Outreach projects

Collaboration with Olin College of Engineering

During the summer of 2009, IMEC welcomed three students from Olin College for an internship of three months. Alyshia, Varun and Yiyang will work on a number of projects involving IMEC’s innovative solar cell technology. This visit is part of the agreement between IMEC, RVO-Society and Olin College of Engineering to exchange students for intensive internships at IMEC or Olin. The agreement was signed at the opening of the Flemish House in New York on 25 February 2009, where IMEC, RVO-Society and Olin College of Engineering signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

The collaboration between IMEC, RVO-Society and Franklin W. Olin College started in 2009. Olin college offers a multidisciplinary training, not only focusing on technical and scientific expertise, but also on creativity, entrepreneurship and global challenges. Olin’s educational approach is based on provoking interest and fascination through hands-on experience. In 2009, Olin students Alyshia, Varun and Yiyang spent their summer at IMEC to develop a solar demonstrator. During their stay, they got the chance to learn more about IMEC’s roadmap for silicon and organic solar cells, spend time in the research labs and discuss with IMEC researchers the different aspects of solar cell technologies.

After a start off period, the goals of the demonstrator had to be defined. Do you want to make people aware of their daily energy consumption? What’s the importance of IMEC’s research in new solar cell technologies? Do we want people to know how solar cells function? Do we want to change their behavior? Alyshia, Varun and Yiyang decided to build an educational demonstrator, a metaphor for the photovoltaic effect (i.e., the conversion from solar energy to electricity). For the design and development, they collaborated with Jan Leyssens, industrial design student at Howest (Kortrijk, Belgium).