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Unleashing Innovations: Expert Meeting

Greetings, Da Vinci Honours community! On December 14, 2023, a pivotal event unfolded – the Experts Meeting, a convergence of brilliant minds dedicated to sustainability. This unique gathering aimed to provide insights into our projects, fostering collaboration and innovation of ideas.

The event comprised two main stages:

1. Idea Pitching Session:

During the first stage, each group was allocated a concise 5-minute window to present their sustainability projects and how their work on the prototype is doing and how far each group is from ending the project.

2. Expert Feedback Session:

Following the pitches, the event transitioned into the second stage – a dedicated feedback session. Experts, renowned in diverse sustainability areas, provided detailed feedback to each group separately. This personalized approach ensured that each team had opportunity to ask various questions regarding their prototype and work with stakeholders as well as sustainability matters concerned with those. It helped with improving work dynamic in teams and gave extra hints on looking at the challenges from different angels.

The distinguished panel included:

  • Professor Bert Weckhuysen, a cornerstone of Utrecht University, Full Professor in Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis.
  • Ms. Carina Nieuweweg, a valued member of the Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences at Wageningen University & Research, specializing in Microbiology.
  • Albaraa Falodah, a PhD candidate at Utrecht University, shaping the future of polymers with groundbreaking research on olefin polymerization catalysts.
  • Joëlle Siewe, pioneering research at Utrecht University focused on optimizing catalysts for lower temperature exhaust gases in hybrid cars.
  • Jim de Ruiter, delving into the intricacies of the copper-catalyzed electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction at Utrecht University, contributing to the global effort against climate change through vibrational spectroscopy expertise.

The knowledge that DaVinci students gained from talking to experts and engaining in discussions with them was unimaginable. Professor Weckhuysen’s catalytic expertise, Ms. Nieuweweg’s microbiological insights, Albaraa Falodah’s groundbreaking polymer research, Joëlle Siewe’s advancements in hybrid automotive technology, and Jim de Ruiter’s contributions to CO2 reduction provided a diverse spectrum of knowledge to tackle every problem that DaVinci students might had before.

Student Learning and Implementation:

DaVinci students seized the opportunity to ask questions, discuss prototypes, and glean wisdom from the experts. The exchange of ideas, the insightful feedback from experts, and the collaborative spirit fostered during this event set the stage for future innovations and advancements. As we reflect on this gathering, let it be a reminder of the transformative potential when expertise meets enthusiasm. Here’s to the success of the projects presented and the continued journey towards a more sustainable future!

This article was written by Ada Adler, Da Vinci 2023-2024 student