TechBlick 30 - Stephan [EN]

So I’m Jos and I’m working in research in circular economy and automotive sector. And I would like to know your point of view. If you accept, I’m going to record our conversation, transcribe it and put the transcription with a pseudonym, not your real name, in a repository of text documents. If you do this and you change your mind and no longer want to participate, get in touch with us and we will immediately remove your interview from the repository. I’m leaving you an information sheet with contact information after the interview. So now we start. Please tell me your name and that you agree.

Stefan Harkema I work at whole center as program manager for sustainable Electronics.

And you agree?

Yes, I agree

Thank you very much. First question. Can you tell me a bit about your educational and professional background and interests?

I’m a polymer chemist by training and my interest is in sustainability, printed electronics and recycling of plastics and metals.

What is your area of expertise.

At the moment? Sustainable developments in printed electronics.

The theme of this conference is the future of Electronics Reshaped. What does the idea of reshaping electronics for the future mean to you?

For me personally, make it more sustainable. So transferring to the Or making a transformation towards more use for of recycled and bio based materials, and also thinking about design for recycling in order to improve recycling rates of current electronics and future electronics. So really to prevent e-waste.

Stefan, what do you think is the relationship between electronics and sustainability?

I think electronics is a necessary element of our technological future. And with increasing complexity of electronics, which automatically follows because we want to make everything much, much smaller and more complex, recycling becomes more complex and more difficult. So this problem needs to address separately and in addition to involving, let’s say, our technology.

Uh, can you define a circular economy in your own words?

The circular economy. It’s an economic system that wants to replace end of life with different concepts at different levels. So not just at the product level, but also it’s relevant for cities and regions and countries. Sorry. And it’s to the betterment of the current generation and future generations. Not only money wise, but also all kinds of societal aspects.

Do you participate in circular economy in any aspect of your life?

Yes, professionally, I’m involved in several EU projects, and also I try to collaborate with companies on a business to business level. And personally, I’m also renovating my house from the poorest of efficiencies to the best possible efficiency. I drive electric cars and so on.

Do you think electronics can play a role in making the car industry more sustainable?

Yes, absolutely. So electronics are a necessary element of our life, also of our future. If we want to have self-driving cars, then of course a lot of technology needs to be developed and implemented. And with that, we need to think about sustainability more and more. I think we are capable of transforming the electronics industry to much more sustainable one. The car industry will also be motivated to do so. So as such, they go hand in hand.

What is about circular economy? Do you think electronics can play a role in making the car industry more circular?

Circular electronics, yes, can make it more circular, but of course it’s much more complex. A car is a very large. Electronic. Yeah. Electronic part on wheels. So electronics can definitely help. I think if we combine electronics and metals and plastics into a cohesive element, we will have a problem at end of life. So this assembly is very important. We have to specialize in how to recognize parts of the car, disassemble them properly. So at end of life we will have a good yield of the recycling process.