Think Big Prize

Fontys Information and Communication Technology

Fontys University ICT wins 2nd and 3rd Think Big Prize

Autism Talent Pilot and Green Laptop impress jury members. On Wednesday 28 August, Fontys held its Think Big Prize ceremony in the auditorium of R5.  Fontys University ICT was well represented in this with no fewer than five nominees: Marlou Heskes and Martin Ederveen in the category “colleagues,” Jur Clerkx, Steve Thijssen and Danny Bloks in the category “students.” All breathlessly awaited the announcement of the winners by Hans Nederhof. Ultimately, Fontys University ICT went home with two prizes in the “colleagues” category: Marlou Heskes (coordinator Student+) won 2nd prize with the Utilising Autism Talent Pilot and Martin Ederveen (Cyber Security instructor) won 3rd prize with his Green Laptop!

Utilising Autism Talent
Marlou Heskes collaborated intensively with a number of parties in order to realise this pilot: Fontys Universities (ICT, TNW & Engineering), the city of Eindhoven and the Autism point. A number of employers were also involved. And with success. All of these involved parties worked hard and formulated ambitious objectives: guiding students with (signs of) autism with an integrated approach starting with finding a graduate internship up through continuing to work after obtaining the diploma. Also acquiring insight into the failure and success factors of this work method.

“It’s a win-together pilot, all parties made progress,” says an enthusiastic Marlou Heskes, Student+ coordinator at Fontys University ICT. FHICT is the first institute to run the pilot. There are plans to implement the pilot Fontys-wide in the future. As Fontys Director Nienke Meijer said at the presentation of the results: “We should not only just to stick to pilots, we must dare to implement structural steps.” Brainport is all about talent. And we have plenty of talent. The pilot shows that with a little effort, young people with autism can have a better chance of finding work and show their talents. 

Green Laptop
Martin Ederveen, together with students of the Fontys Engineering and ICT, carried out research into the creation of a working laptop that is able to charge itself. This research revealed that within the current technology, it is certainly possible to realise such a laptop. The prototype featured adaptions made to the Raspberry Pie Zero computer core. In the prototype chassis has a SD memory card, a WiFi module, keyboard, mouse, HDMI display and a battery pack. The display uses nearly 2 Watt and this is not ideal, but despite that, this configuration is able to function for over 18 hours on a full battery. (Note that the price of the Raspberry Pie Zero computer is around 4-10 dollars.)

The next step is to experiment with a more economical display and solar cells. A system of convertible solar cells that can deliver at least 1 Watt is conceivable. “A system that is no longer intended to be more and more powerful, but rather sustainably responsible, truly portable and supporting. Especially in developing countries such a machine can contribute to the general knowledge and development of children as well as adults,” says Martin.

Fontys Think Big Prize
The Fontys Think Big Prize is awarded to a colleague (staff member) or student who makes a special contribution to the educational programme at Fontys. The Executive Board hands out this prize every year at the opening of the school year. This submission:

  • shows a unique educational presentation that is derived from and based on education
  • is worthy of publicising and/or has social value for Fontys
  • is cross-institutional
  • is innovative
  • is an effective example of growth by awareness and challenge (Think Big)

The staff members or students are given a first, second and third prize. The winner of the colleague (group) and the students (group) receives a prize of € 3,000. Second prize is € 2,000. Third prize is € 1,000.

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