Max van Duffelen

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About Max van Duffelen

Max has a BSc in Molecular Science & Technology and a MSc in Engineering and Sustainable Energy Technology, both from Delft University of Technology. He began his career as a technical consultant in the Netherlands before winning a place on Vattenfall’s International Trainee Programme.

“As one of the big players in renewable energy in Europe, Vattenfall was already on my radar during my studies and the International Trainee Programme seemed a perfect fit for me to develop my interest in solar into a career.

I really enjoyed the whole application process, and I learned a lot from the assessments because I got to do things that I normally wouldn’t do and that made me reflect on myself and my skills.

As a Project Engineer I’m currently part of a team working on large scale solar farms, developing designs to make the most of a particular site. The team is involved in some of the latest developments in the sector, including ways to combine solar with agriculture and also floating projects.

I really like the fact that I have been able to deep dive into the subject right away and gain good hands-on experience, and I’m also quickly gaining more responsibility.

Experiencing life in another country

I could have chosen to start my traineeship in my home country of Amsterdam, but instead I opted for Berlin as I wanted the opportunity to experience life in another country.

Although the pandemic means I need to work from home some of the time, I have been able to build relationships with colleagues when I have been in the office and we often meet for a virtual coffee! I am looking forward to being in the office more, but for now less commuting means I have more time to explore a new city.

I am also looking forward to an assignment in offshore wind as part of the trainee programme. I was able to choose to apply anywhere in the business, and there were many interesting possibilities to look into. My passion right now is solar, but it will be great to experience working in another sector.

When I’m not working, sport is my big focus. I’m a keen runner and recently finished my first marathon in Rotterdam and am already planning the next one in my new hometown of Berlin!”

Max works within:

Solar & BatteryExplore

Career path

I am working as a Project Engineer with a team involved with large scale solar projects within BU Solar & Batteries. I am based in Berlin, but and the team also has staff in Amsterdam.
During my studies I became increasingly interested in solar, and my Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Science & Technology and Master’s in Engineering and Sustainable Energy Technology gave me a good understanding of the underlying principles and also some of the fundamental physics involved. Before embarking on my Master's I had also spent some time as a scuba diving instructor in Honduras. That made me really appreciate how beautiful the world is and that is one of the reasons I switched from chemical engineering to sustainable energy technology to be able to pursue a career to help preserve it. Solar will be the most significant source of energy in the future so it is a very exciting area to be involved in.