Samuel Schöffer's story
Samuel Schöffer (30, Rotterdam) is a project engineer at Witteveen+Bos in the group working on steam and heat. He works on energy transition projects, particularly those involving green hydrogen and heat.
‘I’m a scientist and studied mechanical engineering and civil technology. I know how energy, gases and liquids behave and how you can influence these with machines. Energy is so fascinating: whatever you put it into or convert it into, the energy is conserved. This means you can convert chemical energy into heat, heat into movement, movement into electricity, and electricity back into chemical energy. Amazing, isn’t it? In that respect, fossil energy is incredibly convenient. Following a process that took millions of years, concentrated energy is created in liquid, gas or solid form. But it has a clear downside: climate change.’
‘I’m quite idealistic, and after a day’s work I want to come home knowing that I’ve contributed in some way. Sustainable alternatives are developing rapidly, but it’s still difficult sometimes to compete with fossil fuels. How do you ensure, for example, that energy is always available? How do you produce sustainable heat at high temperatures? Green hydrogen is one of the solutions. At Witteveen+Bos, I’m involved in developing a green hydrogen plant in the Port of Rotterdam. We’re using technical justifications to help clients make the right decisions in transitioning to a sustainable energy system.
Fundamentally sustainable designs
‘I’m aware that there are limitations to green alternatives. Wind, solar, hydrogen: they can only provide part of our energy needs, and technology can’t solve everything. There needs to be more debate about that downside. A good example is flying. Everyone jetting off to sunnier climes during the winter will probably become a thing of the past. At the same time, the energy transition is going to accelerate in the coming years. I’m looking forward to playing my part and presenting as many fundamentally sustainable designs as possible to our clients.’
'I want to come home knowing that I’ve contributed in some way'
- Samuel Schöffer -