Michiel Joerink knows the processes in the food industry like no other. In VMEngineering he has found the employer where he can use his knowledge and skills about food processes, expand them and transfer them to the next generation of experts. The focus on nutrition, the possibilities of the Apeldoorn office and the general mentality of his colleagues, some of whom he already knew from the field, appealed to him. These were the decisive factors to move to his current role as Senior Process Engineer at VME, part of the NIRAS Group, a few months ago.
How would you describe your profession and role for clients?
I like to see my work as the translation of a customer question or request into a concrete and working installation. I mostly put it this way, they need me for the knowledge about the process that is needed to create the final product. This in combination with the knowledge about available technology that can play a role in this.
What is your background and how does it connect to what you are doing now?
During my study Bioprocess Technology, I was allowed to get a taste of the way several interesting companies worked, including a very well-known brewery. Eventually I graduated in the field of process engineering. Thanks to this, I have always been involved in the processes required to make food or beverages.
What I love about process engineering, or process technology, is that you are in contact with many of the other disciplines. In this you act as a kind of spider in the web of information, input and knowledge for the choices that need to be made at clients. That is also the greatest challenge of my work. It is sometimes difficult to maintain an overview, to keep the level of knowledge in sync and to do the processing of changes well on an issue, but if this eventually succeeds and the results are good, it immediately brings satisfaction to your work.
Why do you enjoy working for VMEngineering and what do you hope to find at the company in the future?
What appealed to me, besides the excellent mentality of the colleagues I already knew, was the fact that the company focuses on what I want to be in: The food industry. Because the entire company knows that this is what the company does best, we are already aligned. You don’t have to fight internally to be heard, because everyone quickly knows what you mean and that works very well.
I also think it’s great that the office in Apeldoorn has been added. Firstly, this is a great base for me when it comes to commuting, but also a great opportunity to be at the beginning of something new. Every place engenders a feeling and I am very excited to help shape this throughout the company.
This also applies to the transfer of knowledge to younger professionals, which I definitely want to contribute to. I have noticed that VME likes to focus on this and finds it very important that school-leavers or so-called starters can develop. This is of course also a personal need, since there is no specific training to be a Process Engineer in the food industry. Many entrants come from food technology or even from chemistry studies. Providing a trajectory in which these professionals learn the tricks of my trade is a must and I would like to be more involved in this over time.
Many trends and developments for VME and within the market
In addition to, for example; the Apeldoorn office, VMEngineering is developing even more in its own services and by becoming part of the Danish NIRAS It has even more possibilities within the Food & Beverage market.
Michiel Joerink sees trends within the market such as plant-based production. In addition, saving energy and raw materials remains an important subject that requires attention and will continue to do so for a while, he says.