Head of team Companies, department Waste and Materials Management at OVAM

What was your position at VITO and what is your current job?

After graduating as a bio-engineer Environmental Technology I started at VITO in 1989 as a researcher, my first real job. I mainly worked on research projects for the government, such as the Flemish CO2/REG policy and the MIRAS report.

In 2000 I made the move to OVAM where I worked within the support and information centre for the prevention of waste. The variety and dynamism of this job is what I missed at VITO. At VITO, the focus of my projects was more on the scientific aspects, while I like to step into the reality of things and really create businesses. At OVAM I initially worked on the awareness creation to prevent waste and thereafter I advanced to my current position as the Head of the team Companies. I am, among other things, responsible for the SME performance and ecodesign in which we mainly provide support to businesses. 

How has your position at VITO influenced your further career?

When I was applying for a job, the fact that I had worked at VITO was a very convincing CV item and I guess it still is, especially in the waste and recycling sector. The network that I had built up inside and outside VITO was also very useful. I was in contact with companies and I knew the specialists at VITO personally. As an engineer with close ties to the scientific world, I was well placed to build a network of companies at OVAM. Today, I still follow the evolutions at VITO and it is nice to still be involved in VITO via e.g. the Ecolizer, our ecodesign tool.

What are your best memories of VITO?

Of course ‘the colleagues’. It was such a nice group. The atmosphere was very open, without having to go into competition with each other. Back then we made time for a joint coffee break in which information was exchanged spontaneously and we also got to know each other personally. We even organised parties with different research groups. The atmosphere was really good.

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