Tijs van Gisbergen did his internship at Grontmij, the Netherlands in 2016.
Grontmij is a Dutch consultancy and engineering company. They have been bought by the Swedish company Sweco, so from April 2016 onwards you will recognise them as Sweco. Sweco plans and designs the communities and cities of the future. Their work results in sustainable buildings, efficient infrastructure and access to electricity and clean water.
My internship focussed on landfills. In the Netherlands there is about 850 ha of landfill that requires a sealing to guarantee a safe storage of the content. These landfills can be considered as ‘lost space’ due to limited redevelopment possibilities as a result of the content of the landfills. Producing sustainable electricity by applying photovoltaic panels on the landfill is an opportunity to use this ‘lost space’. During my internship I assessed the possibilities for the application of PV-systems on landfills. Together with some partners in the project we conducted a financial analysis by constructing a calculation model to predict the costs and benefits of various PV-systems. Furthermore two pilot PV-systems have been implemented on a landfill at the Maasvlakte near the Rotterdam harbour. When the test is successful, a larger part of the landfill will be covered with PV.
The best part of my internship was to contribute to a promising project to enhance sustainable energy production in the Netherlands. Besides that I learned a lot about working for a consultancy company. To get in touch with numerous professionals and different subjects is a great opportunity. My internship was a valuable experience that will be useful in my future career.