The trainees below are just a part of those who have been in Folkecenter. We are on the way to update the list...


Sebastian Salcebo Alba

Sebastian Salcebo Alba

Colombia

Age: 27 | Country: Colombia | Education: Mechanical & Civil Engineering | Period in FC: 16 January 2020 - 13 January 2021

Each trainee has its own motivation to travel and, in the case of Sebastian, it was a chance to improve his English knowledge (already very good!), but also to improve himself both professionally and socially; else said, he wanted to take some time to work on himself, but he was challenged by the fact that often these breaks are badly seen from the society, mainly because they create a “hole” in the CV, which for young people can represent a challenge. This is the reason why he decided to select Folkecenter: he could have an international experience and, at the same time, he could get new knowledge on topics which will help him in his future career.
Once made the decision, it took some time to do all the paperwork, but finally, in mid-January 2020 he could reach Folkecenter.
Before coming to Denmark Sebastian did not know much about energy and his idea was to get more familiar with the different technologies on a more technical (and detailed) way. Nevertheless, this idea changed once he got involved in Folkecenter life, moving his interest on the more “anthropologic” part of energy, meaning that he focused more on understanding the working principles of the technologies and the impacts that these can have on the society.
Following this line, one of his main tasks was to work in group with the other trainees and to perform an analysis on how could Colombia switch to renewable energy, project which he really enjoyed.
Besides this more theoretical work, Sebastian was also involved in several practical tasks, with which he discovered that he can do things and that he can work with tools; the most challenging project was to design and install a PV system, task for which he was responsible for the whole process. This was challenging, but at the same time very motivating, because he had to solve challenges which he did not expect and, therefore, the learning outcome was high. From this newsletter on, we will include also the statistics of the PV plant he installed, so that he can keep track of his “baby”.
Another task he liked a lot was to be part of the Tiny House construction group: “I liked the dynamics” he says “and you could feel the energy in the process…you could feel completely involved in the task!”.
The experience in Folkecenter helped Sebastian discover that he is more passionate about the general aspects of technology and not as much in the details: this will have an impact on his future career, since he thinks he will try to pursue a wider approach. “Specializations are important”, he admits “but I think I like more how can technology fit in real life”.
You might wonder why did Sebastian stay in Folkecenter so long, when the other trainees normally limit the period between three and six months... The answer is the Corona Virus crisis. Sebastian planned to stay six months, but travel restrictions blocked him in the country up to few days ago, when he decided to begin his trip back to Colombia.
Not everything comes as a disadvantage, though! During his period in Folkecenter, he felt very comfortable (“like at home!”) and the fact that people came and went was an advantage for him, because it made the environment more dynamic.
Furthermore, he liked a lot the location: “In Colombia I leave in the countryside”, he says, “but here it was different. I could just get out of my room and be directly in the nature: see a hedgehog just out of my door, or some deer when walking to Skibsted Fjord…it was amazing! I definitively recommend an internship in Folkecenter!”.
Now Sebastian is on his way back to Colombia and we would like to thank him for being with us for all this time and for being such a nice person. We hope to see you soon Sebastian! Good luck with your career!


  
Melina Blome

Imhotep Lawrence

UK Dominica

Age: 23 | Country: UK / Dominica | Education: Mechanical Engineering | Period in FC: 02 September 2019 - 14 January 2020

Interested mainly in geothermal technologies and on integration between mechanical engineering and electrical systems, Imhotep decided to focus first its attention on developing a fire-extinguishing system for large wind turbines; to do so, he devoted some time to learn coding with Arduino, since he was thinking on developing the system with that tool. Nevertheless, after some time, he realized that this project was not interesting him excessively, reason for which he became part of the floating wind turbine team.
This second task motivated him much more, because there was the possibility to actually build the device and to test it as well. Thanks to his knowledge in mechanical engineering, Imhotep was a very important member of the team, designing the new structure and calculating the needed buoyancy (and later, foundations) of the turbine.
The internship in Folkecenter was a period he enjoyed a lot, especially because he did not feel the pressure of failure: he could just try solutions and modify them, if they were not working; also, the learning of Arduino was not wasted, since that will allow him to develop further projects in the future.
“In my period here” he says “I have learned to be resoursfull, to make use of the resources available and to think out of the box. I think this will help me for my future career, since not always you have all the resources you need and some times you need also to be creative.”
Imhotep found the atmosphere of the group quite nice and very conductive to team work, factor which is helped by the fact of living together. Furthermore, he liked a lot the trip made together with the other trainees: “They were really cool”, he says.
It seems he was quite satisfied of his period in Folkecenter and he would definitevely reccomend the experience also to other future trainees.
Good luck with your studies Imhotep!


  
Maria Estefania Santamaria Cerrutti

Maria Estefania Santamaria Cerrutti

Argentina

Age: 26 | Country: Argentina | Education: Geology | Period in FC: 02 November - 31 December 2019

Once in Folkecenter, she decided to focus on geothermal energy, which was her theoretical focus, and on a variety of other projects which she carried out with other trainees. In the specific, she helped one of the trainees focusing on waste water treatments with some water system analysis (“It was a good chance for brush up on my knowledge on chemistry”), she was part of the team which developed the floating small wind turbine, and she took part to some projects aimed at developing countries; behind her interest on developing countries there were the plans that Estefania had after the period in Folkecenter was over: being a volounter for the reconstruction of a school in Nepal. During the internship she learned how to construct a solar cooker and how to establish a LED system powered by powerbanks, knowledge which she could take with her to Nepal.
Overall, she liked the experience in Folkecenter: “I have learned the possibilities of renewable energy, how to take care of the environment, the energy situation in Argentina and in other parts of the world and also new ways to treat organic waste, which I did not know were exhisting ” she says “I can say I have achieved my expectations!”.
Estefania found the atmosphere in Folkecenter cosy: “I think it is a good place to study, because you can work both independently and in a team...and if you work alone and you need help, well, there is always someone willing to help you!”; she also loved the big spaces and the possibility of being involved in many activities and she has already reccomended the place to some friends in Argentina.
“For me it was nice to be in the middle of nowewhere for a while”, she concludes, “and it was also a good combination: in the middle of nowhere, but with a good people”.
We wish the best of luck to Estefania for her trips and her future career!


  
Micha Sörgel

Micha Sörgel

Germany

Age: 21 | Country: Germany | Education: Renewable Energy Engineering and Energy Efficiency | Period in FC: 01 October 2019 - 01 February 2020

When selecting the location of his internship, a big recomendation came from Valentin Heusgen, a former Folkecenter trainee, who was with us about a year ago; it is a very big pleasure for us to see that trainees enjoy their stay and that they recomend us to their fellow students and friends.
Once in Folkecenter, Micha focused his attention on several projects; during his internship he did a lot of work with LED technology: together with other students, he designed and constructed a LED system which is operated by the small wind turbine that we have on the roof, system which will probably be used by another former trainee who will install it in a Nepalese school. Micha also worked with the Sun Generator: together with his group, he constructed one, he installed the needed PV panels on the roof and he expanded our solar kitchen located in the garden; he was also part of the team taking care of Folkecenter’s garden and also thanks to him we will soon launch a new concept of gardening!
However, the project that saw him most involved was the construction of a floating wind turbine, based on the drawings of Nikita Vinogradov, a previous trainee. The task was carried out by all the trainees present in Folkecenter at that time and, once the foundation was ready, a small wind turbine was installed on it. The blades of the wind turbine were constructed in wood by Valentin Heusgen, Eliana Marcela Melgarejo Peña and Mariem Bahloul, all previous trainees of Folkecenter. In this way, we managed to integrate different generations of trainees in a single project! The floating foundation was than tested in the surroundings of Folkecenter and a video of the process can be found here. The installation is now part of our exhibition and it produced illumination in the parking, thanks to the connection to a LED system (also made by Micha and his team).
Overall, Micha was very satisfied of his experience in Folkecenter and he would like to suggest it to future trainees as well; one of the things he liked most was that he could apply the learned theory in practice and that he could learn by his mistakes, progress and finally achieve a result.
From the social point of view, Micha liked a lot the atmosphere in Folkecenter: “The combination between community life and possibility to be alone when needed was perfect”, he said.
We wish Micha a good continuation of his studies and we hope he will come in visit soon!


  
Carolina Nunes Hidalgo

Carolina Nunes Hidalgo

Spain

Age: 28 | Country: Spain | Education: Civil Engineering | Period in FC: 16 September 2019 - 17 January 2020

In Folkecenter she could integrate both this interest in a single project: she was, in fact, also part of the team which constructed the floating foundation for the small wind turbine, in addition to which she also developed a report on marine energy; the outcome of this report was than used to develop some new explanatory panels for our wave energy exhibition.
Besides wind and marine energy, Carolina also learned a lot about solar energy and about many electrical components of which she did not know the function before. Her hopes about finding a job within the renewable energy field became reality after just few months from the end of her internship: of course, most of the merit is hers, but we like to think that the period in Folkecenter also helped her in going through the admission process.
“The atmosphere in Folkecenter was really nice and welcoming”, she says, “and I was very happy of being able to work with all other trainees and to learn about their projects. People seems happy to be working here”.
The aspect of Folkecenter Carolina liked most was the possibility to participate in our conferences and workshops, where she could meet a lot of people and learn a lot of new knowledge. Furthermore, she also enjoyed a lot the trips which she did with the other trainees.
It looks like we have one more satisfied trainee! Thank you Carolina for joining us and for bring your sunny mood in our team! All the best for your new career!


  
Emir Karakuş

Emir Karakuş

Turkey

Age: 25 | Country: Turkey | Education: Mineral Processing Engineering | Period in FC: 02 July - 16 September 2019

During his internship in Folkecenter, Emir better understood what are the possibilities connected with renewables and what are the things he would like to do in the future: “After the experience in Folkecenter”, he says, “I would like to live in Turkey in a community which could resemble the one I had here, possibly with an international mindset”.
According to him, this summer experience gave him more than expected, also from the personal point of view: this was also due to the nice family atmosphere, characteristic of Folkecenter. Emir felt like at home and he thinks that it was nice to feel confident when asking questions.
The period in Folkecenter satisfied him, so he has already spread the voice about the center in his university. We are looking forwards to receiving more students from Turkey!


  
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.


  
Sevan Hiron

Sevan Hiron

France

Age: 23 | Country: France | Education: General Engineering Sciences | Period in FC: 04 June - 27 August 2017 2018

At first, his idea was to develop a small wind turbine using spare parts from cars, but he had to change idea when he realized that there was already an earlier Folkecenter report talking about the issue; he therefore turned his attention on solar energy, which seems to be motivating him considerably. In the specific, he focused his internship on agrivoltaics, a new concept which combines agriculture with photovoltaic installation, so that the best of the two worlds can be obtained. Sevan’s work resulted in a presentation about the technology, in which the idea was better explained and in which the current projects testing this technology were presented.
Solar was not the only interest of Sevan, since he was quite attracted also from the issues related with consumption management and energy management, but he did not have the chance to look at those topics due to the short duration of his internship.
When talking about learning outcomes, Sevan said that besides agrivoltaics, he learned a lot about renewables energies, their possibilities for the future and about the obstacles that can slow down their development. According to him, the experience in Folkecenter gave him the necessary knowledge about renewables which he was targeting since long time and which could, potentially, result in a job in this field.
Sevan was very satisfied from the personal point of view as well; to the question about how was the atmosphere at the center, he answered: “Perfect! Awesome! It was so nice to meet people from several countries! In these three months there have been representatives from 15 countries…I have learned a lot, also about how can people from different backgrounds work together”.
Overall, Sevan’s experience seems to have been quite positive and it prepared the ground for further collaborations: thanks to him, in the last summers we have had three trainees from the same school: Katia Cantot, Amandine Cognard and Ronan Bellier.
Thanks for the promotion Sevan! We hope to see you soon!


  
Anita Straume

Anita Straume

Latvia

Age: 22 | Country: Latvia | Education: Environmental Management (Business Academy) | Period in FC: 14 - 27 August 2017

Natalia Cardanha Echezarreta

Natalia Cardanha Echezarreta

Spain Basque Country

Age: 20 | Country: Spain (Basque Country) | Education: Renewable Energy Engineering | Period in FC: 02 July - 24 August 2017

Out of this experience she feels that she has learned a lot in the energy field, but also that she developed herself from the personal point of view: she learned how to live with people and how to see things from a different point of view.
Natalia liked a lot the atmosphere and the way of working at Folkecenter, because it is possible to organize yourself and because you can focus on what you are really interested to.
“I think I have new friends” she says, when referring to the people she met. “I would for sure recommend an internship at Folkecenter to all those that are interested in renewable energies” she concludes.


  
Mikel Gonzalez Perez

Mikel González Pérez

Spain Basque Country

Age: 21 | Country: Spain (Basque Country) | Education: Renewable Energy Engineering | Period in FC: 02 July - 24 August 2017

During his stay at Folkecenter he focused his attention on tiny houses and on the Danish district heating system, but he also helped another trainee, by teaching him the basis of electricity and PV systems.
Besides the large knowledge he got in district heating systems, he learned also a lot about relationships with other people. This experience changed him and he is sure that his point of view when approaching problems in the future will be affected.
Mikel found the atmosphere really nice, both from the professional and the personal point of view. The big flexibility and the kindness of the people were the things that impressed him most of the center. “My time here has been amazing”, he concludes.


  
Adlar Carson Gross

Adlar Carson Gross

Canada

Age: 28 | Country: Canada | Education: Enviornmental Science | Period in FC: 06 July - 30 August 2017

During his period at Folkecenter, he learned how to use energy modelling softwares for evaluating the feasibility of a biomass district heating plant and he also conducted site visits to energy offices and district heating installations. According to him, this experience will help him in developing his career in Canada, where he will be able to do feasibility studies and develop business models for spreading district heating solutions in the country.
When talking about the atmosphere, Adlar defines it as “very friendly, with very smart and inspiring people around”. The aspect he liked most was to work together with so many people coming from different countries. “I will miss the opportunity to really focus down on one thing without distractions”, he refers, when talking about the working environment at Folkecenter.
His evaluation on Folkecenter is very positive (“It’s a great place!”), where you can discover many things you didn’t even know they were existing.
Adlar is currently enrolled in a Master in Environmental Science from the York University, with which Folkecenter has a close collaboration.


  
Pablo Jiménez Don

Pablo Jiménez Don

Spain Basque Country

Age: 19 | Country: Spain (Basque Country) | Education: Renewable Energy Engineering | Period in FC: 14 June - 10 July 2017

During his stay at Folkecenter, Pablo got also some knowledge on solar energy and the subsidies policies in Spain, which he thinks will help him in his future career.
Pablo found the atmosphere of the center to be really nice and friendly. To quote him, “a place where you are surrounded by people who helps you in the learning process”. Now that he is back to Spain, he will recommend the center also to his classmates as a to-do life experience.


  
Yeray Gonzalez Gallego

Yeray Gonzalez Gallego

Spain Basque Country

Age: 20 | Country: Spain (Basque Country) | Education: Renewable Energy Engineering | Period in FC: 08 - 28 June 2017

His main field of interest lyes in how can the transition from conventional to renewable energies happen. During his period here, he worked in cooperation with Pablo, another trainee, on designing a hybrid system for a household in his home town.
When talking about the center, he had only positive words: “The atmosphere is very nice and perfect for learning. Everyone is happy to talk with you and share their knowledge” he says. “The thing that I liked most was the cultural exchange and the possibility of learning all what you want”.
Yeray was very happy of his experience at Folkecenter and he would suggest all those interested in the renewable energy field to have an internship period here.


  
Melina Blome
Alexander Johansen Machain

Alexander Johansen Machain

Paraguay

Age: 25 | Country: Paraguay | Education: Animal Science Engineering | Period in FC: 13 January - 21 June 2017

Alexander was very satisfied of his period at Folkecenter, where he has learned a lot regarding renewable energy. But it was not only about learning theory: “It was great! Absolutely great!” says, “I found myself in a very friendly environment, surrounded by tollerant and open minded people. I would like to thank also the staff, who made my time here amazing”.
Alexander is now back in Paraguay and he will try to leave his impact for the green transition. To begin with, he will try to involve universities and national entities in an clean energy discussion and he will try to convince them to visit Folkecenter. “It’s a place that everyone should visit once in life”, he concludes.
From all Folkecenter’s team, we wish you good luck for your projects! See you soon!