Jag fick jobb – Niklas och den svenska rymdduschen
Growing up in Genarp, a town of less than 3 000 people in southern Sweden, all Niklas Hummel wanted to be was a physicist. “I always dreamed of applying science to solve practical problems in everyday life,” he says. Today, he is developing a technology that might change the lives of millions of people.
Much like the legend of immortality attached to Nicolas Flamel, the fourteenth-century French alchemist, Niklas’s focus isthe “elixir of life.” But this new work is not about the fantasy elixir that enables you to live forever. Niklas’s elixir is the one that supports all life on Earth – water.
When he was about to graduate with a degree in engineering physics from the University of Lund, a friend introduced Niklas to a Swedish start-up company, Orbital Systems. A few months and a few interviews later, Niklas got a job as a data scientist.
Orbital has developed a shower that uses 90% less water than regular showers, based on a technology that astronauts use in space. After the water hits the drain in the shower, it is instantly purified and recirculated to the showerhead. The system also saves up to 80% of the energy usually needed to heat shower water, and it allows people to track their savings and consumption with an app.
Sweden technology jobs backed by EU bank
The savings and consumption are where Niklas comes in. “I use the collected data to design algorithms. I make sure everything works properly, as well as resolve specific issues that arise,” Niklas says.
“The work is sometimes stressful, but what makes everything worthwhile is that I get to be a part of a movement that wants to change the way people use water,” he says. “Water is such a precious resource and all of us have a responsibility to save it.”
The European Investment Bank backed Orbital with a € 15 million loan to increase production and step up research and development. The investment, supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, will create 70 jobs. The company plans to double this number of new jobs in the next few years.
Niklas’s job is one of millions created and supported by the European Investment Bank, the EU bank. By 2021, investments signed by the EIB Group in 2017 alone are expected to have raised EU GDP by 1.1% and to have created 1.2 million jobs. Even in 2036, there will still be a 0.7% increase in EU GDP as a result of the EIB's 2017 investments, as well as 650,000 extra jobs.
Orbital next hopes to bring down the price of the shower to make it affordable for developing countries where there are water shortages. “I am so grateful that my work has an actual impact in the world,” says Niklas, “but most of all, I feel great knowing I work for the good guys.”