Career story Gert-Jan van Kruijsbergen
"As long as there is technology in it!" Answers Gert-Jan (28), Constructor at ACE engineering & consultancy, when asked what kind of projects he prefers to carry out. He would like to add one more thing to this: "I enjoy applying new techniques, looking for something that does not yet exist. Building something from scratch, that's where the challenge lies for me. "
Gert-Jan is a Constructor. What do you do then? "As a constructor, you are primarily concerned with basic engineering, you think out the big picture. You encounter all kinds of technical problems and challenges and you try to solve them, with a team. You also come into contact with suppliers, you actually make all the connections. Purchasing, sales, production, drafters: I am the link between them. I am currently on a fairly small project, which is very nice, because then you go through the entire process. As always, I start with basic engineering, but now I also work out the details myself. I make drawings for the design and I prepare the purchasing specifications with a buyer. "
Gert-Jan has plenty of examples of projects. "For example, I've been working on cutter hood dredgers. These are boats with an installation that cuts material from the bottom and then sucks it up. For example, you can extract salt or deepen a channel. One such boat changed the choice of engine at the last minute, requiring the whole design to be revised: the boat became too small for the new components, and had to be redesigned. "
Study Mechanical Engineering
Gert-Jan studied mechanical engineering at HAN in Arnhem, an obvious choice. "I knew from an early age that I was going to do something technical. I was always technically minded and I also worked on mopeds, for example. I doubted for a long time between mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Ultimately it became mechanical engineering, because I thought variety was very important. I could find that more in mechanical engineering, which is very broad and can go in all directions. I have never regretted that choice. "
Gert-Jan first enjoyed a six-month holiday after his studies. "After that I had to do something. I ended up talking to ACE in Eindhoven via email. The first impression here was immediately good. When I was just home from that first meeting, I already received a call that there was interest. That interest was mutual, so then it went quickly. "So what's so interesting about ACE? "There is a lot of variety in the work at an engineering firm. You can do various activities here within the different business units, in my case within construction technology and industrial automation. That really appealed to me. "
The gap between study and practice was not too bad for Gert-Jan. "I had enough knowledge to get started right away. In the beginning I gained a lot of knowledge from colleagues, for example from the constructor who was above me at the time. It guided me very well. From ACE I have also followed various courses, such as shape & place tolerances and communication training. But you really learn the most by just starting something. If you run into something, ask your colleagues and look for a solution together. So you learn and work at the same time. "
Lots of variation due to different projects
ACE works on a project basis. "As I said, I need variety in my work. ACE's project base also helps with that. Here you have a nice variation between long and short projects. I have been with my current client, a shipbuilder, since 2013. I find shipbuilding interesting: I myself have a passion for cars and engines, so this also appeals to me. I always do different projects here, so the variety is also very great. For the time being, I am still enjoying myself here. Suppose I would like a different client, I can indicate this to ACE and we will respond quickly. "
Which project is Gert-Jan most proud of? "That's the development of a booster. Simply put, a booster increases the pump pressure of a dredge pump. For example, pumping distances can be extended, so that a dredger can work much more effectively. I was allowed to finish the last 20% of one booster and with the knowledge I gained I built a new booster from scratch. I managed a team, where I was responsible for the mechanical aspect. A project like that in which you are involved from the beginning, that is something of your own. "
Working at ACE
Gert-Jan is having a good time at ACE development & engineering. "The atmosphere is good here. That really stands out as something positive. You have quite young people here. Everyone is also open to each other in the office. Colleagues know where to find each other and easily visit each other. There are plenty of informal lines, even if you do not work at the head office in Eindhoven, but with a customer. If I want to know something, I often ask my colleagues via WhatsApp, for example. Others do the same to me. "
Gert-Jan does not yet know what the future will bring him. "Where do I want to be in five years? I haven't taken the time to think about it properly yet, but this question is also in ACE's personal development plan. "A personal development plan? "In the plan you indicate what you can do, what you cannot do, what you want to improve yourself in. It has been formulated by the employee himself: you provide input yourself. It may concern specific assignments or courses, or progress towards another position. ACE will then look at how they can help you with that. "
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