What led you to work in this industry?
My mom is researching sustainable material at the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, which was inspiring. When I went to the university, I chose to study environmental energy. I wanted to focus on the methodologies/ecosystem services that quantify environmental impact. While I was pursuing my Master of Science in engineering, I focused my studies in a more practical direction within the field of electric power technology. I learned more about how electricity works and how the electrical grid works on a large scale in Sweden and in the world. A lot of our courses were focused on balancing the electrical production with consumption. I learned about different energy sources and how they are being used. I became interested in what batteries can do for our society when I read about intermittent energy sources like sun and wind and how they can be unreliable and unpredictable, requiring ways to temporarily store the energy. When I applied to be an application engineer at Nilar, I couldn’t have found a more appropriate position to apply for.
What’s most fun about your job?
One of the things I enjoy the most is the freedom I get. I feel like my input is highly valued and I get a chance to realize my own ideas. One of our products, the Home Box, was a project where I was involved from idea to product manufacturing. We had a vision to create a convenient energy storage, appropriate for the home market. I also greatly appreciate being able to talk to our partners, to be able to learn how to pedagogically explain the technique behind our products and how our batteries and integrated solutions work. It’s enjoyable being able to showcase the end use and benefit of what we offer.
What’s the most common misconception about your role?
I feel my title doesn’t imply much of the intricacies involved; my work depends greatly on the application/system that is being produced. It seems a lot of people assume that we have more control of how our batteries are being used by end customers. We can give our recommendations and have integrated limit warnings, but a lot of people are not aware of that the batteries make up a single component of a greater solution.
Early mistakes you made in your career that you’ve learnt from?
Early on, I was a bit overly confident, assuming that I was always correct in my opinions. Now I use a more modest approach, seldomly speaking on topics where I’m not certain I’m right. I learned that it’s easier and more enjoyable to interact with someone who has a more open approach; that has helped me in my career as well as my personal life.
Who inspires you?
My mom has inspired me a lot. She instilled in me the importance in engaging in the big challenge in front of us when it comes to the environment and pollution.
A good book you’ve read?
I read the first part of a science fiction-novel series, “The long earth” by Terry Pratchett. I liked it because it’s sci-fi, a bit weird and conceptual. The story is about a multi universe. Several universes are on top of each other, and the characters find ways to walk between universes. It talks about how humanity as a civilization needs to seize the planet earth.
What is your favorite kind of projects?
I really appreciate working with engaged, competent, and involved people, where we share a common view from the start of what we want to achieve.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
The coolest thing I’m working on right now is a project in which we are looking at new approaches for events in remote locations; we are trying to replace diesel generator that are typically brought in with a system of fuel cells in combination with batteries. The fuel cell is slow and can handle the load; we want to package it in a container and make everything work completely off grid. We want to be able to refill the fuel cell with hydrogen in the same way as refueling with diesel or petrol. Hydrogen is easier to produce, and the residual product is water vapor! It’s cool to see and be a part of the journey on how this solution may replace diesel generators in the long run.
A secret talent?
I know how to play three-quarters of Für Elise, on both my left and right hand!
The best thing about working at Nilar?
I work within a very relevant area to my education; the questions we are dealing with are world-critical in the bigger picture. I play an important role to what we are creating at Nilar and to what direction the company is going.