New challenge (2) - duo column

by Charlotte van den Heuvel

The great thing about my job is that you get to tell great stories about great things. Even if you don’t really know that much about it. So I’ve been writing about American sports and their organizations (and I am not really a sports person.) Or communicating about technical developments and products for high-tech industries (and I’m also not really a Tekkie kind of person). Now I’m taking the plunge as a communication advisor in Smart Mobility. Probably the first one not owning a car, so in my case, that makes perfect sense.

When starting as a press-officer at Eindhoven University of Technology last year my main task was to inspire young people via media and persuade them to come and study at this great university in the most inventive city of the world. Solar Team Eindhoven became one of my main projects. A group of enthusiastic science students welcomed me – an arts woman – to their lab, already showing me the first contours of world’s first solar-powered family car. Slightly amazed, but not yet capable of imagining the consequences of a car like this, I took notes to write one of the many press releases that would follow about this car.

Problems like emissions of greenhouse gases and air-polluting compounds, noise congestion and separation of living spaces were, after all, something far away from my personal life. My only reference to this before was an Economics paper I wrote two years ago. It stated the pros and cons of the Emissions Trading Scheme: a cap-and-trade approach in which European Union allowances are traded to control greenhouse gas emissions by means of creating economic incentives for polluters. It haunted me for a long time. Karma right back at ya.

Slowly, during the process of getting to know the organization and the strategic areas like Health, Energy and Smart Mobility, I find myself more aware of smart mobility and transport incentives for the functioning of cities. After all, who cannot love a car like Stella that can drive and do the laundry by shifting its energy from the sun back into the electricity grid in your own house?

The great thing about a university is the true enthusiasm of young students for whom there are no limits. It is therefore a pleasure to pass on these stories about inspiring projects, students and research. All focusing on developments of the future and creating new technologies to move towards sustainable mobility.

Guess you will see me in a Tesla or a Twizy soon.

Charlotte van den Heuvel
Press officer / Communications advisor Smart Mobility