Thu 5 Jan 2023
We’re looking back at a year in which we are grateful for all our new projects, innovations and growth. 2022 was a turbulent year, but we still created a lot to be proud of. Time for a flash back with our colleagues at the past year.
2022 started with great news, because the world slowly opened up again. “The most impactful thing for me was the lifting of the hard lockdown and the subsequent easing of the COVID-19 measures. After a few months of being limited in the office and at the measurement location, it finally became possible to 'just' do our work and consult ad hoc with colleagues," says Guido J..
After two years of all events being canceled or postponed, we could finally go to events again! This year we went to the European parking event: EPA Congress & Exhibition. “Within our Lungs of the City approach, car parks play a prominent role because of their strategic position in the city and because they actively move air. In Brussels, our air purification systems are well represented in the Interparking car parks, so an ideal location to promote our approach for better air in cities,” says Joop. “The outside world often looks at the parking world as one of the causes of poor air quality in the city, but nothing could be further from the truth. This sector in particular is working hard on sustainable facilities and additional services. The credo during this event was 'Parking as part of the solution', and we are proud to contribute to this with active air purification.”
Last year, together with Studio Christine Jetten, we developed Clean Air City Ceramics: ceramic tiles with captured particulate matter. During the Floriade a tiny house from EuroParcs was completely covered with these particulate matter tiles. Every square meter of these ceramics contributes to 0.4 million m3 of purified air. “Sustainability is about closing cycles and about the responsible use and processing of materials. The residue from capturing particulate matter is a strange substance, as it is in fact what we breathe every day, but once captured it is concentrated air pollution and contains potentially harmful substances. You don't want that substance into the usual waste processing system, because it is almost certain that it is burned. You want to process it in an ethically responsible manner and in a product with a very long lifespan, such as building ceramics in the form of glazed tiles. They can easily embellish the cityscape for the next 100 years or more.” Roel adds: “With a similar application, but in a completely different form, our captured particulate matter was also used as a painting in a tile tableau at the Dutch Design Week in September as modern 'Dutch Skies' by LabAir. Very special.
2022 was the year that Guido Mijnheer joined our R&D team! “2022 meant the start at ENS for me. I was able to start immediately with the completion of an ongoing project and the start of both the further development of our product range and the development of a customer-specific solution. Nice to participate directly in such a way and to have an important input in fun projects!”, says Guido M. We are happy that you joined the team Guido!
But Guido is not our only new colleague, because Akela – our newest Chief Happiness Officer – joins our office on Wednesdays! Akela is very experienced in giving (or receiving) hugs, napping, and has the ability to put a smile on everyone's face. Welcome to the Guido & Akela team!!
Research & Development Our R&D team has been very busy again this year. “We have been busy with detailed analyzes of the efficiencies and air flows of our systems, with the further optimization of our particulate matter capture technology, and with preparations for various upcoming (measurement) projects,” says Guido J. Rob adds: "Although not all R&D development processes proceeded according to plan, and setbacks sometimes had to be dealt with (inherently associated to conducting research), some major milestones were achieved with respect to – among other things – quality and accuracy assurance, and broadening and elaboration of analysis capabilities, for both experimental and numerical studies. This aids in elucidating the framework for future product development, and strategizing R&D efforts. Even as ‘experts’ in the field, we keep learning day in, day out. Fortunately; that’s what makes our work so interesting!".
“We don't always think about it, but ENS has built up a unique expertise in recent years. It is good to see that our knowledge is finding its way to the market, because we are approached by reputable parties and companies that are struggling with particulate matter and exposure issues, which are sometimes also under a social magnifying glass. A good example of this is the project we started with ProRail in 2022, in which we are working on solutions for dust-free working on the railways,” adds Roel.
But the past year has also been really tough. Shortly after Peter passed away, we also had to say goodbye to our 'founding mother' Lia on May 12th. “This is a sad event that has left a strong mark on the company. Despite this heavy loss, we will continue with the mission that Lia started in 2009,” says Rob. “It was a very sad period. As an employee, we were also part of the family, this made us experience the disease process up close,” adds Simone.
In a family business, “the founders” are central. They have laid the foundation and put their soul into the businesses. The van de Vorle family has had two tough years, where they had to say goodbye to Peter and Lia van de Vorle in a short period of time. Now their daughters are continuing to build on the foundation that has partially fallen away. “With the team trained by Lia and Peter, we dare to say that we are future-proof. With the same enthusiasm and passion, we will continue my parents legacy” adds Renée.
In memory of Peter and Lia van de Vorle † 22-09-2021 | 12-05-2022