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.

New project videos: POWERLIFT

The OpenCall project Powerlift focuses on enhancing battery packs for unmanned aerial vehicles used in transportation, inspection, emergency services, and security. Through this project, the partners LeydenJar, Tulip Tech, and Wingtra aim to increase the deployment of drones in emergency situations, including organ transplantation, blood transport, professional assistance over long distances, and security purposes.


Battery technology for the future

At LeydenJar, we are working on battery technology for the future. At the moment our battery for a drone can store 70% more energy. Drones can now flying longer distances, lifting off with ease, and exploring more locations. Through our collaboration at Eindhoven Engine with Tulip Tech and Wingtra, we are creating a modular design that allows customizable battery capacity and power—whether it’s a compact pack or a robust one, tailored precisely to each drone’s requirements.

Battery systems with the highest energy density

In project PowerLift we, Leydenjar, Tulip Tech and Wingtra, develop battery systems for industrial drones. As a partner within this project Tulip Tech builds battery systems with the highest specific energy density in the world. That means that the batteries have two to three times more energy per kilogram.


“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.

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!

Eindhoven Engine News – November 2023

In this edition of Eindhoven Engine News: Flashback Festival of Disruption 2023, Innovator in the spotlight Petros Zimianitis & more!

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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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Disrupt your Life serie no.1 : Thrive in a Rapidly Changing World

Last Thursday, May 25, renowned futurist and biohacker Peter Joosten showed us how to thrive in a rapidly changing world. In this context, we have worked on: how to change behavior, how to do your storytelling, and how important and fun it is to be part of an ecosystem.

To move forward in your project, at some point you might find yourself with a question you don’t have an answer to yet. In this session we learned that through one or two contacts in your ecosystem you can already help you move forward!


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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