Header photo by Joost van Baars
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 Tom Kooyman will kick-off with what he has learned during his time in the solarteam.
Name: Tom Kooyman
Position within the solarteam: Electrical Engineering
Position: Electrical Engineer
What is Lightyear? Lightyear is a spin-off of Solar Team Eindhoven. We are developing, producing and selling the first Dutch solar car for commercial use!
What are your daily activities within your position? I mostly work on developing the electronics which are necessary to charge the car through the solar panels. This is very similar to the tasks I had within my time at Solar Team Twente, but just more extensive. Safety characteristics, reliability, regulatory aspects and documentation play a larger part, but the level of efficiency remains the same. Besides that I am working on expanding and training a group of people who are going to work in these aspects. One of the colleagues with whom I work a lot is Tom Vocke, a Solar Team Twente alumnus from 2011.
What have you learned from your time at Solar Team Twente? A lot of practical things, like how do you design a working system? How do you deal with issues? And what is the balance between the ideal solution and the practical solution?
What was your position in the solarteam about? My main focus, as Electronical Engineer, was the solar panel and the engine. We were the first solarteam to develop their own electro-engine
What is your best memory with Solar Team Twente? I was the first one to test The RED Engine. It is an awesome experience when you can drive the car which you have built with the entire team and see that everything is just the way you had pictured it!
How did you get to know about Solar Team Twente? I saw the applications had opened and so I applied for the team. I had successfully completed my bachelor and wasn’t very keen on directly moving on to my master. It was a year where I learned a lot and has brought me a lot of nice memories and practical skills.
What would you say to the current members of the team? Enjoy the experience! Enjoy all of the awesome things this team allows you to do and enjoy working in an extremely driven and motivated team! Together, anything is possible!
What does the picture show? My personal picture is a very special one for me, because a lot of time, effort and stress was put into finishing this panel on time. The result was a unique solar panel, very few solar cars have a similar appearance!
I always felt sorry for the 2013 team as, in my opinion, they were the first team to finish with a legal car that year. It seemed to me that both Nuon and Tokai must have breached the visibility rules that you obviously took great care to address. I thought that you were very sporting to accept the situation.