How does your work at Parkwind compare to your previous work?
I worked for a very large utility company before. I didn’t really feel the real impact of my job on a day-to-day basis and the overall goal of the company. I was active in the offshore wind industry and Parkwind was an established name, especially in Belgium. There was a function at Parkwind that spurred my interest so I applied.
I could immediately see Parkwind is different. We don’t need to go to another department somewhere on another floor or in another city to ask questions. We can just go to the coffee machine and ask, “Hey, what do you think about this?”, and then people just give an answer. We don’t need a business case for every small design choice that we need to make. It makes us very agile, which makes the process very efficient. You can just speak to each other and get things sorted. If you decide something, the next day it’s implemented. That’s one thing that keeps us on the edge.
How has your role evolved?
I started as a package lead in charge of the turbines for a specific project. The position evolved quite rapidly. I was given a chance to take over as a team lead of the turbine technology team. I make sure that the right people are staffed on the right project. I also safeguard the knowledge of how to build wind turbines, how to do the project management, and how to how to pick the best technology.
What is life like at Parkwind?
It’s a young company. It’s very active. It’s very dynamic. On the project side of things, it evolves very rapidly. You constantly have to interact with your colleagues and make things work quite quickly. At the end of the day, we’re building power plants and we’re doing that with a very young group of people. They’re smart people, they know what they’re doing, and we have the managers to talk to. But at the end of the day, I really feel that that we are given a lot of responsibility as a young group of engineers to build multimillion euro power plants just like that out in the sea. It’s quite empowering to realize the impact that you’re doing on the scale of the large infrastructure for a country.
I like my job. I don’t really think about standing still. It’s growing. It’s active. The projects move forward, we need to close projects, we need to solve some serious challenges on some projects. It gives me a lot of energy to be in that in that flow. The train is moving forward, you jump on it, and you need to make sure it keeps going.
How is your work rewarding?
Our projects are like our children. They take 2-3 years to build and it’s rewarding to go offshore and stand with your feet on a turbine that you have managed. When I was visiting Northwester 2 after the construction, I could stand on the turbines and see we did a good job.
We’re so proud of what we realize. What really gives me the energy to go to work every day is knowing that we’re working as hard as we can on being part of the future and, at the end of the day, decarbonizing the world.
Belgium as a country as an absolute forerunner in offshore wind. The first Belgian windfarms were some of the first worldwide, and today Belgium is the number four country in the world in terms of installed capacity with offshore wind. We are participating in global growth in offshore wind and offshore renewable energies. That is really what keeps me at Parkwind – knowing that we’re part of this bigger picture. We’re part of a long-term plan. The EU has plans until 2050. By then I’ll be retiring and happy to see that we realized hundreds of megawatts.