Domain Owner Hybrid/Electric Powertrains
"One of the reasons why this work is highly motivating is that you get feedback on whether your idea works in practice"
In the role of Domain Owner Hybrid/Electric Powertrains, John Kessels plays an active role in sustainable development at DAF and the automotive industry. With his background in electrical engineering and his experience as a researcher at the TU/e, he particularly focuses on identifying which technical solutions are suitable for the next generation electric and hybrid trucks at DAF.
"When we began to develop electric and hybrid trucks many years ago, it became clear that this involved numerous truck's features and that coordination was needed between many different stakeholders and colleagues who are responsible for specific components and systems", says John. "For example, the driveability of the truck needs to be re-examined, because electric trucks have to drive with a similar feeling as the existing DAF trucks. I am the person who brings together all technical requirements and aligns the boundary conditions."
Project manager and technical content
"In my daily work I sometimes take the role of project manager, for example in the IMPERIUM project (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/713783). For this project, I wrote a project proposal and submitted it to an EU subsidiary program. Other partners, such as the TU/e, are also often involved. Other times, I am solely responsible for the technical content and am challenged to develop the technical concept. That's where I give direction which battery technology shall be chosen for that particular project."
Further developing the technology
"One of the reasons why this work is highly motivating is that you get feedback on whether your idea works in practice. You can analyse and simulate everything on paper, but in reality there are many boundary conditions which could work against you. When a new idea is really implemented and tested, you directly understand why it works or why it doesn't work. Multiple customers are currently testing our electric trucks which provides an enormous amount of information that we use to further develop the technology. We've taken the first steps. After all, we want to keep our planet healthy for our future generations.