Innovator in the Spotlight

Ayda Golahmadi EngD trainee Smart Cities and Buildings

Improving indoor air quality in schools in the Netherlands

My research is focused on improving indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools in the Netherlands as part of the ECOS-IAQ project.

Wicked challenges 3


What does the Eindhoven Engine Academy offer? There are a few ways to facilitate collective intelligence in teams that are working on pressing problems (via co-creation and co-location) in an environment that is ever-changing and uncertain.

Power of design thinking

Over the last decade, we have seen the tremendous power of design thinking in the rapid and agile prototyping of innovations. This way of thinking (as well as processes to act on) solve a number of important issues, such as bringing the client into the scope of things early in the process. They focus on the need to correctly frame what is being done in order to ideate and enrich it in ways that are not evident at first sight. The Eindhoven Engine Academy is partnering with the Design Forum to provide this support.

A second major insight is the use of systems thinking beyond systems engineering. Systems thinking deals with wicked problems for which the purpose and impact are unknown at the beginning and evolve during the process. Systems thinking (both a way of thinking and a toolkit) allows easier understanding of the bigger picture, driving more meaningful contextualization.


Innovation is and remains work for people. It can only happen through people with an innovative mindset. However, this often requires a continuous willingness to reconsider what one knows, thinks, believes and has seen. An innovator is able to introspect easily and regularly. The Academy is going to work with the Human Performance Management Group of TU/e in order to support the project teams in this development.

While this is offered to the projects on-site, it could also be delivered in any virtual format, off-site and to a wider circle than the projects only.