Robbert van Kortenhof

Robbert in numbers

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About Robbert

Robbert has a BSc in Sociology from Utrecht University and an MSc in Information Studies from the University of Amsterdam, where his focus areas included information modelling, big data, and complex systems.

“Although my degree was in Sociology, it was the statistics I was introduced to as part of it which really fascinated me. It wasn’t the numbers themselves that excited me, but what you could do with them.

That led me to take an MSc to find out more about data science and how it could help solve real-world problems.  After joining Vattenfall as a thesis intern I started my career in data modelling, working on statistical forecasting to find the most efficient and cost-effective ways to design and build the wind farms of the future

Taking part in a ‘hackathon’, where my team was tasked with building a model to predict the power production of a wind farm, really reignited my interest in the data science side of things and led me to my current role.

Working with different people across the business

I get to work very close to the day-to-day operations of the business and help develop solutions with many different people, from turbine technicians to experts in wind behaviour.

Predictive maintenance, looking at the best time to replace components to maximise low-carbon generation, is a big part of my team’s work. But we are also looking at very complex models such as the best way to deploy technicians across a wind farm including who should go where and at what point in the day.

It’s very interesting work, and there are always new challenges to move on to. I now have the opportunity to be a technical lead for a project which will be quite a lot of responsibility at this stage of my career.

Outside of work I love music and you’ll also find me at my local cinema watching an arthouse film two or three times a week.

I’m also a keen cyclist and often just get a train out to somewhere and ride back home through the beautiful forests here.”

Robbert works within:

WindExplore

Career path

I’m part of an analytics team focused on offshore wind. We work with people across the business to develop solutions to issues such as predicting the best time to replace turbine components to reduce downtime.
After my internship I was able to stay on with the team designing and developing statistical forecasting models for wind turbines and wind farms. I was able to develop my knowledge about physics and operational research, enabling me to build computational models capturing and simulating the complex systems that make up wind farms. My team won the Vattenfall Wind hackathon by building a neural network to predict the power production of wind turbines.
I was assigned to the Technology Roadmaps team at BA Wind which is looking at what the wind turbine of the future will look like and trying to estimate the costs. My work focused on how to quantify uncertainty in computational models in large-scale construction projects. I also contributed to the construction of a department-wide database, benchmark tests on cost data and the development of in-house tools.
After discovering the power of statistics during my degree, I took an MSc to learn more about data science and its ability to solve real-world problems. One of the projects I worked on was a project to utilize a huge amount of data about visits to a museum to develop an app to help people find the quietest time to view the exhibits they were most interested in. It was a great experience to develop something which was simple and accessible for non-technical people to use.