“Connecting with people, drinking Italian coffee, watching football and tango dancing”

Geel, Belgium: the alarm goes off at 7 a.m. Time for breakfast with my two sons Stijn and Koen: stewed apples I picked myself with oats. Once they have gone, I jump in the car. It is an hour’s drive to Genk-Waterschei. I don’t do it every day, because I also have meetings with clients or take the train and a rented bike from the station to go to our satellite office in Berchem, which is a great base for meetings with colleagues or clients.

By the way, did you know I am part of a pilot project (Highwise, red.) for VITO/Energyville? We are testing an automatic log system for car-pooling with colleagues.

Opening doors

As a Business Developer, I try to open doors to bring researchers into contact with businesses that have a specific need for R&D expertise. That is why I have a promising meeting this morning with a delegation from a major Belgian telecoms player. VITO will be presenting the AcceleraTor Programme to bring research ideas to the market faster. I’m excited to see how it turns out!

Improvised lunch

At Energyville we eat our lunch in the kitchen-canteen. This is a temporary thing, because there will be eateries and sandwich bars opening in the next six months in the main building of the mine site in Genk-Waterschei.

Better than George Clooney

After lunch I help a new colleague, Serge, with a registration and we have a meeting to discuss the brochures with a group that includes Davide, a colleague who has brought Italian coffee pads. The coffee is excellent, even better than George Clooney’s.

Today I get home at 18:30. That is really early by my standards, but there is a reason for it: tomorrow morning I am taking the early plan to Barcelona with my younger son Koen. We are going to the Camp Nou football stadium for the Copa del Rey match between FC Barcelona and Hércules. I can’t wait!*


So do I still have time for a hobby? You bet I do. Our neighbours have been Argentinean tango specialists for thirty years. They have converted a former pigsty in our street into a cosy dance barn: El Granja. My husband and I take Argentinean tango lessons. I love it: for a few hours we feel like we are really in Buenos Aires!

* It was worth it: the result was 7-0.