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.

From Unlikely to Unstoppable: Embracing Diversity in the Building Industry

“I never saw myself working at Kropman,” Shalika Walker confesses. “And honestly, I might not have hired Shalika,” Joep van der Velden admits, seated beside her. “But how the OpenCall of Eindhoven Engine changed things. We’ve now created a new position within Kropman specifically to bring Shalika on board,” says Joep with a big smile.

We are at one of the offices of Kropman. This company designs, builds, maintains, and manages building installations, including climate control. “Kropman, rooted in construction, is traditionally less dynamic compared to sectors like semiconductors or the medical industry. So, working here was not on my radar,” Shalika shares.

Kropman’s Workspace: More Than Meets the Eye

“Welcome to our living lab,” Joep announces as he leads me into a spacious, open-plan office. At first glance, it looks ordinary, with dark gray carpets, white adjustable desks, and black office chairs. Joep notices my lukewarm reaction and gives a knowing sigh, directing my attention upward. “The real innovation is actually hidden above us in the ceiling.” I follow his gaze to a beige suspended ceiling, and he points out a translucent cap. “Those are sensors. They allow us to monitor and adapt the office environment, responding to the current scenario or the presence of workers.”

At Kropman, the pride lies in being system integrators. We source pumps from one company, sensors from another, and piping and operating systems from yet another. Our goal is to seamlessly blend these components, providing our customers with a unified operating system that manages lighting, climate control, and solar panels, among other things. This integration is meticulously crafted to enhance the experience for our clients’ employees, focusing on maximal efficiency and environmental sustainability, using as little energy as possible.

Embracing Open Collaboration for Innovation

Creating an integrated system might seem straightforward, but it’s a challenging endeavor. We’re in a field dominated by heavyweights like Siemens, Honeywell, and Signify, each offering products with proprietary systems and unique data outputs, typically closed to external systems. To navigate this, we developed our software to manage and optimize the diverse systems a client might have. However, the need for a testing ground became apparent. Clients often hesitate to open their buildings for experimental setups; hence, we transformed our Breda office into a living lab.

True partnership proved elusive until we found a more receptive community in the Brainport region.

Joep van der Velden
Director of Building Automation | Kropman

We strongly believe in an open environment for research and development. Our efforts to collaborate with universities and companies across and beyond Europe, however have been met with limited success. True partnership proved elusive until we found a more receptive community in the Brainport region. This shares a work and research philosophy similar to our own company’s, plus communication is direct and efficient, enabling us to quickly and easily connect with each other. This welcoming atmosphere was pivotal when Wim Zeiler, a former colleague now with  Eindhoven University of Technology and still an advisor at Kropman, introduced us to the Eindhoven Engine OpenCall. Recognizing its potential to foster meaningful partnerships, we eagerly seized this opportunity.

Eindhoven Engine’s OpenCall: A Catalyst for Collaboration

“Working with Eindhoven Engine offers a unique experience,” Shalika explains. “We share a location with a variety of companies and students, all engaged in their own projects. This diversity is beneficial. It’s not just about casual connections, like chatting at the coffee machine; we also attend sessions to share and discuss project progress.

For instance, while working on a data prediction project, I overheard a researcher at Eindhoven Engine’s Festival of Disruption event discussing data usage in cancer research. It didn’t click immediately, but later, the idea struck me at home: we could collaborate and enhance our respective research.

These interactions open up new perspectives and inspire innovative thinking. “This collaborative atmosphere was the reason Kropman signed up for three projects in a row. One project focused on detecting and diagnosing faults in building climate systems. The second project involved personalized thermal comfort systems, allowing employees to adjust their workspace climate via a smartphone app. The third was an assessment of CO2 sensors in the market, evaluating their accuracy for reliable CO2 readings in schools.

Although these projects are completed within Eindhoven Engine, we continue to build on the research and improve the products developed.” “And that’s why we brought Shalika on board,” says Joep.

Human-data interaction to enhance office well-being

Hi, my name is Hans Brombacher and I am a fourth year Industrial Design Ph.D. candidate. My work focuses on the topic of human-data interaction to enhance office well-being and is part of the POWEr FITTing project of Eindhoven Engine.



Three case studies

In the landscape of workplace technology, sensing systems play a crucial role in gathering data for understanding building performance and employee activities. However, a common challenge arises: individuals often feel disconnected from these systems, being treated merely as passive recipients of data. Three case studies propose practical solutions to address this issue.

Case 1. SensorBadge

Case 1 introduces SensorBadge, an ego-centric sensor platform allowing employees to actively participate in data collection and analysis. This approach emphasizes the importance of seamlessly integrating sensor technology into daily routines while ensuring individuals have control over their data. The study underscores the need for clear and understandable data representations to facilitate informed decision-making.

Case 3. Click-IO

Case 3 presents Click-IO, a tangible tool designed for real-time feedback on workplace well-being. By merging individual experiences with environmental data, Click-IO offers a nuanced understanding of office dynamics. Its privacy-sensitive design ensures that employees feel comfortable sharing feedback, while its mobility allows for in-the-moment data collection.

Case 2. SensorBricks

In case 2, SensorBricks emerges as a toolkit aimed at improving data literacy among users. Through interactive workshops, participants engage with sensor data in a collaborative setting, fostering discussions and shared insights. The toolkit’s user-friendly interface lowers the barrier for individuals to interact with data, promoting a deeper understanding of their surroundings.

Human-centered design

These case studies demonstrate the importance of human-centered design in workplace sensing technologies. By prioritizing user engagement, control, and understanding, these approaches pave the way for more meaningful insights and improved well-being in the modern workplace.

Integration of findings

Within our final study, which will start soon, we will integrate the findings of these studies into a unified artifact, prioritizing human-centric design principles. This aims to enhance data literacy, facilitate real-time feedback on well-being, and ensure employee control over data. Implementing such an ecosystem in diverse workplace settings could provide valuable insights into its effectiveness and ethical implications, ultimately fostering a more fulfilling and productive work environment.

Eindhoven Engine News – February 2024

In this edition of Eindhoven Engine News: Eindhoven’s Energy Initiative recieves a boost for Grid Balancing Project, Innovator in the spotlight Steven Beumer & more!

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Eindhoven’s Energy Initiative: €50K Boost for Grid Balancing Project

As the year 2024 kicks off, Eindhoven Engine, Simpl.Energy and TU/e EIRES (Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems) are joining forces for an Energy Grid Balancing initiative, aimed at addressing the pressing energy challenges faced by the Brainport region. This pioneering project is receiving a boost with a subsidy from the Stimuleringsfonds (Stimulation Fund) of the Metropoolregio Eindhoven (MRE).


Energy Challenges in the Brainport Region

The Brainport region is grappling with energy security challenges on its journey towards a sustainable future. While planned grid investments are crucial, they alone won’t provide immediate solutions. Recognized as the Dutch high-tech industry’s national mainport, the strategic importance of Brainport demands a sustainable approach to powering its economic activities and meeting future energy demands.

The newly enacted Energiewet (Energy Act) in the Netherlands creates an opportunity to infuse flexibility into the electricity grid. The current centrally controlled system calls for operational systems at the campus level to adapt to the evolving energy landscape.

As this project unfolds, it promises not only to meet current energy demands but to also build a resilient and dynamic energy infrastructure for the future.

Collaborative Solutions for Brainport’s Future

In this groundbreaking initiative, Eindhoven Engine leads the way in crafting the playbook for simulation tools in Eindhoven-Oost. Simpl.Energy focuses on an operational monitoring and prediction system, while TU/e EIRES connects with ongoing university research and engages stakeholders for effective project dissemination.

Paving the Way for Sustainable Solutions

The Energy Grid Balancing project shines as a beacon of collaborative innovation, harnessing the strengths of Eindhoven Engine, Simpl.Energy, and TU/e EIRES. With MRE Stimuleringsfonds’ support, this initiative is set to forge the path to sustainable energy solutions, addressing Brainport’s unique challenges and contributing to the broader goals of the Dutch high-tech industry’s energy transition. As this project unfolds, it promises not only to meet current energy demands but to also build a resilient and dynamic energy infrastructure for the future. Get ready for a grid revolution in the heart of Brainport.

Janne Brok receives Knaller 2024 Award

A Catalyst for Eindhoven Engine’s Ambitious Plans

Our Managing Director, Janne Brok, was honored with the Knaller 2024 award at the Gerard & Anton Awards last Thursday! This recognition signifies the anticipation of significant achievements for her in the year ahead. Aligned seamlessly with the Eindhoven Engine’s 2024 plans, we’re set to embark on exciting initiatives in the year ahead. Also, many congratulations to all the winners!

More about the Gerard & Anton High Tech Piek Awards:



Festival of Disruption filled with energy and enthusiasm

The Festival of Disruption’s second edition thrived with energy and enthusiasm. Kicking off the day, architect and urban designer Floris Alkemade offered a compelling perspective on how to embrace transformative changes.


Engaging workshops

Following this inspiring start, attendees were presented with seven engaging workshops, each delving into methods to expedite innovation, including ‘Design doing’, ‘Accelerating transitions via disruption’ and ‘1+1=3.’ Moreover, they had the chance to stay up to date on the latest developments in Eindhoven Engine’s OpenCall projects and the Emergence Lab initiative focusing on low literacy. As the day drew to a close, the atmosphere was charged with excitement during the wrap-up quiz, concluding a day, filled with learning, inspiration, and networking.

Did you miss out on the festival or do you want to relive the day? Get an impression of it here!

Empowering future-proof companies with Eindhoven Engine

In August of last year, Kay Smits, a fourth-year student of Business Innovation, embarked on his graduation assignment with Eindhoven Engine. The purpose of his assignment is to identify a systematic approach that stimulates accelerated innovation.


In this task he conducted extensive field research and organized brainstorming sessions with creative business innovation professionals and Eindhoven Engine’s office team. Kay’s efforts led to the conceptualization of the ‘Innovation Tool’, a gamified tool to propel projects with innovation objectives in a more cutting-edge direction. The goal was to provide tangible support to projects and organizations in accelerating their innovations. This tool represents a significant step forward in Eindhoven Engine’s commitment to overseeing innovation projects, serving as a visual aid in project management and future-proofing strategies.

Innovation Tool

The ‘Innovation Tool’ fosters a culture of innovation by promoting creative problem-solving and encouraging the establishment of ambitious long-term goals. Its framework enables projects to gain a broad perspective, allowing for a systematic approach to accelerating innovation and getting ready for the market.

This tool, presented to the management of Eindhoven Engine, has been identified as a pivotal asset for the organization. Recognizing its potential to accelerate innovation with social impact, the management has expressed a desire for its further development.

Consequently, Kay has been tasked with exploring the feasibility of creating a digital version of this tool. His role as project owner of Innovation Development for Eindhoven Engine commenced last summer, marking a significant milestone in the organization’s pursuit of sustained innovation.

The digital edition is set for release in early 2024. For more information on the tool or to initiate a detailed discussion, please reach out to us by clicking the button below. 

Innovation Tool

This innovation tool gives its users an overview of an introduction to the many existing methodologies that are useful in making impact from knowledge. It is not only easy to use, it is also fun!

Janne Brok
Managing Director Eindhoven Engine

Eindhoven Engine News – July 2023

In this edition of Eindhoven Engine News: Festival of Disruption 2023, Innovator Ayda Golahmadi in the Spotlight, new project videos of Carbyon and more!

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New project videos: Carbyon 2.0

The atmospheric CO2 levels are excessively elevated, so urgent action is needed to lower them. Eindhoven Engine Project Carbyon is developping machines that are capable of capturing carbon from the surrounding air and filtering it out. The retrieved carbon dioxide can be either reused or securely stored for an indefinite period. By adopting this approach, Carbyon can effectively address the issue of climate change.


Into a working machine

Marco Arts is the chief operating officer at Carbyon. Currently, Carbyon is collaborating with Eindhoven University of  Technology and DIFFER in the Eindhoven Engine project Carbyon 2.0 to verify their key technologies in their lab environments. Currently, they are developing a fully integrated working machine that takes in ambient air and delivers pure CO2.

Direct air capture by different solvents

Jasper Simons, CTO at Carbyon, showcases the first test version of their direct air capture equipment. And Shilpa Sonar is working as a postdoc researcher at Eindhoven University of Technology. Shilpa’s research is mainly focused on the direct air capture by the different solvents. Her research will be carried out in the Carbyon’s own home-produced reactor.


Vacancy: Finance & Project Controller (0,5-1,0 fte)

Currently we are looking for a Finance & Project Controller, who sees it as a challenge to work with complex financial flows and (research) projects. In your position you will take care of the entire financial and project administration of Eindhoven Engine B.V. You will provide the MT with the necessary management information, you will give solicited and unsolicited advice, and you will think along with them to come to joint solutions/improvements. It is therefore broader than just a financial function.


In your position you will take care of the entire financial and project administration of Eindhoven Engine B.V. You will provide the MT with the necessary management information, you will give solicited and unsolicited advice, and you will think along with them to come to joint solutions/improvements. It is therefore broader than just a financial function.

The position of Finance & Project Controller falls under the responsibility of the Project Control department. This department, with a team of about 50 employees, performs the complete administration and financial management of all research projects of the University. These are some 2,000 projects on an annual basis, spread across a wide range of grant schemes.