Meet Simon

World-class technology

Greenspeed is a computer system that recommends the best speed depending on braking distance, speed reduction, and distance to the next station. Based on information from, among other things, roadmaps and satellites, the optimal and environmentally friendly speed is calculated. It is expected that the system will reduce CO2 emissions by seven percent and at the same time result in an annual saving of up to 35 million kroner in energy in Denmark alone. There is, therefore, a lot to think about, and the ambitious youngster Simon Willow has done exactly that. “My wet dream is to work in the railway industry for the rest of my life. I love the idea of being able to move so many people at the same time, and to be a piece in a huge puzzle – it really fascinates me. Both IT-related but also the physical aspect.” He explains that he dreams of working with GreenSpeed in the future, if he is hired at DSB.

To make a difference

There is no doubt that Simon breathes and lives for the railway sector. He has dreamed of working with the railroad since childhood. He tries to expand his knowledge within train operations as much as possible, and describe himself as being a real train-craze. But for Simon, it is not just about an interest in the big machines. It is also incredibly important for him to make a difference and to help improve the infrastructure. He is not the type that just will stand by and watch.

“It has almost become popular to say ‘fuck DSB’, but people will have to be a little more self-recognizing if that’s the attitude they have to it. My friends tease me a little and say I have a love for DSB. They cannot really understand why I am bothered to be interested in something that is still delayed, but where I must explain to them that this is exactly why I would like to work on these things. This is to improve and make a difference.”

Major plans for the future

“When I was done with high school I was 18 years old and knew that I had to be 21 years old to become a train driver. I was sure that this was what I wanted but had to wait three years before I was old enough. That’s why I decided to read Software Technology at DTU, as I also have an interest in games. For the same reason, I had also not figured that I would take a Master because I really just wanted to be a train driver when I was done with my Bachelor. Now, I still intend to take a Master in information technology so that I can call myself a civil engineer.”

“They have a completely different culture and technologically they are ahead of many other countries, which also means that they have a really well-functioning rail sector. In Japan, they measure seconds of delay and not several minutes, as we see at home. I think the precise railway operation is wildly fascinating, and I really would like to experience it.”

 

An enterprise project became Simon’s ticket to Siemens

In 2016 Simon participated in the annual railway conference. Here he meets Andreas, who works for Siemens. Today Andreas is Simon’s leader. He suggested that Simon wrote his bachelor thesis in cooperation with Siemens. Simon chooses to accept that as a challenge, resulting in his internship at Siemens for half a year. His bosses from Siemens are participating when Simon defends his bachelor thesis at DTU, and immediately after they offer him the position of student assistant.

“Professionally my work with the railway industry means that I can be allowed to unfold. It is a great feeling that I have been able to help Siemens while I have written my bachelor project. It is even cooler knowing that what I’ve made, maybe one day will be implemented in future digital signaling systems. And yes, I have gained a deeper knowledge of the large and complex systems. Personally, this means that I can keep up with what is happening in the industry and in this way I can always be at the forefront, and thus also have the ability to develop new skills beyond the focus of my study.”

 

Why others must choose the railway industry

“The cool thing about the railway sector is that there are so many different people working in it. Both personally, but also professionally. There are those who repair the trains, those who get the roadmap working, the train drivers, the ones who manage the signals and change the tracks. Others have to choose the railway industry because you can help make a huge difference for many people, and in addition, I think it is super cool that you are allowed to be part of the test runs, see control centres and provisioning centres, and thus test new things. You are therefore allowed to see how the things you have been developing will work out in operation where it is used by thousands of daily commuters. “

So, in the future, you can expect a much more enjoyable ride when you are going out by train. GreenSpeed is not only an environmentally friendly driving system. It also contributes to quieter and more comfortable braking, so you no longer have to be nervous of scalding yourself on your coffee, because of spilling due to a hard slowdown. Now you can simply sit back in the seat, enjoy the cruise (and your coffee) with good (and green) conscience.

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