MY VISION: a better world
… but how?
Before answering this question, it is important to realise why we need to work for a better world.
Our world is constantly in motion and with our changing lifestyles come the consequences of affecting the Earth. Our activities are changing the natural greenhouse that exists on Earth. This happens because we burn fossil fuels which results in an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere results in a rise of average temperature, with the indirect effect of melting glaciers, rising sealevels, and increased evaporation and precipitation. This means more droughts, loss of land, and more extreme weather.
The solution seems simple: decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. However, this means cutting back significantly on using fossil fuels. This is a challenging task, especially with the lifestyle that we have now where everything needs to be bigger, better, and faster (which often results in a higher energy use). In addition, our population is increasing faster than we can account for in terms of food, fresh water, and energy. It seems that even if we manage to decrease our energy use individually, it will not be enough. Therefore we need to focus on energy efficiency, using renewable energy sources, and energy storage on a large scale. And most importantly: we need to work together in order to be succesfull.
One of the topics that I am most passionate about is energy efficiency and more specifically in relation to buildings. Buildings account for 40% of the total energy consumption in the EU. Improving the energy efficiency of this sector will have a big impact on the overall energy consumption. I have therefore taken the opportunity to learn as much about sustainable and energy efficient design during my studies, and after. However, just learning about these topics is not enough. In order to make a contribution (and maybe a change?), we need to understand and experience; we need to work together on a multidisciplinary level; we need to be ambitious and passionate. Finally, we need to pass on this knowledge to other people, both researchers, students, and others.
With this belief in mind, I want to contribute with my knowledge. Not only to make this a better world for our generation and the generations to come, but also for all other living beings that we share our planet with. We are in an age of technology, so why not use this technology to improve our situation and to make a contribution, instead of breaking down what we have?! I believe that we need to (and can!) convert knowledge that already exists into new and smart solutions. Some of the problems that we face today, are already solved by nature and by our predecessors. What we need for this is many enthousiastic and passionate people that have the knowlegde and the means to do this. I strive everyday to get closer to becoming one of them.