Dreamteam: Eco-Runner

Name: Mihaela
BSc-student Applied Earth Sciences

Eco-Runner Team Delft

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Mihaela, a 20-year old Applied Earth Sciences BSc student originally from Bulgaria, joined the Eco-Runner team in 2016. She has since then spent her time trying to make the Eco-Runner the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the world together with 30 other students. They compete yearly in the Shell Eco-marathon, which they have won in 2015.

How did you end up at Dream Team Eco Runner?

Mihaela encountered the team at one of the TU Delft open days when they were promoting the Eco-Runner. She learned that it was one of the dream teams that actually had this renewable energy idea. “The Eco Runner team seemed very friendly and I really liked the concept of it. I just went for it!”

What is your role in the team?

Mihaela is part of the powertrain and electronics department. Her specific role is to work on the fuel cells. So instead of using a battery-powered vehicle, they actually produce the electricity their selves by just using hydrogen and air. “The whole concept is that we do not use electricity or some other additional source. I find it very interesting because it has a lot to do with thermodynamics and I like the idea of working with fuel cells.”

In what way does the study Applied Earth Sciences benefit the team?

She tells that the chemical thermodynamics course she had in the first year surely helped her a lot. The course covered details that helped her on her way and it got her motivated. However, when she joined, she did not really know much about electronics. “Nevertheless, I learn more and new things everyday here from the other team members, who mostly are master students, and the hands on experience.” She also believes that these ways of learning cannot be compared to a course.

What are your future plans?

“I honestly do not know,” she replied. “All I know for sure is that I want to be involved with renewable energy.” Mihaela always had an interest in energy and thanks to the dream team she now knows that is the direction she wants to go to. “I want to do something in that field, but what role exactly will be a surprise for me too!” she ends with a smile.