“I am Pauls Tikmanis. I am Let by birth; I live in Breda and I study Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology (ESSET) at Avans in Breda. I am doing an internship at the Center of Expertise Biobased Economy for five months and this period is almost over. After this period I will start my graduation

In this internship I do theoretical and laboratory research into mycelium composites. These are composite materials made from fibers (agricultural residual flows) and the “roots” of mushrooms (mycelium). You have two variants that can be produced: a foam and a board material. These materials are tested for acoustic panels and insulation in homes.

My job is mainly to test the strength of the materials. What we mainly test in this is the composition (the recipe) of the mycelium composite. In combination with which raw materials, mycelium foam and board are the strongest.

What we have found is that mycelium grows best when some form of sugar, such as glucose, is added to it. Until now, cellulose has grown very well, but you also need long enough fibers to give strength to your material.

The great thing about this internship is that you have the opportunity to work individually, but that you can also work together and that you can always call for help. I would therefore wholeheartedly recommend this internship. The distance, a few times a week from Breda to Rosmalen, is tough. I’ve been on the road for over an hour. But the internship is very good. I learned a lot here.

I really like studying in the Netherlands. I have been in the Netherlands for five years now and I think it is very well organized here. Sometimes maybe a little too much, so that simple things take longer than they need to be. It was very easy for me to integrate. “

– February 2019

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