The SolarButterfly project would not exist in its current form without the help that the students and professors of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts provided to Louis Palmer. In our next Partner Feature, you will learn how exactly HSLU has been involved in the project.

“More than 50 students have been involved or are involved so far” – told us Stephen Wittkopf, who is responsible for knowledge and innovation transfer as well as international relations at HSLU. “They do it as bachelor theses, industrial, practical or social projects. Each of them individually (after all, they need their individual grades and credits), but nevertheless united in a team through this large interdisciplinary project.”

Stephen Wittkopf has been involved since the very beginning and helped Louis develop the concept. He has been bringing him together with the right people from the university ever since. Students work on many aspects of the project, from engineering through interior design to communications. And SolarButterfly became a practical part of the education of the participating students.

“It started with Mechanical Engineering for the basic construction” – said Stephen Wittkopf. “Then came Interior Design with the interior concept. Now the Building Technology course was added, because it is increasingly about the integration of energy systems. Other aspects will follow, and with them other courses of study, even outside our department. I’m grateful that our course directors are so interested in participating.”

Mutually beneficial partnership

This is great for our project for many reasons. Firstly, Louis Palmer, the founder of SolarButterfly said that he “was very happy to cooperate with Hochschule Luzern. To give the future generation of engineers the opportunity to contribute to a better future by developing the SolarButterfly.”  Secondly, thanks to HSLU, SolarButterfly can utilize the help and support of dozens of young, talented and motivated professionals. They come with great fresh ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm, which is backed by the expertise and coordination of their supervising professors. All this without adding heavy financial burdens on the project. And there are benefits to the university as well. As Stephen Wittkopf mentions:

“I see three advantages. First, we can build on our strengths. Interdisciplinarity and energy are traditionally very important topics to us. With this project we can further develop their implementation with other departments of our university. The university can also develop further in the transfer of knowledge and innovation. We are strengthening our cooperation with the industry and the public and learning to move forward together through transfer. And thirdly, we also have an advantage in the area of international relations. Because when the Solar Butterfly travels around the world in the next few years, our name will also travel with it and maybe bring us a few students from all over the world.”

Education is always key

The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts with all the students, professors and other professionals have been strategic partners since the beginning. And SolarButterfly is extremely proud to have this partnership. The involvement of HSLU, one of the leading universities of Switzerland has been a great experience. Moreover, essential for the SolarButterfly to become an important existing project from an ambitious idea of Louis Palmer.


Watch the video of Stephen Wittkopf here. And follow the adventures of the SolarButterfly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Check out our other Partner Features too: LONGi

Learn more about HSLU on their website: