs experiences. She and Remco both agree that they hope to hear a lot from the competing Teams this year.

“We are still just a student-run competition, with mostly bachelor students. It is quite inspiring!” ~ Remco

Next to their ambitions for the SensUs Event 2021, Remco and Iris were both drawn to SensUs because of the potential for personal growth. Personal growth is important for all members. One thing they both love about the Organization is its willingness to help others grow and develop new skills. Iris wants to improve her conversation skills. Furthermore, due to her previous year at SensUs, her presentation skills have already improved because of the support and feedback of other members. Remco’s goal is to learn how to be a good leader of a team, a leader who can keep a good overview. He believes that you need feedback from the people you work with to improve your skills. 

Overall, Iris and Remco are both very motivated to be the Chairs of the SensUs Organization 2021. They mostly want to emphasize that all of SensUs is a team effort. Their role is to keep an overview and help all members with their problems or challenges on the way. They support the personal growth of members by giving feedback and they highly value the feedback they receive themselves as well. The team effort is what makes the SensUs Organization special and the Chairs are not the only ones that deserve the spotlight. So keep our social media in the loop, because the other Departments will present themselves too in the following months!