How Helix Plan (Formerly Hansoft) United SOLID’s Teams to Help Them Revolutionize Sustainability

SOLID’s team of 25 diverse students from Eindhoven University of Technology is building a better future. Their goal –– to develop a sustainable energy storage system.

To accomplish their goal, they were going to create something never seen before. They needed to unite their multidisciplinary team to manage the unknowns of planning. Because everyone needed access to the project in order to build and communicate their invention. This is where Helix Plan (formerly Hansoft) stepped in.


Connect Teams

By increasing visibility across disciplines.

Break Down Tasks

To better manage technical development.


Analyze Risks

For focused experimentation.

[Helix Plan] is a really user friendly tool that gives you an overview of all the tasks in your project. Every member of SOLID can access it and see what is happening at any time.


SOLID + Sustainability 

SOLID’s solution for renewable energy lies within metal powders. These powders are compact, free from emissions, and can scale to meet future energy demands. Harnessing this power could revolutionize the energy industry.

How Does Solid Plan to Do It?

They are building a system to store energy in iron powder, and then extract that energy. They start with a pile of rust powder (iron oxide). By adding renewable energy, this rust powder can be converted to iron powder. The resulting iron powder can be stored for prolonged periods of time. And it can be transported around the globe.

Iron Powder

When energy is needed, the iron powder is combusted. No carbon dioxide is released. After combustion, the iron powder is converted back into rust powder. Then it can be ‘charged’ again. This circular process provides maximum reusability.

Innovating a system to charge, store, and combust metal powders requires experimenting and managing dependent processes. Every one of SOLID’s team members needed be aware of results to plan the next step.

MS Projects Created Barriers

SOLID’s team consists of several sub teams. And in the beginning they managed using MS Projects. But this tool was really designed just for a project manager. It was complicated and difficult for other team members to use.

They needed a tool that could help the entire team reach ambitious goals in limited time frame. It needed to give fast and accurate project information, because marketing and financial teams needed to know what the technical teams were up to. And the technical experts needed to adjust timelines based on results.

The lack of visibility, and difficulty members had using the tool, broke down communication.

Issues Managing Risks

With MS Projects, SOLID was limited to just planning a project. But construction involved many interconnected components. They needed to make an inventory of the risks, and be able to adjust timelines accordingly.

Helix Plan United Teams

From technical teams to marketing, to financial and planning, everyone needed to know what was going on. Plus, they needed a user interface that everyone knew and could adapt quickly.

With Helix Plan, SOLID was able to:

Plan for the Unknowns

Building a burner for iron powders is an innovative process which entails many uncertainties . Technical expertise were brought in to help conquer big challenges.

And with Helix Plan, timelines could easily be adjusted. Time bars could be shifted and edited without worrying about dependent tasks. This is because Helix Plan automatically would adjust those tasks, and the deadlines. 

Capitalize on Technical Achievements

Marketing teams now could see what the technical teams were doing. They could understand what was happening in the project at a glance. Because Helix Plan is so user friendly, everyone could use it with ease.

This allowed the marketing team to write press releases, LinkedIn posts, and solicit PR easier. It helped them raise awareness for this new way of storing energy for applications at a large scale.

What’s Next for SOLID?

When this team started out, they stored enough energy to brew coffee and bake an egg. With this beta test mastered, they are looking to amplify their impact. They want to create a system to support industrial energy needs.

SOLID’s team plans to work with Swinkels Family Brewers –– formally known as Bavaria Brewery –– in the Netherlands, to fuel their beer production. From there, they are looking at what it takes to drive a container ship on an iron powder combustion engine.


The future looks brighter, and more sustainable, with SOLID. And to manage their technical teams, marketing department, and potential investors, they can rely on Helix Plan.

Innovate Faster With Helix Plan

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