After his Bachelor in Political Science and Public Administration, and working one year for a municipality in Chile, Felipe got interested in urban studies. “I see some potential and challenges in my city which do not count only for this city, but they are global issues.”
His first contact with Wageningen University was at an education fair in his hometown Concepción where Wageningen University was present among other universities from all over the world. “After visiting this fair, I read the whole programme of Urban Environmental Management and fell in love because it is so multidisciplinary. In some urban studies there is only one discipline covered, but this master combines many disciplines such as economics, policy, environmental analysis, technology and urban infrastructure. So this is why, several months later, I changed places and got a new home in an apartment above the supermarket AH in Wageningen.”
“The master was a really nice experience. Together with another fellow student, we were the only two in the class with a political background. But, this master allows social scientists to get into the natural sciences in a smooth way as is my experience. The study periods could be quite intensive, but you learn a lot.
Besides the study, there were all kinds of other activities. Together with some other students we founded the circular economy student hub. With the help of the university, we organized symposia for example about circular fashion and biobased economy. I also played in a music band with other Chilean friends. Overall, I enjoyed a lot living in Wageningen.
After graduation, I went back to Chile and got a job as a teacher in the course environmental management at the University of Concepción. One of the modules I taught was environmental ethics, and for this my master thesis research was very useful. I did my thesis in the department of Environmental Systems Analysis but I wanted to work on something different from what they are doing, so I worked in close collaboration with the Philosophy Group. My thesis research combined the topic of ecosystem services and ethics, and was titled: ecosystem services: an analysis of its ethical application on nature conservation. It was very interesting to work on this topic! And later, it appeared thus to be useful for my job as teacher.
During the same period, I found a job as a researcher in the faculty of architecture, urbanism and geography at the University of Concepción. I participated in two scientific research projects on urban development and disaster risk reduction. In these research projects I applied the Dutch multilayer approach to planning, a concept which was discussed in the master courses.
Next to this, with a group of friends we founded the company Techtus based in Concepción, Chile. We all have different backgrounds and together we aim to transform problems into smart solutions (IoT) based on networks of wireless sensors. Thus, optimising different processes (i.e. industrial, urban, health, agriculture, mining) through advance data analysis in real time. I am the manager of the company and at the moment we are applying for funds and at the same time developing prototypes. With this company we like to contribute to a more efficient use of resources.
Besides my work for Techtus, I am enthusiastic to do a PhD on the circular economy. I am in contact with some professors in the Netherlands for this reason, and hope to start a PhD soon.”