Meet Pascal Franken, design engineer
Tell us a little about you…
My name is Pascal Franken and I am a design engineer at REGGS. Just like a lot of people working in my industry, I loved taking things apart and building stuff as a child and I still do. Whenever my parents had an old or broken product, I was always fascinated to find out how it worked and see if I could use it for something. One time my parents came home with an old vacuum cleaner from my grandparents. It wasn’t working anymore but I took it apart to see if I could get it running again. After blowing some fuses I eventually managed to make it running again. But instead of putting it back in the casing I used the motor to make a hovercraft from it. To everyone’s surprise it worked, too bad it was limited by the length of the extension cord. After finishing high school I wanted to develop myself further and go to college. I settled for a bachelor in Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) at the Technical University of Delft (TUD) and later an advance degree in Integrated Product Design (IPD). I have never regretted my choice, I love what I do now and the projects I get to work on.
What do you get out of your bed for?
I think you could wake me up for anything exiting. I enjoy being active and outdoors, when I’m on a holiday you will probably never find me just lying around.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from literally anything in my environment. That could be from previous experiences or nature but also looking at other products. A lot of times we come up with new innovations for our clients, part of my job is to see how we can make it feasible. You start to do you research to see if something similar has already been applied somewhere else and if we can use that technique for our product.
What are you most proud of?
During my time at REGGS I have worked on many great projects but there is one of which I’m the most proud. Around 3 billion people in the world still rely on solid fuels such as wood, animal dung, charcoal and other biomass fuels in inefficient stoves for cooking and heating. Small particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO) are emitted into their homes as a result of incomplete combustion. This has many short and long term effects which could even result in death. We are currently working together with social enterprise based in Ethiopia to develop a cookstove which has a much cleaner combustion. Not only do we make the design but we also help to set up the entire factory including selecting the machines which are needed for production and the layout of the factory plant.
Which customer do you hope to work for?
Projects that appeal to me the most are designing for the bottom of the pyramid, sustainable design and active outdoor/ sport brands. I find for example a company such as GoPro very interesting, because they do not just focus on making good quality camera’s, but also on celebrating life.
Tell us something we probably don’t know about you
I love to do all kinds of different sports. I’ve played football for most of my life and still enjoy every game and practice. In the last three years I picked up triathlon and already finished my first 70.3 distance. For this year I’m trying to improve my PR for the marathon of Leiden at the end of May, which will be my fifth marathon. My goal is to complete a full Ironman somewhere in the next two years.