Student Geert van der Riet: "We often work until 10 p.m."

Having pizza delivered to the workstation so the work gets done. ‘We often work until 10 pm. And the days fly by, which says something about how much we enjoy the project,’ says Geert van der Riet, a student in the Automotive programme at Fontys.

Geert is one of the students working on the second-year project called ‘the Eco marathon.’ He’s a member of the Pittige Tijden team (the Hot/difficult times team), a name they thought of themselves. There are eleven teams in total, each consisting of eight students from Automotive.

They’re building an economical car in the workstation in Helmond. These cars will race on the track in Lelystad on June 7th . The teams have to drive at a speed of at least 30 kilometres an hour using as little fuel as possible.

‘In this project the students can apply a lot of the lesson material,’ explains teacher Bas de Waal. ‘The project lasts for half a year. They start the development process from scratch, by thinking about a design, the propulsion and also simulating the use of energy. They go to (guest) lectures on weight distribution, whether you choose three or four wheels and the choice between an electrical or a combustion engine. And then they start to build their idea. One group has chosen a combustion engine. Not the best choice with regard to energy, but these students based their choice on passion.’

Geert is part of the team that has chosen the combustion engine. ‘We think we’ll lose to  the electrical engine, but we prefer a combustion engine. I enjoy the project even though it’s more difficult for us than for the other groups because of our choice of engine. But due to the extra challenges, I’m now a little less happy with our choice,’ laughs Geert.

This year marks the eleventh time that the HAN will participate in this event. Fontys Hogeschool Engineering joined last year. Eleven teams from Fontys are participating and nine teams from HAN. There are three prizes. An overall prize for the most economical, best and most innovative car. The other two prizes are for Fontys students only: the most economical car and the most innovative one.

Ambience photo Fontys

Geert (left) with another team member from Pittige Tijden.