Project Engineer, Daan: 'The great thing about my job is being able to work with customers to design the best solutions’

Daan Sterkenburg is one of our project engineers who, together with an enthusiastic team of engineers, translate customer preferences into detailed 3D designs. After studying mechanical engineering, he spent a few years in the coating industry, where he worked as a mechanical engineer in an R&D department. However, he wanted to further develop his skills, and decided to join Gpi De Gouwe in 2019.

At Gpi, Daan is responsible for designing stainless steel tanks and processing equipment in accordance with the customer’s preferences. His main activities are not restricted to just drawing work and calculations. He also serves a temporary point of contact for customers once the design process for tanks or processing lines has started; is responsible for procuring components (incl. engines); compiles work drawings for specific components which are produced in-house; and closely monitors the identified deadlines. “I enjoy my job so much because my activities vary greatly and I like the challenge of working with customers to create the best solutions” explains our friendly and helpful colleague. However, he is honest enough to admit that it can also be a hectic job at times, although this is easily outweighed by positive aspects of his job.

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Knowledge & innovation
The job of engineer at Gpi De Gouwe does not only involve performing activities directly for customers. “Gpi places great emphasis on innovation, so you are also encouraged to think outside the box. And that gives me the opportunity to put my creativity to good use” explains Daan enthusiastically. “Every engineer in the engineering team is given the time and opportunity to specialise in a particular product or component. For instance, I am currently trying to improve existing ribbon blenders and am learning more about agitator technology.” Daan is keen to add that Gpi also organises internal know-how sessions – where expertise in a particular domain (for example, hygienic design) is shared between engineers and with other colleagues – and self-study courses, which automatically encourage engineers to develop their personal talents. “Each colleague plays a role and that is another thing that makes Gpi such a great company to work for” says Daan.

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Perfectly compatible processing equipment
Daan also appreciates how Gpi fully believes in the produced and designed tanks and processing lines. Customer satisfaction is high, and that is also a priority for Gpi. “Before we start creating a design, we always listen carefully to the wishes of our customers. We do not always like producing designs based on information from a data sheet. We prefer customers propose a specific challenge, such as: ‘I want toe make mayonnaise and need the required processing equipment’. This allows us to work with customers to create the perfect design, because no two applications are the same.” he adds.

For the time being, Daan finds his work challenging enough and still has plenty of things to learn. “The flexibility I am given, and the pleasant atmosphere within the company, also makes me feel at home at Gpi!”

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