Until the early 2000s, chemists had little chance of a career in the automotive industry. However, chemistry is playing an important role in the transition to electric mobility, as demonstrated by the story of Tim Dagger, who has been working on lithium-ion technology since 2012.
In recent years, chemistry has become increasingly important in the automotive industry, thanks to the growth of electric mobility. Tim Dagger made his first contacts in the car industry during his Master’s in Business Chemistry, writing his doctoral thesis in cooperation with Audi at the Battery Research Center MEET in Münster.
His research was on lithium-ion cells – the same technology he has been working on since 2012, and one of the future fields in automotive engineering. “When I see one of our e-cars on the road, I get the feeling that this is the beginning of something really big,” says a proud Tim.
The Center of Excellence in Salzgitter
Tim has been developing battery cells at the Center of Excellence in Salzgitter since 2018. “When I heard about the Center of Excellence for Battery Cells, I was enthusiastic. It’s a huge opportunity, and I wanted to be part of it from the very beginning,” explains Tim.
Since its inception almost three years ago, the Center at Volkswagen Group Components has grown to around 300 employees. The experts operate a pilot production line, develop innovative cell prototypes, and manage projects with cell suppliers.
The supercells of the future
A joint venture between the Volkswagen Group and Northvolt AB is preparing the way for series production of lithium-ion cells. “I find it impressive how much Volkswagen is investing in battery technology and how it is taking a pioneering role as an automotive group in lithium-ion cell production in Germany.”
Tim is currently working on the chemistry of future lithium-ion cells. “We are trying to develop a powerful, cost-effective, sustainably produced supercell,” says the expert, whose knowledge is also in demand for today’s car construction. That’s because converting entire factories to electric mobility requires experts who are familiar with the properties of batteries.
The role of China
China is one of the pioneers of e-mobility, and the Volkswagen Group is also working there on the further development of battery cells. In the future, Tim would like to take advantage of the international opportunities offered by the Group to work temporarily for Audi China in Beijing.
“In China, e-mobility is much more advanced. Much of what is coming is already part of everyday life there. I would like to experience that and learn from my impressions,” he says - although he will have to wait a bit longer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shaping the future
Currently Tim spends a large part of working life at his desk in his home office, just like his colleagues. “We are a young team and are all burning for the cause. I am happy to be part of an industry that is changing mobility. What we do will have a worldwide impact, because the leverage of the Volkswagen Group is enormous. I am proud that I can make a contribution.”
Volkswagen is evolving, with the aim of becoming a leader in electric and digital mobility services. That’s why the company is recruiting experts and talents for future fields such as battery development, software development and UX design – a job at Volkswagen Group means helping to shape the mobility of the future.
Source: Volkswagen AG