Date: 9-13 November 2016
Place: DTU, Copenhagen, Denmark
With a bus to catch at 4:25 AM and a 6:45 AM flight looming around the corner, the idea of sleep was out of the question. I trekked through the thunderous rain, making my way downtown, only to arrive at an empty bus station with 15 minutes to spare. The rest of the MES eventually showed up and we were ready to go, or so we thought. One of us was missing (obviously Aadam). We desperately called him to see where he was, only to find he was still at home. With no time to spare and panic settling in, we did the reasonable thing and left him behind (not really, we called him an uber). Somehow, we all made it to the airport in time for our flight, despite the fact Emma’s bag was stripped down due to a suspected bomb threat. Our journey to Denmark for the 5th annual European Mechanical Engineering Student Council Congress (EMESCC) began! There we got to meet over 170 fellow mechanical engineers from around Europe. Mechanical Engineering Societies from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Slovenia were all there to give advice and insight into how they operate as a council.
However, our journey was so early, none of the other societies had actually arrived yet. With sleep a distant memory, we took the train to Copenhagen. There, we quickly rushed to Christiana, Denmark’s self-proclaimed anarchist state. While no fights broke out, we did come across the best Danish pastries. And by best, I mean best. Seriously, the best. I got to eat the pastries while looking over Copenhagen’s skyline from the top of the Church of Our Saviour. Finally, we headed to the Technical University of Denmark – DTU (yes I know, that’s technically not the right abbreviation). We dined and socialised with the other societies, answering all their questions about Brexit in the process, before getting some much needed rest.
The next day, we woke and went our separate ways, visiting various local factories across Denmark. We got introduced with Force Technology, MAN Diesel & Turbo, Bang & Olufsen, Skion and Skylab, and Avedøreværket. It was all so enriching to see how these companies functioned, the machines they used, and how they were making a difference in today’s world. We then convened back at DTU for some (extremely awkward) icebreakers. However, it was a great opportunity to break the ice and create a friendlier aura, then it was off to the bar with our new friends.
The morning after started with a few moans and groans, but people eventually got out of their sleeping bags, some more easily than others. This day was focused around workshops, that is, interactive activities allowing us to discuss various topics. With 17 workshops ranging from finance and international marketing to collaboration and continuity, there were several opportunities to learn about the other societies and see how they succeed. A lot of the discussions provided us with input that we could take home with us and add value to the society. It was not however one way traffic. We were delighted by our presence during the discussions, providing useful advice on numerous occasions.
We ended the day with a memorable pub crawl (actually not much remembering was done the day after). Everyone was laughing, playing games, and socializing. It was a genuine bonding moment for everyone. But again, we had to wake up for the next day, this time with noticeably more moans and groans. We attended even more workshops before going to the closing ceremony. Here we summarised our experience with DTU, before presenting them with our gifts. We then had some fantastic burritos and partied the night away.
I can’t stress enough how rewarding and enjoyable the congress was. The people came in with great spirits and it resonated throughout the week. The UCLMES would like to thank the Technical University of Denmark for their outstanding organisations and accommodation. I’m sure we were no walk in the park, but you made it the perfect trip.
Blog about past MES events.