'I have been the Communication Lead and Graphic Designer of Top Dutch Solar Racing'

  • Student project
Caroline Nauta - portretfoto.jpg
Caroline Nauta - sfeerfoto-min.jpg

You choose an international study, finally reach the third year where you get to go abroad. You arrange everything, earn a spot at a nice Norwegian university for the minor and then… the pandemic hits. Everything gets cancelled. What do you do? Get a job and ride it out? Replace your subjects abroad with standard subjects at Hanze? That wasn’t it for me. I joined, what in my opinion is, the best student team of the Netherlands: Top Dutch Solar Racing!

'Hi! My name is Caroline Nauta (23). I am a fourth year International Communication student and for the past two years, I have been the Communication Lead and Graphic Designer of Top Dutch Solar Racing. We are a student racing team, based at the Zernike Campus, that hand builds electric race cars that drive on solar energy. We strive to innovate solar technology by collaborating with educational institutions, governments and northern companies, and participating in solar challenges around the world. What makes Top Dutch so unique is that we are the only solar racing team that works multidisciplinary, meaning that we combine mbo, hbo and wo studies in order to create the most effective team.'

'What I love about working in this team is that I not only got to implement my knowledge from my study, and test in real life what works and what doesn’t, I also got to expand my knowledge. I learned new skills, such as event management, photo- and videography, partner acquisition, and I even picked up some engineering skills like laminating our solar car’s carbon fibre bodywork. I also got to improve existing skills that I learned during my study, such as copywriting and content creation for the Top Dutch media channels and website.'

'One of the tasks that I am most proud of as a graphic designer is that I created the paint design for our solar car, named Green Spirit. We wanted the car to be the representation of the north [of the Netherlands] and I therefore created a skyline with northern Dutch elements, as well as having a red to green gradient which does not only represent the educational institutions in Groningen, but also stands for the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.'

'Besides the exciting yet challenging time when building the car at our Groninger office, we also took part in worldwide challenges. In 2021, me and the team participated in the Moroccan Solar Challenge, where we raced 2500km in five days, through the Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains, against other world-class solar racing teams. We spent six weeks in Agadir, where we trained and prepared for the race. 2500km and one hospital trip due to a scorpion sting later, we ended up in pole position, fastest slalom and figure-8, best brake test and overall 4th place in the race!'

Fields of interest

  • Language and Communication