It’s safe to say that Team Energy was the brainchild of Guido Lange. At the time, in the spring of 2013, Guido was following a Master’s degree in Science and Technology of Nuclear Fusion, at the Applied Physics faculty of the TU/e. The degree interested him because of all the challenges that are still to be faced in the nuclear fusion field, but those weren’t the only challenges that appealed to him. Guido was aware that a lot was being done on the TU/e concerning energy research, but all these different initiatives and projects were hidden all around campus. It was his idea to create a central point, a platform as it were, to collect all these different researches. Not only that, he also wanted to initiate a more lively discussion about energy, where people could voice their opinions. The Energy Days that are now hosted by the Strategic Area Energy of the TU/e used to be a Master class of Applied Physics, but these also lacked discussions and Guido saw potential in improving this.
He discussed these ideas he had with his good friend Pieter, who posed him the very relevant question ‘how can you go about making these ideas reality?’ Luckily, Guido had an answer to that: a symposium should be organized, showcasing all the energy related research of each faculty of the TU/e, giving energy the enthusiasm and publicity it deserves. And this became reality after Guido left Team Energy, in Energy Now, which has by now after its third edition moved off campus and aims at connecting professionals and students. The next edition will take place on May 22nd 2019, and Guido is very glad to see how big the reach of this congress has become and how his creation lives on.
Before Energy Now however, Team Energy itself had to be founded. Guido, along with some friends, organised a meeting with the Strategic Area Energy of the TU/e in May of 2013 to pitch their ideas of how they thought Team Energy could make a contribution to the university. Of course, a team needs members, and so Pieter and Paul, one of Guido’s friends, got to recruiting other energy enthusiasts at the TU/e while Guido also helped by sending emails all the way from Korea, where he was situated for his master internship. Guido felt it was his responsibility to make the team grow, in order to achieve their joint goal of creating more attention for energy research, spreading enthusiasm!
As mentioned by Minke in her interview, Team Energy had helped along with the Energy Days in 2013, and once Guido returned from Korea in December 2013, Team Energy was officially born! They presented themselves at the Energy Day in the same month and the ball really started rolling from there: they set up an organization structure of ‘cells’, for which Guido was also partly responsible. Team Energy consisted of several of these cells, sub teams as it were, which had a lot of autonomy. The board was more of a Team Support and wasn’t a rigid authority, which facilitated the welcoming of several different students who had the freedom to develop their own ideas!
Guido was also a member of Team Content, whose main goal was to spread energy knowledge and innovations through the website, creating a platform on which students and professionals could access relevant information. By then, in the spring of 2014, Guido was busy completing his master but a lot was to be done to get Team Energy fully operational as well! The logo had already been made before the launch, but the website was continuously improved upon and Team Energy organized their first event: the Energy Café!
After having graduated in 2014, Guido still frequently attends events of Team Energy and is really proud of how much the team has grown. The team was founded out of enthusiasm and he believes that is still the role the team should place upon itself: creating energy awareness and enthusiasm, not only among students, but also among the general public. ‘The sustainable energy challenge is relevant and important for everyone, everyone should pitch in!’
Always welcome more cells to the team!
Mind you, Guido wasn’t always occupied with the energy sector: he started off at the TU/e as a Bachelor student of Architecture, because of his childhood dream of becoming an architect. Although it went well, after two years he realised it wasn’t technical enough for him, so he switched to Applied Physics and he hasn’t regretted it since. The subject of Guido’s bachelor project was the ‘economy of energy’, in which he did research after the practicality and financial feasibility of the energy sector: how fast are our energy sources growing, how much will it cost to exploit them? He ran his master internship at Shell in the same topic, during which he made a model of the ideal mix of energy sources concerning their costs.
‘I’ve really come full circle’, Guido says. This is certainly true considering his work now: one of his two jobs is assisting his graduation professor on the topic of the economics of nuclear fusion. One of the biggest challenges in the energy research sector is funding, according to Guido. Decades of investments are needed to create successful energy technologies for the long term. Because nuclear fusion energy will not be commercialized within the next fifty years, Guido stresses the importance of the storage of energy, especially considering the transition towards sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar energy. He sees it as his personal contribution to the transition to spread information
At the moment Guido is very occupied with his other job at FuseNet, which is a European education organisation that sponsors among others education initiatives, events and master internships in the nuclear fusion field. His current role is helping to organize a PhD event in November at ITER in France, for 150 students throughout Europe. For those of you not familiar with ITER (‘the way’ in Latin), it is the world’s largest magnetic fusion device, currently under construction and is being built to prove that nuclear fusion is a relevant large-scale and carbon-free energy source! This will be achieved by its design to have a tenfold power multiplication in the reactor cores.
And how does Guido personally want to contribute to the energy transition? His aim is to continue spreading information and enthusiasm on energy topics, and to continue to research what the best long term plan is concerning the cost of certain energy sources. He does feel that national and international political resistance is also one of the main hurdles the energy transition has to overcome. Many political decisions to do with energy are based on short term successes, however we have to strive to set up a successful long term plan of which all layers of society can reap the benefits.
And to those reading this, Guido also has a personal message for you: ‘Always welcome more cells to the team!’ Strive to increase connections between yourself, other students, professionals and society, to be able to make the energy transition happen!