Even though Mathieu has a coordinator role, he still spends quite a bit of time…
Louis is passionate about anything on wheels. He loves to work on cars and motors, ranging from mechanics to even car body repairs. It was his grandfather who introduced him to the basics of mechanics and electronics at a young age, and helped him build his first go-kart.
A few years later, that go-kart even turned into a solar car, didn’t it?
Yes, after my studies I joined the Agoria Solar Team, a group of Belgian engineering students that are given the challenge of building a proper solar car to take part in an international race. It was my first real experience with electromobility. Our team won the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in 2019.
When I started my full-time job at Traxial back in March 2020, I decided—as many former members do—to continue to support future teams by helping them out from time to time where needed. I recently joined them in Morocco for the 2021 Solar Challenge where we finished second. Seven teams took part, three of which finished within the time limit.
What requirements does this solar car have?
Well, unlike Formula Electric—where the emphasis is on performance—the solar car needs to be as efficient as possible. It’s a fascinating challenge where you get to explore the impact every little tweak has. It allows you to experiment and discover how much the level of efficiency varies when you, for example, change the type of solar cell or use a different motor. Or maybe there’s a way to make the car more aerodynamic?
That’s what I like about my job at Traxial as well. Even if we’re working on a car component— instead of an entire solar car—it kind of comes down to the same challenge: finding a trade-off between the different elements that influence a motor’s performance, reliability, manufacturability, etc.
What’s your job like at Traxial?
My official job title is Operations Engineer and I’m part of the Operations Team. Our main responsibility is making sure that the prototype that is designed gets built. In reality, our job is much more diverse and may vary depending on the priorities we have. In 2021, the construction of our brand-new pilot line was one of these priorities. We’ve been busy installing new machinery and optimizing it to build our prototypes.
As well as that, we’re also involved in several R&D and innovation projects for which we also perform tests. In general, there is no strict distinction between Traxial’s R&D and Operations teams. Both teams focus on our motor development and the majority of our projects require a lot of interdisciplinary team collaboration. It’s a great way to share knowledge and learn quickly.
What productivity hack do you use?
Like most people, there’s only one thing I carry with me at all times: my phone. As I only spend around 50% of my time at my desk, I don’t always have a laptop or a piece of paper within reach when I’m at our pilot line or inside the workshop. No matter where I am, I use Google Keep to write down my ideas or to-do’s. As those notes are stored in the cloud, it’s easy to access them from my laptop once I get back to my desk.
Who do you look up to?
Mate Rimac, for sure. My biggest dream is to bring my own vehicle to market, one that’s designed from scratch. It wouldn’t be a performance car but more of a 2.0 version of my current motorbike: a robust electric ready for adventure.
We need more talented engineers like Louis to support our current team!
Could you be a strong asset to one of our teams? Have a look at our current opportunities at www.traxial.com/careers.