3. 5. 2022

Matej Dynybyl: Dialogue is important for everyone! 

The main thing is to know how to communicate with colleagues. To listen, to sit back and learn something, but also to be able to assert your own opinion.

This is exactly the valuable experience that the DESIGN+ programme is helping students of the University of West Bohemia to discover, in which the Škoda Group, one of the sponsors of the research tasks, also plays an important role. And few people can appreciate the main benefit of the project more than Matěj Dynybyl, a design specialist at Škoda Transportation Research and Development. It was he who was one of the main guides and advisors for the students of the University of Pilsen in solving the task, which dealt with the design of an autonomous tram for passenger and freight transport. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to experience DESIGN+ as a student. There was nothing like that at my home university. That’s a pity. When I saw how much the students enjoy this unique interdisciplinary collaboration and all the things it brings them, I really regret it,” admits Matěj Dynybyl. “But I enjoyed my role as a consultant all the more.”

What do you think this work has brought to the students?

The key idea behind the project is absolutely brilliant – students from completely different disciplines come together on one team dedicated to a technical task. For example, an engineer, an economist, and even, for example, a health care professional. They work together on a comprehensive solution to a specific problem, in our case the tram. The important thing is that everyone has their own perspective and they enrich each other. They step outside their “bubble”, the field they’re in, and I think that is a tremendously important experience.  The designed tram is therefore not only the solution of engineers and technicians but also a number of other unique elements from people from other fields.

Example?

For example, the solution to the ergonomics of stairs may be different from the perspective of the designer or from the perspective of the health science expert, but together they have a chance to come to a common and better solution than the two individual ones. Or – because, of course, the technical point of view was not the only one, other students worked on the economics of the whole project, so that it could be successful in this aspect as well. Again, they had to have discussions with others, find out everything they needed and come to some kind of result in cooperation with other team members. The multidisciplinary approach was rewarding for all.

Did this six-month collaboration with students inspire you too?

Definitely. Once again, I have seen how important it is for the development and operation of any vehicle to have overlap into different technical, but also economic sectors. In my opinion, this is closely related to the ability to communicate with colleagues and learn something from them. I would like to keep an open mind, and a willingness to discuss and accept new ideas that may even be a bit revolutionary for as long as possible. So, exactly what was obvious in DESIGN+.

This perception may be different for everyone…

And that’s just as well. I know some engineers who are fully dedicated to their narrow discipline. They excel at designing one particular technical node and they want to be the best in their category. But I think that it even helps this type of expert, to see things from the outside, from a detached view. In a broader context.

You’ve just described yourself a bit, so I assume that working in the research and development team at Škoda Transportation must be fulfilling for you?

That’s exactly right (smile). Working creatively on new things is exactly what I wished to do after school, so it’s kind of a dream come true for me. The application of new technologies brings with it the need to communicate more and more and to strive for mutual understanding. That’s what I love about my job. I can work with my peers as well as people who already have more experience and expertise and learning from them is a huge bonus for me.  Of course, all this brings about a clash of different perspectives and different opinions, but that’s a good thing, isn’t it?  I am convinced that dialogue is important for everyone.

Is there an interesting moment that sticks in your mind from the months you helped students with their DESIGN+ project?

The beautiful thing was that I just threw out an idea and it immediately started a geyser of ideas among the students. They were then long ahead of me in constructive ideas without me or any of my fellow lecturers having to intervene. The different perspectives – varying and yet working towards the same goal – were really very informative. Of course, sometimes they talked about unrealistic things, but that’s what we were there for, to always bring them at least partially back to earth (smile). And I found one other thing to be really interesting. I missed the very first meeting, where the students introduced themselves and the next one was already in full swing. I really enjoyed guessing in my mind who was studying what field, and what their focus was. It was not so easy to tell in the barrage of ideas (smile).

Can you imagine some of the researchers as new colleagues in your team?

I definitely can. I found the determination and even persistence that they devoted to the topic to be really pleasing, even though it was basically “just” a subject at school. But for students, something like this is just natural. Later, during the actual practical application, it will be up to the employer and supervisors to maintain that drive in their people to go all out. For myself, this is very important and I can’t well imagine working productively without it. And I’m lucky that my superiors are great at motivating me so I can do what I enjoy.