‘I mainly work for the dredging and offshore departments’, states project leader Annelies Van de Sijpe, who has been working as an engineer for the Design Department for 8 years now. ‘Some projects are based on build contracts, where it is our job to investigate whether a certain design can be safely executed.’
Lately however, the Design Department is increasingly receiving wider requests, the so-called design and build contracts. ‘Those come from clients who want to realise a project and request us to help them think about the bigger picture: everything from feasibility and design to the actual execution. The considerable advantage Jan De Nul can offer here is that we can execute those projects ourselves and also provide maintenance at a later stage. From that point of view, this is an extremely future-oriented job.
About a year and a half ago, Jan De Nul won the contract to build a 21-turbine wind farm off the coast of Taiwan. This region is quite notorious for its many earthquakes, so in the meantime we have gathered a lot of knowledge relating to seismic studies. ‘We try to figure out the frequency and severity of earthquakes to be expected and assess their impacts on structures', explains Annelies.
The know-how acquired from the Taiwan project came in quite handy for the calculations for projects in the bay of Manila. 'It is a location where large quantities of sand are used as landfill for city expansions. Those new areas must be able to resist wave impact as well as the typhoons the region suffers from.’
These last few years, Jan De Nul has experienced a considerable broadening of its range of activities, creating quite a varied job content for the engineers. ‘Being an engineer in the Design & Engineering Department allows you to try and discover which fields of the industry suit you best. In addition, this is a company that's active all over the world. An engineering firm aiming for the Belgian market usually has very limited needs for seismological research, whereas here I have the opportunity to carry out elaborate studies on the subject. Moreover, you get opportunities to develop further by taking courses and trainings. For me, that versatility really is an added value.'
Article written in collaboration with Mediafin, De Tijd.
Text Filip Michiels
Pictures Studio Dann
Being an engineer in the Design & Engineering Department allows you to try and discover which fields of the industry suit you best.
Annelies Van de Sijpe
Project Leader Design & Engineering Department