What you probably don’t know is that Siemens PLM Software is involved in a variety of international research programs around the globe – everything from safer, quieter and more efficient airplanes to electronic vehicle research. It is something we’ve been doing for years and it is a great way to incubate new concepts and ideas that later transform into market-ready products. It is an amazing place for young researchers and post-grad students to really push their limits in a business environment.
How did you end up at Siemens?
After my studies, I started my career in a company where I did numerical simulation for 7 years. After a while, I started looking around since I wanted to expand my abilities and discover new areas. Five years ago, I had the opportunity to work here at Siemens PLM Software, and I decided to join the team.
What is your project about?
IMPROVE is a European consortium of academic and industrial partners working together to build a new generation of Electric Vehicle (EV) for commercial use, such as a delivery vehicle fleet.
The project has several goals:
- Optimize vehicle autonomy by a 20% range increase for the same battery capacity.
- Increase the battery life.
- Reduce the cost of key components.
- Integrate interconnections between subsystems inside the vehicle and the vehicle system and outside world (cloud, grid, work, office).
Since these are specialized commercial vehicles, we have to organize packages of related services to improve efficiency. To give an example, we are testing a service to allow the EV to exchange information about its position and battery level. This helps companies manage their fleet more efficiently with the appropriate information.
Our team in Lyon works on the innovative part. This means we support the component design and gather all the specs in LMS Imagine.Lab Amesim to virtually model the vehicle and integrate new components. My role is to support the vehicle architecture design research and the development of specific commercial functionalities.
To complete the IMPROVE project, Tofaş, a Turkish automotive company which is one of the partners involved in this project, has built a prototype of our EV. This prototype enabled our consortium to test all the components and services we designed.
Why did you choose this area?
Electric vehicles are the future of automotive, maybe not in 5 years, but in 20-30 years.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done as an engineer? (Keep it professional, please)
I would say to join the LMS System Simulation team without having any knowledge of the 1D simulation! It was a total leap into the unknown.
What is the best thing about your research project?
What I find the most interesting is the interaction with the other stakeholders from all Europe. I can see how IMPROVE is moving forward thanks to everyone’s specialties. Communication with partners allows me to keep a global view on the project.
As I mentioned before, we are at the end of the project and the car has been built and parametrize to be tested. It is rewarding to see the end result of my work.
What is the worst thing?
The biggest constraint is dealing with all the changes happening during the project. We cannot predict every problem. It can slow down development and it is time-consuming for the team.
Do you think your work will really make a difference?
I believe that our work will be a part of the future EV equation. It won’t be the final car on the market since it is a research project, but I think that companies will use our work to build the EV of tomorrow.
25 years from now, there will be: (fill in the blank).
No more drivers, only autonomous cars! You will just have to tell the car where you want to go and the car will drive by itself.
What would you do differently, if you could?
It was my first European project. At the beginning, it is essential to communicate with all the different partners. It often happened that we met blocking points because we did not ask the right questions at the beginning of the project… From the very start, it is important to break the ice and to try to understand each objective.
If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be?
I would be a cook; I have a passion for cooking!
Will engineering change the world?
From my point of view, engineering has already changed the world and will continue to do so. All the technology around us is linked to engineering.