The Almelo high-tech company Aeronamic has committed itself to Solar Team Twente as a sponsor for the fifth time. As a loyal partner, Aeronamic has made a significant contribution to the project since 2011. In preparation for the upcoming race in Morocco, we speak with Jolanda van der Kammen (PR & Communications Officer Aeronamic). Jolanda tells more about the long-term collaboration between Aeronamic and Solar Team Twente. We also talk about the various solar cars that Solar Team Twente has developed over the years with the help of Aeronamic, among others.
What is your core business?
I’ll take you back in time first. Aeronamic originated from Urenco (Uranium Enrichment Company), a company that develops and uses ultra-centrifuge technology to enrich uranium for nuclear power plants. In 1988 the Urenco Aerospace Division was established. Urenco’s high-tech expertise in the field of fast rotating systems could also be used perfectly within the aerospace industry. In 2005 we became an independent company: Aeronamic.
You can actually say that almost every aircraft contains an Aeronamic component or system. From our location in Almelo we design, manufacture, maintain, test and supply turbo machines, fast rotating components and motor-driven systems for both the commercial and defense industries, such as Airbus, Boeing, Gulfstream, Bombardier and Lockheed Martin. In addition, we produce parts for systems made in Almelo at our Sibiu facility (Romania). We also supply our customers directly from Sibiu.
Aeronamic Services is currently being set up at the Woensdrecht air base. At this facility, we will perform maintenance work on all F-35s (Joint Strike Fighter) operating in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific region, as well as the US F-35 fleet stationed in Europe.
Aeronamic joined forces with Solar Team Twente for the first time in 2011. How and why did you start this collaboration?
As a high-tech company, we think it is important to keep in touch with our Twente students. And we love innovations and strive for a sustainable world. Sustainable (electric) flying is high on the agenda in the aviation industry. Aeronamic is also active in this, by continuously developing in the field of electric flying and thus making sustainable flying possible. Every edition Solar Team Twente contributes with its innovative ideas to a sustainable world by making the solar car more efficient and the project more sustainable. This combination of factors means that we remain a partner of Solar Team Twente.
What moment together with Solar Team Twente do you remember the most?
That’s not so much ‘a moment’. It strikes us time and again that every 2 years a large team of HBO and WO students join forces to contribute to the Solar Team Twente project based on their own knowledge and skills. You set up a “company”. Because it is not “just” improving and redesigning the solar car. You also have to plan, arrange travel, make sure you meet all requirements, quality etc. And that requires a lot of skills and a meticulous project approach that you show every race.
This year’s race in Australia was cancelled, but you have not given up. You came up with good ideas and discussed them with your sponsors. The race in Morocco is entirely thanks to Solar Team Twente and we are proud of that as a sponsor. And let’s be honest, today’s students are tomorrow’s colleagues. How nice is it to invest in that too!
RED Horizon is the 5th car that was produced with the help of Aeronamic. What do you find most unique about RED Horizon compared to the previous cars?
The aerodynamic design of course! And under the skin the adjustments and improvements in the electronics/mechatronics and software area. In addition to being a proud sponsor, we are also a proud supporter. PUSH LIMITS in Morocco!
Together with Aeronamic and the other 168 partners, Solar Team Twente is working towards the Solar Challenge Morocco, which will be held in the last week of October. It promises to be a very challenging race due to the many different conditions that the country brings!