Internship Corné Timmer

Corné Timmer

At Stage Gate 11, we're pleased to showcase the contributions of Corné Timmer, our intern who has delved into the Optical Trace Detector (OTD). Corné's research sheds light on the challenges facing current Explosive Trace Detectors (ETDs) and how the OTD, fortified by Delta R Technology, aims to revolutionize aviation security. Find out about his research below.

Internship Corné Timmer


During my internship at Stage Gate 11, I focused on the Optical Trace Detector (OTD) which is currently being developed. My research was aimed at setting up initial product requirements of the OTD based upon the inputs of the future end-users.

The OTD should eventually be able to compete with current Explosive Trace Detectors (ETDs). It is a well known fact that the current generation of ETDs have certain issues, they specifically prone to low uptime and high maintenance. These issues are to become a thing of the past, since the OTD incorporates the Delta R Technology.
Understanding the issues and how to avoid them formed the basis of my research, to ultimately create a better ETD machine through the OTD of SG11.

My research started with a literature review, to seek answers on how a security filters work and what needs to be detected, and how to comply with the various relevant regulations. I found my answers through literature study and inputs from various professionals.

Current ETD machines

To further substantiate the arguments that current ETD machines are not as efficient as professionals would like them to be, interviews were conducted with several airport operators within Europe. From these interviews it was concluded that they experience high total cost of ownership and longer waiting times for passengers due to ETDs being inoperative.

The low uptime and other breakdowns can be traced back to the technology which the current machines use, their vulnerability to environmental factors and the desired high throughput.

Stockphoto Airport Security
Stockphoto Airport Security

Operational Requirements

In the same interviews, further questions were asked on what airport operators believe an ideal ETD should ideally live up to in terms of expectations. These answers were translated to an optimal situation which was compared to the current development status of the OTD during a focus group with the Development Team of Stage Gate 11. This session showed that many of the requirements airport operators have could be solved directly with the OTD.


Concluding my research, the initial designs of the OTD and how the development team is currently describing it, demonstrate that the machine could be a worthy opponent to current ETDs. Through the use of the Delta R Technology many of the issues the current ETD machines have, will potentially be resolved by the OTD. Furthermore, overall costs will become lower due the use of SG11’s reusable swabs and low maintenance.

I proudly look back at my research at SG11, because I have delivered a report from which the development team can take notes to improve the OTD. Furthermore, I am delighted that I can say that I have finished my Bachelor of Science in Aviation Operations. The colleagues and people connected with SG11 have given me full support and good times during my internship at SG11 making the period unforgettable!

Currently I have no idea what I will be doing in a year from now, I will try to figure that one out soon! In the meantime, I will happily continue working as a Flight Dispatcher at Schiphol airport.
In closing, I would like to extend my appreciation to Stage Gate 11’s Michiel Poppink for his guidance and support. This milestone wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation and inputs from dedicated professionals. I would also like to thank the BrightSky consortium, Sersinho Gardt and Catya Zuniga of the HvA for their insights and feedback.

Stage Gate 11's OTD
Stage Gate 11's OTD

Final remarks by Stage Gate 11’s Michiel Poppink

“We congratulate Corné Timmer on achieving his graduation to B.Sc. in Aviation Operations. With his thesis, he has provided a valuable contribution in the last half year. Corné has worked with stakeholders and our team to uncover many the specifics which come into view when developing the OTD into a product. We are grateful to the involved professionals, whom take the time to provide inputs to this process. Furthermore, we would also like to stress that the internship has been conducted within the framework of the BrightSky consortium, and we express specific thanks to Sersinho Gardt and Catya Zuniga of the HvA for the guidance and collaboration.”

For those interested in embarking on an internship at Stage Gate 11, we welcome you to connect with us. We’re eager to assist you in finding a meaningful project that aligns with your aspirations. Feel free to reach out to Michiel Poppink for further information.

Michiel Poppink

Interested in joining as an intern at Stage Gate 11? Contact Michiel Poppink

+31 (0) 88 250 16 00 /