Martijn van Roermund
“I'm not an idealist, I'm a realist”. Martijn van Roermund is Deputy Research Manager Structural Dynamics. His heart lies in offshore wind energy. He expects that someday we’ll be visiting offshore wind farms as if we’re admiring the traditional windmills in Zaanse Schans.
"I lead the operations for a team of researchers specialising in offshore wind energy. Some of them were at the cradle of the current technology and have defined this area of knowledge. Cool, right? The team develops models for everything to do with wind energy.
My colleagues are the real experts, I make sure they can do their job properly as well as enable them to develop further in what they are good at and want to become better at. What makes my role even more interesting is that, leaning on the expertise of my colleagues, I can influence where we want to go with our research team and thus help to set the direction."
Wind turbine blades
"After studying Aerospace Technology, I started working in the manufacturing industry. Here I learned a lot about composites used for the production of wind turbine blades and process improvements, among other things, and mastered the role of project manager. I increasingly felt the need to use my expertise for a higher purpose: the transition to sustainable energy.
Knowledge of market forces and the technology required for the construction, installation and maintenance of turbines is indispensable for this. TNO offered me this opportunity to develop myself further in this area and also in the project management role to which I aspired."
"We are doing great things here. For example, our team is closely involved in testing GE Renewable Energy's Haliade-X, the largest and most powerful wind turbine in the world. At a height of 250 metres and blades measuring 107 metres in length, you can’t fail to see it on the Second Maasvlakte. With a capacity of 12 megawatts, it should be able to supply more than 16,000 households with energy for 25 years. Together with GE, we are carrying out all possible measurements to determine whether the prototype has been built in compliance with the assumptions that were made in the design."
Life cycle assessment
"We also do a lot of research into system integration to enable the flexible storage of wind energy, for example. Together with developers and producers, we come up with smart solutions for this. In all our research, including fundamental research into the aerodynamic efficiency of turbine blades, for example, the emphasis is on life cycle assessment. We want wind energy to be truly sustainable. And then there’s the question of what to do with that enormous steel colossus and its plastic blades at the end of the life cycle."
You’re allowed to dream
"I think it's important that my work makes me feel good. Although it goes a bit too far to call myself an idealist. I see myself more as a realist. Offshore wind energy is the future. At sea, that's where it’s happening. I wouldn't be surprised if offshore wind farms will develop into breeding grounds where the generation of wind energy and solar energy and seaweed cultivation come together with sustainable tourism perhaps. A day at the traditional windmills in Zaanse Schans, but different. With all the disciplines and expertise we have in house, this vision of the future is within reach."