Project "Who are we at InnoVentum?"

The InnoVentum Team with the Giraffe 2.0 (Lucas second from the right in the first row)

This is the third interview in a series "Who are we at InnoVentum?" of informal conversations with the InnoVentum Team members. Check out the first two interviews with Jacky Parkhouse and Julien Daligault.

Today our focus is on Lucas Gabrys – the person who has brought to life the Dalifant XX wooden tower, the Giraffe structure and most recently Solar PV Carport, who knows all InnoVentum’s creations to the last bolt and washer, who, together with Julien, organised and carried out multiple installations in Sweden and abroad (including the all-important COP22 installations!), who is dedicated and passionate about everything he does at InnoVentum, and who is always sharing his good mood and energy with us no matter what challenges the InnoVentum team faces!

Below you will find my interview with Lucas.

Introduction: Lucas Gabrys

Ala Kazlova (AK): Tell us a little bit about yourself – what is your background, family history, education, travels, interests in life – please make a small introduction.

Lucas Gabrys (LG): Born in France in June 1989, I spent the first 18 years of my life with my parents and sister in the North East of France, at the German border. Once graduated in 2007 with an A-level specialised in engineering, I moved to Metz (Moselle) for 2 years of preparation courses to study at an engineering school. Since I was a teenager, I was following my father working with plumbing, electricity, and construction work. He taught me the pleasure of creating things with my own hands, which raised my curiosity about construction technologies and architecture. In 2009, I joined the ENSTIB – Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Technologies et Industries du Bois - in Epinal (Vosges). This education allowed me to link my passion for construction and technologies to the fantastic material: timber!

In 2013, InnoVentum offered me to join their team for an internship during my last year at university. I discovered Sweden and fell in love with Malmö. Shortly after, I moved to Sweden and started working full time for InnoVentum.

During my leisure time, I enjoy mountain biking, going out with friends, skiing in the Alps, travelling/discovering new places. Speaking about travelling, in 2012 I had the opportunity to travel around the world! I did an internship with a timber house company in Melbourne, Australia, after which I visited Sydney and the Fiji islands; and then flew all the way to New York to join my friends for a road trip along the East Coast of the USA all the way down to the Key Islands. This short but intense trip was my best travel experience so far!

Lucas in Sydney in 2012

Working at InnoVentum

Lucas on site at the COP22

AK: When did you join InnoVentum?

LG: As mentioned above, I joined InnoVentum in April 2013 for a 6 month internship during my last year at the university. After that, I went back to France for a few months to finish my studies and graduate. Then, I came back to Sweden to work for InnoVentum with a fixed-term contract, which has quickly become a permanent position.

AK: Why did you decide to join InnoVentum?

LG: People with the specialisation in wood engineering, like myself, are most often employed designing buildings and other constructions that are pretty standard, which I think would have made me bored quite quickly! I was really excited about the challenge to develop unique wooden structures for wind turbines and solar panels, so I joined InnoVentum.

I also decided to be part of the company because of the good spirit of the team, exciting projects, and I was keen to contribute to the renewable energy sector.


AK: What is it that you like about your job at InnoVentum?

LG: No routine: Every day is different. With new challenges, which give me no time to get bored!

Diversity of the work: Since InnoVentum is a young company; there are lots of various projects going on within the company. From CAD and calculations for the product development, to the installations on site, via the supplier relationship, setting up site management etc.

Knowledge transfer: Everyone in the company has different skills, we constantly share our knowledge. Thus, I’m learning and discovering a lot on new fields like energy management, electricity installations, as well as various business aspects.

AK: What would you like to improve in the future?

LG: Finding a way to be more efficient with the installations, accumulate more experience, bring improvements to the products, strengthen our supply chain – and many more things!


AK: A couple of words about the team at InnoVentum - please share your thoughts.

LG: Personally, I consider the InnoVenTEAM more like my “Swedish family”. We all come from different horizons, various countries with diverse cultures. It is really interesting to share our experiences and take the time to discuss out-of-work situations. The atmosphere in the team is really good, and we are helping each other as much as possible.


AK: What are your top 3 biggest achievements at InnoVentum?

LG: #1 – After working for months on the computer to design and elaborate a structure, it is always really exciting to see it in real life with the first prototype. This was the case for the Giraffe 2.0, the Dalifant and more recently the Solar PV Carport.

#2 – The project and installation in Marrakesh - Morocco - for the COP22.

#3 – As one of the first things I’ve done at InnoVentum, I was in charge of 22 students for their summer internship.

Lucas at the Dalifant installation site

Proust Questionnaire

AK: Now we’ve learnt about your role at InnoVentum, it is time to reveal some aspects of your personality (in a playful light-hearted way, of course)! Please answer some questions of the Proust Questionnaire:

(The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlour game popularised (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.)

Lucas with his mother hiking in the north of Sweden

AK: 1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

LG: I think perfect happiness doesn’t exist. For me, it is an everyday work to stay happy, and really important to share your happiness with others.


AK: 2. What is your greatest fear?

LG: To lose someone whom I really care about.


AK: 3. Which living person do you most admire?

LG: Richard Branson


AK: 4. What is your greatest extravagance?

LG: I am not really an extravagant person.


AK: 5. When and where were you happiest?

LG: I always feel happy when I go back to visit my family and friends in France, I was really happy when my goddaughter was born, when I was hiking for 5 days with my mom in the north of Sweden, and now I’m really happy to live in Malmö.


AK: 6. Which talent would you most like to have?

LG: Reading people’s minds. This must be fascinating and scary at the same time ☺


AK: 7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

LG: Taking a bit more time for myself.


AK: 8. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

LG: My trip around the world was a really good experience! I met a lot of people and this journey has opened my mind.

Lucas at the Times Square in New York
Lucas skiing in the Alps

AK: 9. What is your favourite occupation?

LG: Going around the city, biking in the forest, watching series.


AK: 10. What is your most marked characteristic?

LG: Ability to enjoy life


AK: 11. What do you most value in your friends?

LG: The fact that I can count on them and that they know it’s mutual!


AK: 12. Who are your favourite writers?

LG: Dan Brown, Bernard Werber.


AK: 13. Who is your hero of fiction?

LG: Iron-man (Tony Stark)


AK: 14. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

LG: Leonardo da Vinci


AK: 15. What is your motto?

LG: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” - Albert Einstein


AK: Great! Thank you very much Lucas.

A design for a flying machine by Leonardo da Vinci (1488), Institut de France, Paris