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Rimac People on Record: Elizabeta Žalac

04 September, 2020

What do you do at Rimac?
As a Battery Thermal Systems member, lately, I’ve been working with battery cooling fluids. My goal is to find the best solution for cooling the battery packs, as this can significantly improve battery pack performance. There is a lot of benchmarking, communication with manufacturers, testing, and calculation.
The second part of my job is to take care of all design verification tests for one of the projects that we are currently working on. There is a massive amount of tests that need to be performed to produce the best battery pack. For this specific project, I’m preparing everything for the evaluation of the cooling on a single module during a few Nurburgring driving cycles, then checking material compatibility between several new materials that we plan to use, working on thermal runaway tests and much more.

What do you love the most about your job?
The best part for me is the opportunity to learn every day. I’ve learned so much in the last 2,5 years. I like the dynamic in our department: the rush, many deadlines, new projects every few months. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, but I’d always take this over projects with slow progress.

What is your previous experience, and how long have you been in Rimac?
I’ve been in Rimac for 2.5 years. Before that, I worked as a Mechanical Engineer in the Croatian high-tech startup Bellabeat, which was a part of the famous Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator. Their most known product was Leaf – a health and wellbeing tracker in the form of smart jewelry. I was proud to be a part of this company.

How do you keep up with market news? What do you read/watch?
I like to watch Robert Llewellyn’s Fully Charged shows on YouTube, which focus on electric vehicles and renewable energy. Generally, YouTube is my primary source of exciting findings.

What’s your take on the future of battery systems?
I expect the new battery technologies to be developed with a lower environmental impact than lithium-ion and with lower manufacturing costs while having the potential to power a smartphone for several days or provide a 1000km range. In the long term, I hope to see materials for battery chemistry extracted directly from nature, from renewable energy sources.

What drives you?
Everything related to self-sustainability. From self-sustainable houses and gardens to the farms and even whole self-sustainable communities in a smaller form. I’ve been reading a lot on this topic lately.

And what do you drive?
A bicycle! I’m planning to get a new Greyp G6. I test-rode it, and it’s amazing. I can’t wait to ride it again!

What technology does the world miss in 2020 to make our lives better?
It would be good to have the Star Trek replicator – a machine for creating and recycling things. Not only for food but also for shelter, energy, transportation, especially for developing countries.

Favorite way to spend free time? Any hobbies?
I’m a scuba diver, so if I’m not underwater, you can find me hiking in the mountain.

Your kind of a superhero?
Anthony Bourdain. The man traveled around the world, trying all kinds of delicious food for a living. Traveling and eating are the best things in life.

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