Hydrogen and International Cooperation

👆 Action and power of the LikendIn! There are no limits on LinkedIn! 👈International cooperation is now very possible. 👌

👉 Lluis Sanvicens sent me a contact request at the end of February, which I was very happy to confirm. Right after that he sent me a message with a business offer. 👌

👉 Lluis was looking for a partner for a study - "𝗦𝘁𝘂𝗱𝘆 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝘆𝗱𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘂𝗿𝗯𝗮𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆" - for 𝗘𝗜𝗧 𝗨𝗿𝗯𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗼𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆.

👆 As Lluis dominates with very high and valuable expertise in transport, energy and project management, he was looking for someone with hydrogen knowledge. He immediately sent me all the documents about the study so that I could make a decision.

👉 I had to go through everything very carefully and think about it first. That took some time.

👉 In between Lluis was very active. On LinkedIn he has Dr. Canan Acar found. She formed a team with him for the study.

👌 After a few days, Lluis contacted me again. The two still need someone who has experience in automotive and hydrogen. I didn't hesitate any longer and I immediately agreed that I would be very happy to join the team and take part in the study.

👆 The preparation wasn't easy. Lluis organized everything very brilliantly and shared the tasks between us. Each of us had one or more parts to be responsible for. I have to say that Lluis had most of the duties to those in charge. He also has a lot of experience conducting the studies. 👌

👌 My part was " 𝗕𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀". Since I have some ideas in my head, it was no problem for me to write the methodology for them. 👈

👉 Lluis sent all the documents to the EIT UM in good time. We then waited excitedly for almost a month for the results of the tender. The result came a few days ago - unfortunately it was not positive.

💪 For me, however, it was a great experience, as I have not had the opportunity to conduct such studies until now.

👆 I am very happy that I had the opportunity to experience this, to participate in the preparation and, above all, to get to know the Lluis. I think we will have another opportunity to work with Lluis in the future.

By "pushing" battery-electric cars into the market, we will not achieve any emission reductions, says the expert

According to the EU Commission, cars with internal combustion engines should no longer be sold in the Union by 2035. It remains to be seen to what extent this proposal, which still requires the approval of the European Parliament and the 27 countries, is realistic. "But experts and customers should have the right to decide which alternative drive will prevail," says Kristýna Váchalová, who was involved in the development of hydrogen cars in the Daimler Group.

She has extensive experience in the development of petrol, diesel, hybrid and hydrogen drives, mainly for Daimler AG for cars and trucks as well as buses. She has worked in hydrogen vehicle development for 8 years. It developed the intakes and exhausts of hydrogen cars. She received a patent for the development of a system for catching and controlling water leakage from the exhaust. Váchalová also participated in a hydrogen bus feasibility study and has completed a hydrogen system feasibility study for five different trucks.

What will you learn in the article?

  • Advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen propulsion.
  • Are hydrogen propulsion dangerous?
  • Where are hydrogen propulsion used and where is electromobility?

More in the post:


Hydrogen as an alternative to electromobility?

The last few years have been under great pressure to reduce emissions in transport. The end of sales of internal combustion engines and the promotion of electromobility are being promoted. The end date for the production of internal combustion engines has been set by the European Commission at 2035. However, this proposal is still subject to approval by the European Parliament and the 27 countries. Subject to the approval of this proposal - is this deadline realistic? Should we develop an alternative propulsion system that would fully replace all petrol and diesel engines?

What will you learn in the article?

  • Advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen propulsion.
  • Are hydrogen propulsion dangerous?
  • Where are hydrogen propulsion used and where is electromobility?

Who will tell us more about hydrogen technology?

Kristýna Váchalová has extensive experience in the development of petrol, diesel, hybrid and hydrogen propulsion, mainly for Daimler AG for cars and trucks, and buses. She has been working in the development of hydrogen vehicles for 8 years. It developed the intakes and exhausts of hydrogen cars. She is very proud of the patent she received for developing a system for capturing and controlling the discharge of water from the exhaust. She also did a feasibility study of a hydrogen bus - a conceptual solution for the location and fastening of hydrogen systems in the existing engine compartment in the bus, the design of hydrogen tanks and their fastening. She was the first in Daimler to do an initial feasibility study of hydrogen systems for 5 different trucks.

In discussions on the LinkedIn professional network, we "clashed" with topics related to battery and hydrogen propulsion. How does Kristýna perceive them?

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Who am i

I was born in Bohemia. I’ve been interested in cars and everything around them since I was a child, so I’ve decided to go studying engineering. Even though my father didn’t agree with that – he said: “You’re a girl, what are you going to do in engineering?” After my studies I started to work as a design engineer of fork-lift trucks and then conveyor belts for heavy mining industry. And then I joined daughter company of Daimler AG company in Prague – finally, I’ve achieved getting into car industry, my dream. And that wasn’t the end of making my dreams come true, but just the beginning. And it was related to learning… I made my first business trip to Germany, straight to the Daimler AG factory in Sindelfingen. I had to overcome the language barrier. But after a short time I found new friends there, who had been helping me learning language. I’d been making great progress in a short time. My first projects were related to chassis area of both automobiles and lorries. About the lorry, I’ve participated in development of battery cabinet from the first concept to implementation. The vehicle was then exhibited at IAA. And I’ve seen it recently even here, in Pilsen…

Then I got assigned a project of developing 6-cylinder petrol engine for automobiles in Stuttgart. Stuttgart became my home for the next 11 years. Because a crisis came, Daimler started to save money and I had to quit the project. My colleagues from Daimler were very satisfied with my work – they didn’t hesitate to find another project for me. At that time, the development of hydrogen cars was supported and they needed someone to work on design. So I got a very interesting project assigned. I’d been working on hydrogen cars development for 8 years. I’d been developing automobile intake and exhaust system. I participated in developing of water retaining and releasing system. This system can be used for any type of hydrogen vehicle and we had it patented. Moreover, I could make the first studies of hydrogen systems for at least 5 various lorry types. From a dustcart through a tipper to a heavy truck. The development of hydrogen vehicles became my heart and soul very quickly, because I’ve seen the meaning and future in it. And that hasn’t change. I’m very proud that I had the opportunity and even gained the patent. I called it a dream job of every engineer… However, I was confronted with decision. In the beginning, I worked in Stuttgart, but then I had to go straight to the company that had been dealing with hydrogen systems development. The NuCellSys company was located approximately 40 km from Stuttgart. For me, it meant everyday commuting and so a lot of time spending on the road. But it didn’t discourage me. The job was worth it. Just from my private life only the weekends remained… Anyway, Daimler management didn’t see the meaning of developing hydrogen vehicles anymore, so the development was suspended and I had to leave. It was hard for me… But I could find the positive: the end of commuting and so more time for private life. 

The next project passed very quickly. Soon, thanks to my good reputation, I got the project of hybrid propulsion again in Stuttgart. There I had the opportunity to have a taste of the project management for the first time. My job activities were dealings with suppliers, presenting and urging changes at Daimler’s project management, checking supplier’s drawings, checking supplier’s measure reports of individual parts, potential approval of departures from drawings and making tolerance calculations. Within the project I could sporadically participate in weekend vehicle testing. That was another of my dreams that came true. Almost every second weekend, I had the use of some testing car and I could drive it in fact wherever I wanted. So I could discover not only Stuttgart surroundings behind the wheel of various luxury cars.

Then, a project out of automotive followed. It was far from home – in Bavaria. I have to admit that I didn’t want to go there. It meant commuting again, which I thought I was through already… I got assigned a project of developing retaining system in cargo bays of Airbus planes. There I started to make my drawings and figured out that what stands a standard in Daimler doesn’t have to elsewhere. My drawings were a big challenge for the company. They planned to move ahead for a long time, but lacked some input and found it thanks to me. They had my drawings as a pilot project, because they used them for manufacturing. Then I got assigned a project that was very interesting for me. Components testing. I had to think out how to do it. Design the jigs, have them manufactured and then assemble testing stations in a lab. Only then could follow testing of various components at various testing stations that lasted several weeks and was ended with writing a report in English. Again, another challenge and learning… In the end, even in Bavaria, I’ve found its beauty. The project started to fulfill me, but mainly: I love mountains and nature. And because the company was located in Miesbach, which is already the beginning of Alps, I had a view of mountains from my office. Almost every day after work, I took my car and went to the mountains. I could enjoy the mountains and the beautiful nature at least towards evening. In summer I went swimming in the mountain lake and enjoy the last sunlight of the day. Also, Bavarian people are very friendly. Soon I was invited to Stammtisch, where I sit next to the locals since then. And that’s a big honor. Bavaria, in the end, grew on me even after the short time I spend there. Mountains gave me the scope for thinking and charged me unbelievably, they provided me with energy that’s so needed. I could find there also a consciousness… It was hard for me to return to Stuttgart evermore. 

Then, the next and the last Daimler project followed. I hit the jackpot and passed the open competition very easily. I was responsible for various intake parts of 4-cylinder diesel engine designated for 3 various vehicle types. I communicated with suppliers, urged changes at Daimler’s project management and led regular leadings with suppliers and internal colleagues. Sometimes I cooperated with Indian colleagues. I’d been dealing with various qualitative problems of components, even right at the assembly line.

A that stage, I felt that I need to make a big change. And I did. I’ve decided to return to my homeland. I’ve left my dream job and went home. I’ve taken the step even though I didn’t have any job in Bohemia. For my colleagues, this decision was like a bolt from the blue. They couldn’t believe and asked me if I thought twice about it… It wasn’t easy to make the decision, but I’m glad for it…

After coming back home, I needed to take a break. Just do nothing… And I treated myself to it a lot. I took a one-year break. My career was very fulfilling for me, but also very exacting. I didn’t have much free time for my private life. It’s always a tit for tat…

Every project I took meant a big merit and big shift for me. I had to learn something new with every new project. I’ve also met a lot of new people, which is something I like very much. It’s very enriching. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to live in Germany and discover another culture. Even though Germany is our neighbor, their culture is different than ours. It’s enough to go to another federal country within Germany to see the cultural differences. It was very enriching and edifying for me. I see the world from another perspective now.

And to sum up? There are some problems everywhere. No country is better or worse. Just different. People are dealing with some problems everywhere. The other way around, the one can take the positive things from every country and try to avoid the negative ones in life. Everyone can try to live in a different way. In a way one would like a man to live. With a life change one has to start at oneself. And can be an inspiration for the others…

After my homecoming, I knew that I want to keep applying myself to my field. But in a slightly different way. I want to pass on everything I’ve learnt during my career. I have a long-time professional experience right at the car maker, although I always worked there as an outside worker. So I would like to show to the manufacturing companies the other side of the things. I mean, how it actually works. Why are some things set in the way they are. I would like to point out the mistakes 80% of suppliers do regardless the country. But I don’t want to remain just pointing out mistakes. I want to show how to prevent them. How to do the job in a better and more effective way. I want to help my colleagues and so the manufacturing companies. 

I’m proud of myself and so are my parents and friends. A woman without university education, who made a career in automotive industry. And won recognition not only in automotive and was in great demand. And that’s not the end of my journey at all…

During my one-year break, I didn’t idle completely, but have been educating myself more. I passed through professional coach training and gained international certification. My next mission is to pass on my precious experience and help the others by that.

I’m a woman that doesn’t lack courage, bravery and sense of humor… A woman that is able to overcome obstacles. And like to share her experience. A woman that is a clear proof that engineering isn’t exclusively for men… A woman that defines her goals, achieves them and defines others and others…