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A valuable career path

Didi te Gussinklo Ohmann , Project Director

‘After graduating in Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology, I started as a Superintendent at Van Oord. Since then I have held various positions: from Superintendent to Works Manager and Project Manager. I have worked on several international projects. These include a port deepening project in Guatemala, a coastal protection project in Gambia, dredging a trench for a gas pipe in Australia and dredging a tunnel trench in South Korea for one of the deepest road tunnels in the world. The circumstances and the culture were varied in each case, which made it all the more interesting. If you show respect while having a clear objective, cultural differences can be bridged quite easily.’ 

150 wind turbines

‘At present, I am working for the Offshore Wind Projects business unit as a Project Director for the Gemini project. The park will be one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms. The wind farm is being built in the North Sea about 85 kilometres off the coast of the Province of Groningen. As balance of plant contractor, we are responsible for the design, procurement and construction of the entire wind farm and all electrical infrastructure, including an onshore high-voltage station, two offshore substations and all cables. For this projects we are deploying several vessels, including the Aeolus offshore installation vessel and the Nexus cable-laying vessel, which is still being built. The preparations were intense and particularly challenging. The execution of the project is now in full swing. It is due for completion in 2017 and the wind farm will then provide more than 785,000 households with sustainable energy. And in the end, that’s what we do it for!’

Team builder

‘I have put together a mixed team: junior and senior, various specialities and nationalities. I find it important to strike a good balance as regards experience. In this way, I can make the best use of the knowledge available within the various departments. The team now consists of more than one hundred people. As you are working and living together for a long period, a pleasant atmosphere is essential. I am surrounded by very driven people, and that’s contagious. As a Project Director, I always try to get the best out of people. I ensure that my team remains enthusiastic and has a clear goal. This means that everyone has to be flexible and has to adapt quickly and act accordingly. Although I never lose sight of the goal, I act instinctively to some extent. Thanks to years of work experience, this often proves successful.’

Varied and complex

‘As the dynamics of the interaction between water and land have always fascinated me, opting for this profession was a logical choice. Van Oord is one of the major international marine engineers carrying out very varied and complex projects. There is a great deal of in-house knowledge and experience and the employees have a wide range of growth and development opportunities. The diversity, the demonstrable result, the close cooperation and the enthusiasm of colleagues ensure a pleasant working environment. If you like to get to grips with a task, if you are flexible, if you have a feeling for the profession and you wish to develop your skills, then Van Oord is an excellent choice.’