Alumniverhaal

Alumnus Rutger Wierikx - MSc Earth and Environment

Rutger Wierikx studied Earth and Environment at Wageningen University, with Biology and Chemistry of Soil and Water as specialisation. He graduated in 1999. Now he has been employed at IF Technology in Arnhem for over 10 years. He works on sustainable energy solutions for buildings, for which the soil can act as a source and buffer of energy.

I myself am working for the Department of Development as a team leader in Policy.

Study

“The knowledge gained in my study still lays the foundation for my actual work at IF. An important focus of the Wageningen program is the integrated approach to issues. This method still provides daily support to me in designing successful customer advice. In addition, the social life in the student flats of Wageningen made a strong contribution to the development of my social skills. This experience surely suits my current role of team leader, for which the ability to motivate and inspire my colleagues is an important asset."

Career

At IF Technology, Rutger started as a specialist. He conducted hydro-geological studies  and arranged permit applications for energy storage. Nowadays, he works at the same company as a team manager of policy. He combines this function with the role of senior advisor, focusing on the maintenance of local customer relationships.

"IF is a consultancy focusing on innovative and sustainable energy and water solutions, in which the use of substrate is paramount. Our core activities are associated with geothermal energy: a sustainable technology for the cooling and heating of buildings, where the substrate acts as an energy source or buffer. We work both on the developmental stage (feasibility assessments and policy support), the implementation process (designing systems, application for permits and construction management) and the operational phase (optimisation of the operation of systems) of sustainable projects.

I myself am working for the Department of Development as a team leader in Policy. In this role I manage seven consultants and specialists in the field of Energy, Geohydrology, ICT / GIS, and Policy / Regulations. Our main clients are municipalities and provinces. We support them in achieving sustainability objectives (e.g. being energy neutral in 2020). Our activities include, among others:

- The mapping of opportunities for geothermal energy, including self-developed Internet GIS   applications.

- Providing workshops and education for the knowledge of government employees to increase.

- The establishment of "zoning schemes for (sub) soil” as to ensure sustainable and optimal use of soil and any of its groundwater interests.

- Application-oriented research on innovative energy technologies, such as energy from surface water and the extraction of geothermal energy (> 1.5 km depth).

Currently I am involved, among other things, in a feasibility assessment for the potential applications of high temperature heat storage (HTH). The goal of HTH is the buffering of excess heat into the substrate, so as to use this as sustainable energy at the time of a net demand of heat."

Future

"Given the great pleasure I experience in working with my colleagues and the potential to freely realize my ambitions, my immediate future lies at IF. Furthermore, at IF I can do my bit for the sustainability challenge we all stand for. "