Close Close icon
Close Close icon

Learn & Work

Whether you are learning, studying or working, Brainport Eindhoven offers limitless opportunities for growth. Your success depends on the way you overcome your challenges. Please contact Brainport if you need any support. We will help you gain more knowledge and new perspectives or we will just answer your questions.

Close Close icon
Close Close
Close Close

Meet our pioneer: Atharva Kale

In Brainport Eindhoven we change the world because here we develop key technologies that change society. We can only do that because of our pioneers. Therefore, meet our pioneer: Atharva Kale.


In Brainport Eindhoven we change the world because here we develop key technologies that change society. We can only do that because of our pioneers. Therefore, meet our pioneer: Atharva Kale.


Who are you?

My name is Atharva Kale. I’m 22 years old and originally I’m from India, from a small town near Mumbai. At the age of five, I moved to China with my parents, but because of some health complications, I had to go back to my grandmother in India. When I was 12 years old I went back to China and three years later we came to Eindhoven because my dad could work for Philips. So I live here for six years now. I’m officially becoming a Dutch citizen soon.

What do you study?

I’m in my second year of the joined bachelor programme Data Science at TU/e and Tilburg University. At the TU/e we learn about technical aspects of data science, such as programming, and at Tilburg University we learn a lot about ethics, the legal aspects and also innovation and regulation aspects. It’s really nice because, in the end, you become an all-around data scientist.

Before I studied Econometrics at Tilburg University, with the aim to study Data Science. But in my second year, I missed the coding experience and real-life applications. I was just doing a lot of theoretical maths, which I love, but I need to be able to apply my knowledge. That’s why I switched. I’m really glad I did.

How do you combine studying at two universities?

Because it’s a joint programme, you never have to go to both universities on one day. If I have a day off or just morning lectures at Tilburg University, I go to the TU/e Campus to study. It’s a nice workspace and my friends are there as well. 

Why did you choose this study?

I chose to study Data Science because I was really interested in economics and mathematics. I wanted to do something in the theoretical economics section. But as I went through high school I developed more affinity towards technology and maths. Data Science is the perfect combination of those. It allowed me to not choose the exact field that I would work in. As a data scientist, I can go any way that I wish.

Are you going to do a master’s degree after this?

I’m going to do a master. I’m now thinking of the master in Data Science & Artificial Intelligence at JADS (Jheronimus Academy of Data Science), in Den Bosch. For me, that’s the most exciting one, because that’s the most unknown one. There’s a lot to research, do and innovate in that field.

What do you do besides your study?

I have a few different jobs at the university. All those jobs take up different aspects, like professionalism, organisation and things like that. I’m a student assistant for all of the courses of Data Science. There I helped with the reaccreditation by NVAO (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie) to make sure the programme is legitimate and good for students. I helped and offered my student view on what needs to change and what needs to happen to grow the Data Science programme.

Another job that I have is student assessor for the executive board of the department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The executive board makes all the decisions regarding finances, students, intake and so forth. Again here I offer my and other students views on all kinds of issues. Especially due to COVID-19 there were a lot of issues.

I’m also a student mentor. In that role, I help the first-year students get acquainted with the program, the university and student life.

"I was in a position where my voice wasn’t heard and I don’t want that to happen to others."

Atharva Kale

Why did you decide to do those three jobs?

As someone who has a mixed background and all kinds of experiences, I think it’s important that other people hear what I have to say and that my views were represented. In big organisations like the university, individual voices get lost. With my jobs, I was giving these individual voices a platform. I was in a position where my voice wasn’t heard and I don’t want that to happen to others.

Is there anything else you do aside from your study?

I’m in a startup as well. I’m one of the founding members and the CFO of A place for now. It’s an initiative that was started in collaboration with the TU/e but is now a startup on its own, with just six students. We are dealing with the housing crisis, which is not only in Eindhoven but in all of the Netherlands, especially for students. A lot of my international friends had issues with finding a house. I even know a story of a girl from Australia who had to spend a night on the streets here. That’s why I and the other members are trying to find solutions to housing.

How did A place, for now, evolve to a startup?

As a TU/e initiative, we were limited in what we could and were allowed to do. Our initial idea was to develop a platform like Airbnb, but affordable for students. It would also rely on the generosity of other students and community members. Because TU/e is a different entity, not all of this was possible. That is why we are now a separate foundation.

In 2020 we participated in the TU/e Contest and won the audience award!

Why are you in A place for now?

All of us have similar experiences and it’s tough to see others go through that. Now I’m in a position to help them, so that’s what I do. I’m lucky that I can live with my parents here in Eindhoven, as an international student, but most of the international students can’t. We all believe that we need to do something about that.

What do you want to do later?

Later I want to do data science in Formula 1 because Formula 1 is my passion. As a kid, I wanted to be a driver, but obviously, that wasn’t possible. But as a data scientist, I can work still for Formula 1. You gather tons of data to make sense of it. Almost every millisecond. Sometimes even nanoseconds. A Formula 1 racing car has about 300 to 500 sensors on the car and cars of the larger teams such as Ferrari even have 900 up to 1.100 sensors on the car. Data scientists turn the collected data into a strategy. A lot of the racing circuits now are kind of driven by data. It almost doesn't matter who drives the car: the right strategy decides the results.

What do you find important about a later job?

For me, the biggest aspect is learning. I want to learn a lot of different things. I’m a person who usually picks up a lot of books from everywhere, even when the books don’t have anything to do with my field. I just want to know a lot of different things.

"Even though India is a heavy tech industry, it’s not as innovative as Brainport Eindhoven is. Here we are so focused on the next step."

Atharva Kale

What do you think of studying and living in Brainport Eindhoven?

Overall it has been a really good experience. Especially studying here is very nice. Because I know if I was still in India, the pressure and exposure would be completely different. Even though India is a  heavy tech industry, it’s not as innovative as Brainport Eindhoven is. Here we are so focused on the next step. I also experience this in my study. For example, we have a Data Science challenge in which we have to use AI and Machine Learning to detect a disease called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes leads to a decreased eyesight. It was very personal to me because my granddad has actually lost one of his eyes because of that. Seeing how my field can help to detect this disease and how we were able to get data from the Brainport region, where experts were coming in to contribute, was amazing!

Of course, I still have to get used to the four seasons, especially with the cold. But in terms of pollution, the climate is way better here. In China, it was a common occurrence to use face masks. And in India, the noise was always there. I like the quietness here. Also, the closeness and availability of means here are very nice. I really enjoy living here.

What more would you like to tell the (future) students in Brainport Eindhoven?

Just get through the first year. It’s pretty complicated and tough. Make sure you don’t overbook yourself and have enough spare time. But after that, make sure that you take chances and make the most out of the opportunities. It’s really easy to meet other people and do things all the time. Whether it be for fun or business. Take these chances, because that will leads to the best experience for sure.