Where do our team members end up after participating in Solar Team Twente? What is the impact of participation in this intense project on the integration into the business life? In the item “Where are they now?” we will put a spotlight on one of our Solar Team Twente alumni once every two weeks. This week Chris Heineman will kick-off with what he has learned during his time in the solarteam.
Name: Chris Heineman
Position within the solarteam: Mechanics/Frame
Position: Contract Manager
What are your daily activities within your position? To coordinate and arrange the servicing contracts on our own systems: traffic control installations, highway systems and dynamic travel information systems. The link between the customer and the internal organization of the maintenance. Customers to which we provide are government agencies and developers, together they provide for a challenging work environment.
What have you learned during the solarteam? The connectivity, everything is always connected. Electrical engineering, software and mechanical engineering all work together and the intensity of this partnership increases to work out the technical challenges. The contact with all of these parties is something I encounter, and enjoy, in my job right now. It is also important to never stop asking questions, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how something is working exactly, the intention to at least try and understand what is going on is what matters.
What is your best memory at Solar Team Twente? My best memory is the resilience the team showed after the crash with the 21-Revolution on the 3rd day of the 2009 challenge. It made the Dutch newspaper, but by the time it was published here we were already back on track. Ofcourse this was a horrible moment at the time it happened, but this really showed the strength of the team. Every team member participated in every way they could to get us back on the road again. In the morning, when we found out the glue hadn’t hardened yet, we decided to use some tape to cover it, to prevent it from waxing our driver’s legs. During the next control stop we checked the glue which, due to the heat, had completely hardened. This only meant one thing: full speed on to Adelaide!
What would you say to the current members of the team? Not everything will go as you have planned, so take this into account when you’re planning! Like it was said during the 2013 teambuilding activity: “Hurry when you have the time, so you have time when you’re in a hurry!”. To this day this is still my mantra!