Katia Cantot

Katia Cantot

France Brittany

Age: 21 | Country: France (Brittany) | Education: General Engineering | Period in FC: 09 June - 05 September 2019

Still, she decided to focus her project on marine energy and she prepared a report which compares the different solutions available; this was, however, only the theoretical part, because she was involved in a number of more practical projects: to begin with, she constructed a small wave energy model for our Plus house, so that visitors could see with their eyes how does the technology work. She called the model “the Duck Generator”, because of the duck shape the floating device had and because she wanted to make fun of the long discussions we had on whether the Sun Generator was an appropriate name. Working on the Sun Generator was actually another task she had and she is also behind the automatic irrigation system for our little garden, so many tasks and many projects, also because she really liked to help people with their own tasks.
In Folkecenter, Katia confirmed her passion for managing projects: when she came here she was in doubt, because she had different experiences with different groups, but in Folkecenter she got convinced that project management could be a path to follow for her career, because she likes to get problems and find solutions for them; this was something she experienced a lot in Folkecenter: “”Whenever there is a problem, you just need to find a solution and if you do mistakes, well, at least you tried” she says “I actually really miss that philosophy”.
At the question on how did she find the atmosphere in Folkecenter, she answered…boring! (and she started to laugh!). “No, really,” she says, “it was the perfect atmosphere for working; it was actually only happiness, fun and laughing. The atmosphere is super healthy for the mind, for the body, for everything! In French we say it’s a happymess, because some things are messy, but it’s a happy mess!”.
The aspect of Folkecenter that Katia liked most was the flow of people in Folkecenter: there was always someone new! This was, at the same time, also something she did not like, because people were also going away with the same frequency, but the pleasure of meeting different people overcame the negative aspects. Katia liked a lot the after dinner time, where everyone would meet and talk together; according to her, it was her favourite time and it is the aspect she is missing most now.
Besides the people in Folkecenter, she misses also Sunny and Windy, our two dogs, because they were always part of Folkecenter’s life.
To the question whether she would recommend the center to future trainees, she answered: “Too late! I already did!”. In fact, this summer we will get two new trainees from her schools!
We hope to see Katia again soon!


  
Eliana Marcela Melgarejo Peña

Eliana Marcela Melgarejo Peña

Colombia

Age: 27 | Country: Colombia | Education: Civil Engineering | Period in FC: 15 January - 22 June 2019

Marcela did not have a specific energy interest, but she wanted to learn how to develop a more sustainable energy production that can both protect the ecosystems and promote opportunities in disadvantaged communities. Once in Folkecenter, she decided to focus on biomass, since her country is rich of that resource. For her future, Marcela would like to become an entrepreneur involved in project developments aimed at achieving a better world.
Now that she is back in her country she says that she is missing the biodome and the plus house, location where, together with the other trainees, she developed several activities (e.g. The garden); furthermore, she also missing Jane’s food and companionship (“She is an admirable human being!”).
Overall, Marcela was very satisfied with her period in Folkecenter and she would definitively recommend it to future trainees, not only for the academic aspect, but also for personal growth.


Valentin Heusgen

Valentin Heusgen

Germany

Age: 22 | Country: Germany | Education: Renewable Energy | Period in FC: 25 February - 14 July 2019

His first task during the internship was to make a report on geothermal energy, which was a more theoretical study; the goal of this was to learn about the current state of development of this technology and about what are the benefits and risks to it connected. Next, he started to work on a smart charging system for electric vehicles, work which he left a little on the side in favour of smaller projects (e.g. Building a wooden blade for a small wind turbine); he was sorry not to have enough time for the project of the charging station, and he would like to come back in the future to continue working on it.
“During my period in Folkecenter”, he says, “I have learned a lot of practical details you normally don’t think about when studying the topics theoretically, such as what are the costs, but also that if you have an idea you should not think too much and trytorealize it...and if it goes wrong, well, at least you tried!”. Valentin thinks that the time in Folkecenter will affect a lot his future career and decisions, because he will start looking at renewables in a more complete way, always evaluating their pros and cons.
Moving to the social part, Valentin liked a lot the atmosphere at the center: one of the things he enjoyed most was the part of living together with people coming from different background but also from different generations, and that all these people were unitedby a common idea: that renewable energies are the solution for the future!
Another aspect he enjoyed a lot was the freedom given: doing things in the workshop, discussing potential solutions with the engineers or studying the topics he felt more interesting, all this was possible; this freedom, according to him, helps to develop a self-discipline.
Overall, Valentin was very satisfied of his period in Folkecenter, to the point that he is planning to come back in the future; meanwhile, he has already started to spread the voice about Folkecenter and, thanks to him, one new trainee from his university already come and one more is on the way.
You can find Valentin’s report on geothermal energy here, while the video he made on how to build a blade is available here.


  
Mariem Bahloul

Mariem Bahloul

Tunisia

Age: 23 | Country: Tunisia | Education: Electrical Engineering | Period in FC: 18 March - 13 June 2019

The experience in Folkecenter shaped her mind: “I can not see myself working with other sources of energy than renewables” she says, “This experience really made we want to be part of the energy transition: whatever I want to work for sustainability and forhelping to achieve the SDGs”.
Mariem enjoyed a lot the atmosphere in Folkecenter, which she found international and friendly, where you can meet even important people and still feel at your confort; “The feeling is more like being in a family than in a workplace”.
The aspect that she liked most of her period here was the possibility of learning while having fun, without feeling any pressure, like it might have been in a normal workplace.
To the question whether she would recommend Folkecenter tor other trainees, she replies convinced: “Definitively! It’s a beatiful experience: it’s more than just an internship!”
Mariem's study on wind potential in Tunisia can be found here.