PhD candidate Evangelos Delikonstantis has come to realise that there’s more to saving the planet than strictly technical skills. He’s discovered that on top of that, you need to have a love of what you do – and the drive to do it. He’s found both his inspiration and his drive in the InnoEnergy PhD school programme – and he’s ready to make a big difference.
Why did you choose the InnoEnergy PhD School?
A PhD is mostly focused on the scientific approach of a topic. However, delving too deep in pure science – abandoning other fields related to this topic – you might be driven towards boring and dull research. InnoEnergy PhD school offered me the possibility to explore other areas of research directly related to my topic and gave me different dimensions to my project. For example, I investigated the economic viability of my topic technology and identified its significant advantages over the state-of-the-art technologies, or even more useful – I have ideas for new applications that I had not thought of before.
What are the most important things you have learnt in the programme so far?
How to organise my projects, limit myself in a team and plan upcoming activities. These self-management skills are critical. I would also say the strong networking and good friends have also been highlights. I believe that there is a good integration and balance of business and entrepreneurship in the programme. All the tasks and lectures given in the different courses stimulate both. On a personal level – I have developed my self-confidence and self-criticism and learnt to express my opinion without feeling guilty. Most importantly, I have learnt that my mistakes are all teachable moments.
How would you describe the InnoEnergy PhD School to a prospective student?
As a unique opportunity to keep their PhD vital by exploring different aspects related to their topic, interacting with specialists who may provide them with information that is not easy to be found, and developing skills that are required for their future career (but are not developed over the span of a typical PhD project). I highly recommend the experience of the InnoEnergy PhD school, and my advice to them is to “dream big, work hard and have fun”!
Why is sustainable energy important to you personally? Any goals?
We, humans, have intervened in nature and caused severe damage just in our pursuit to achieve better living conditions. However, this will backfire as there is no respect for the environment anymore. The only way to limit the burden is through sustainable energy sources. It is the only way to preserve our planet and bequeath it to our children clean and safe. Ideally, I would like to be involved in environmental research projects and consulting industries or even developing countries to help them to attain a mindset that uses sustainability as the base of their daily activity. In this context, I would like to design, develop and scale up green technologies for applications in different sectors such as fuel, energy, and hygiene.
How will the programme help you achieve this?
The programme has given me the driving force to do it. I’ve gained the mindset required to achieve my goals. In my opinion, the mindset is the most crucial factor. Even more so than actual skills or knowledge. You can always find experts to handle all of the different details and components, but someone has to initiate an idea/project/company and drive it through to completion. Now I’m ready to be that driver.
Become part of the InnoEnergy ecosystem, gain access to a network of like-minded individuals, startups, scaleups, innovation projects, universities and industrial partners across Europe by applying to InnoEnergy PHD School before 12 May deadline.