Khiem Trad, battery and energy storage researcher at EnergyVille

VITO/EnergyVille is developing smart energy systems for a sustainable urban environment. As a senior researcher, Khiem Trad conducts research on how sustainable energy can be efficiently stored.

I believe in a future with sustainable energy

How did you end up at VITO?

“I’m from Tunisia and studied Material Science in France. After my PhD at the University of Bordeaux, I moved to Belgium. Flanders has few specialists in my field – materials for batteries and energy storage – and it was easy for me to find work at the Flanders’ DRIVE research centre. But I wanted to work for VITO because the sustainability aspect appeals to me. After I responded to a job opening, I was invited for an interview.”

How would you describe your job?

“Together with my colleagues I work on research into energy storage. We design tests for lithium-ion batteries, often for companies, and conduct these tests ourselves in our battery lab. I also do research into the ageing process of batteries so that we can develop methods for batteries to last longer.“ “All of our projects revolve around sustainability. Among other things, we use batteries in smart grids to store wind and solar energy. This is necessary because the supply of renewable energy can be very erratic, depending on weather conditions. We also test batteries for electric vehicles: cars, bicycles ... And we do a lot of research on rechargeable batteries. How and when to best charge them? Under what circumstances do they retain their maximum energy? Rechargeable batteries are more sustainable than the alkaline batteries that we need to replace with a new battery after use.”

How do you see your future at VITO and Energy- Ville?

“I’ll continue to work on similar projects in the short term, because there is still a lot of research to be done. We are gaining experience and expertise, and seeking partners to bring new technologies to market. Currently I’m working with my team on a battery management project: we’re developing a device that allows us to better control the functioning of batteries. Here at EnergyVille, we all believe in a future with intelligent, sustainable energy and electric mobility. I want to be an active part of this.”


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