Interview with Jelle Korbee
Can you describe in a few sentences what do you do in Green Team Twente?
Hi, I am Jelle Korbee and I am the Communication Manager. My team is responsible for communication to the outside world - this includes marketing, social media, connections with partners, events, graphic design and external relations. The Green Team as a whole consists of 18 students from both University of Twente and Saxion and we work to develop and apply innovations in sustainable mobility by building one of the most sustainable hydrogen cars in the world.
How was the organisation built and how does it work?
The first team was formed in 1987 by mechanical engineering students as they participated in Shell efficiency marathon with a very sustainable at the time gasoline car. The teams after that kept participating in competitions and eventually they went up to the hydrogen class. The team is formed in July but we start our full time year at the beginning of each school year in September and students do not study throughout the whole period in order to be members. The process is a cycle of two different years - in the first one the team is building the car and in the second one another team is improving it.
Could you share more of the future projects of the Green Team?
For the next two years we are definitely going to participate in Shell Eco Marathon with hydrogen class, however we have thought of switching to a more professional class. We also have projects on the side - we participate in “Tiny houses project” with University of Twente. This project aims to build two small completely sustainable small villages. We joined the brainstorming last year and right now there are plans to really build it.
What about previous achievements of the organisation?
Some big achievements are winning the European championship 2012, 2017, 2019 and the world championship in 2019. In addition we won the Communication award in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Also we have donated one of the cars to a high school a few years ago and they modified it to an electrical vehicle and also joined raises. This way we also help youth and education. Furthermore, we give presentations and workshops.
You recently won the Shell-Eco-Marathon, The communication award and the Driver’s world championship (DWC). How did this all go down and how did you get there?
Shell Eco Marathon is a race with 11 laps - every lap you have to stop and start and the one who does that with the least amount of fuel wins. If you are in the first three places you can participate in The DWC, which is a regular race - the first one to cross the finish line is the winner. The trick here is that you have a limited amount of fuel, so you have to be careful. In The communication award you have to hand in a report about your marketing campaign.
How did they lead the marketing campaign then?
We always do a lot of things about education and promotion throughout the whole year, not only during the race. We try to report on it on our social media.
Do you think that the Green Team is able to make a change in the world?
Yes, definitely. I think we cannot make a change on our own, but as we join other companies. We learn from them and they also see some new ideas here, which they try to implement.
You mentioned events with big companies. What do you do there?
We go along with a lot of partners helping us. A lot of people want to show what the future is and if they are believing hydrogen is part of it, we love to join them.
What is the reason you are working with the Green Team?
For me personally it was just the challenge to join a student team and do something else than studying. It was not necessarily the sustainability that excited me but more the challenge of building a car in only one year.
If someone else is interested like you how can you join the team?
In the first of May you can apply, before that there are a lot of interest drinks, lunches and every year we have a new team so you can just apply for the next one, take a gap year or work part time. The only requirement is that you have to come from the Saxion or the UT and that you have to be chosen because there are only limited spots at the Green Team.
How do you feel about sustainable efforts at the UT?
The UT is definitely paying attention to it, like the project with the tiny houses at the University, these are all projects of research with the possibility two build a village completely sustainable.
Are you sustainable regarding your personal life?
I am definitely paying attention to not wasting stuff. For instance I don´t throw away my shopping bags but I´m not fully committed because I still do things like travelling with airplanes. I'm more interested in the big changes like getting companies to build hydrogen cars which is really making a big impact.
Can you give us some tips about being part of something like the Green Team?
I think it is just really cool because that´s what it is, you can just apply, and I think it´s just amazing, you can learn a lot in here. A lot of things you don´t get in University, you get information’s but not any practice, at the team you are really getting experiences you can´t get at universities. I think it´s really valuable and also a lot of fun.
After the one year at the Green Team, what do you want to do?
First finish my study (laughter). I did really get interested in hydrogen and think that is the future, so in the future if I come in touch with a company which invests in hydrogen I will definitely be more interested.
Some words for the reader.
I think there definitely has to be a change in the future and I think there is going on a change. All bits help, a team like Green Team might be small but we are in touch with really big companies, we make a change and we are in their advance. I think that´s an amazing experience and definitely needed in the world.