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Master’s student wins first Fred van Houten Design Award

On Friday 20 April, Rens ten Klooster will receive the first Fred van Houten graduation award, for his 2017 graduate design project of an energy island located in the North Sea. The award was named after University of Twente professor Fred van Houten, who retired last year.

The award was created by the University of Twente Department of Design, Production and Management as a tribute to emeritus professor Fred van Houten, who has played an important role in the development of the professional field during his long and impressive academic career. From now on, the prize will be awarded annually to the DPM Master’s student with the most visionary design of all Industrial Design Engineering and Mechanical Engineering graduates.

Energy island

Rens ten Klooster, who completed his Master’s programme in 2017, will be the first to receive this new and exciting award. He designed an energy island that can temporarily store solar, wind and tidal energy. The island becomes a vital power buffer that helps harmonize the supply and demand of sustainable energy.

Mr. ten Klooster went above and beyond on his design project: the graduate project formulated by DNV-GL was to design an island that stores energy by pumping out water. However, the talented student calculated that this type of island would not be economically viable in the long term. He decided to add other methods of generating and storing sustainable energy to his design, such as wind turbines and the option of converting electricity into gas, to be reconverted at times when the demand for electricity increases again. The island can also act as an important link between the power grids of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia and can also play a role in the maintenance of offshore wind farms. These technologies make Mr. ten Klooster’s island more economically viable, allowing it to play an important part in making the Netherlands more sustainable. DNV-GL and TenneT are now in talks to plan the construction of the island.

The jury praised Rens ten Klooster’s visualizations of energy use and the island, the use of innovative methods of analysis and the fact that he looked well beyond the boundaries of the original remit.

The Fred van Houten Design Award will be presented during the University of Twente’s Industrial Design Engineering Master Day, on Friday 20 April at 15:30 at Oosthorst 218 on the University of Twente campus.  

Image: M. Moltmaker, © DNV-GL