Let's introduce: Bram Entrop, SMART Ambassador

Bram Entrop, Sustainable Living Environments (Saxion)

Smart Ambassador: Bram Entrop

We talked to Bram Entrop, Ambassador of Novel-T SMART: ‘For Saxion students, it is essential to experience what reality requires from them’.

Who are you, and what is your connection with Novel-T SMART?

My name is Bram Entrop, associate lector circular- and energy transition in the built environment at the profession Sustainable Living Environment at Saxion. This function means that I initiate, manage, and carry out research projects concerning these themes. Furthermore, I provide education about: sustainable buildings, energy transition, and circular transition.

I have contact with the students engineering students regularly but also students from other studies. My connection with Novel-T SMART dates to two decennia ago. Back then, we spoke of the ‘Wetenschapswinkel UT’ for which I conducted research projects as a civil engineering and management student. After my graduation in 2004, the connection to SMART stayed. There were regularly beautiful opportunities for research questions that students from different studies could solve during my time at the University of Twente and Saxion.

How important are ‘practical assignments’ for your profession? To what do you pay attention to the client’s content and coaching?

For Saxion students, it is essential to experience what reality requires from them. Of course, the students will learn to realize professional products with the teachers’ information, education, and support. The students will also learn to use design processes and research assignments step-by-step.

Challenges from external clients work motivational and rise above the study because they are different from the standard education assignments. Furthermore, the students must conduct a problem analysis before defining the research thesis.

A design- or research assignment needs to be doable for time and the number of available students. It requires the necessary attention and experience before a project is not over-or underestimated. Through conversations with the students, the boundaries of the assignment are again checked. When needed, the project will be further defined in discussion with the challenge provider. Most of the students know to what extent their knowledge and ability are adequate to fulfill the assignment correctly without losing spirit.

Are there ‘client groups’ within the society from where you would like to receive more practical questions?

There are significant challenges in the living environment when looking at the subject’s climate adaptation, energy transition, and circular transition. Our profession likes to work on these challenges. I personally focus on the last two topics.

We do not possess a laboratory for energy or materialistic experiments within our profession. How can we realize the circular and energy transition, and how can we facilitate it? These are two questions that we embody. Client groups are, for example, building companies, facility managers, housing cooperatives, and municipalities.

What needs to be included in a good knowledge question via Novel-T SMART?

It is essential to understand the vision from the client of both the issue and purpose of the question. Next, it is crucial to be transparent that costs are connected to a research project via a profession. We need to earn our living as well.

A knowledge question is a good question when there is a realistic estimation of the timespan. Voluminous questions cost more time. A knowledge question is not about who or what, but about ‘how’ or ‘in what way.’

An excellent example is the 3S (Saxion Smart Solutions) project with Go Ahead Eagles’ professional soccer association in Deventer. The students looked at possibilities to increase the stadium’s sustainability combined with the renovation- and new construction questions. It is rarely the case that students are available immediately who can start with the assignment. It can take quite some time before the right students are found. So let’s hope interesting and challenging questions will be submitted soon.

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