Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wavin celebrates technology and innovation on the Day of the Engineer

The month of April casts a spotlight on the best and the brightest – our engineers. On April 5th, the world celebrated the global Day of the Engineer and on April 19th, the Royal Institiute of Engineers (KIVI) in the Netherlands celebrates its own Day of the Engineer. At Wavin, we are proud of our forward-thinking technology experts and innovators. Today, we present: Geertjo van Dijk from Wavin Group.

So, you studied Civil Engineering at the Technische University in Delft - and you ended up as European Product Manager Storm Water Management at Wavin Group. Can you tell us a bit more about what your job entails?

As European product manager, I am responsible for the portfolio of Storm Water Management products in Europe. In practice, this means I am regularly in contact with the SWM product managers in the countries we work. I support them with the knowledge we have centrally, I connect people with each other to exchange products and product information that are locally produced and I manage the innovation. Innovation means development of new products for the European market.

How does your engineering degree help you in your daily job?

The job description may sound more like an industrial design or mechanical engineer job. Well, it sometimes tends to be and that widens my perspective and makes me learn every day. At the same time, as Civil Engineer with a Master’s degree in water resource management, I know perfectly well what this market is about. Also, I think like an engineer, and as a result, communication with product design engineers as well as planners is easier than for a non-engineer.

Storm Water Management

What is the project that you've worked on that you're most proud of?

Currently I am working on the development of a new product. Once that is introduced, then I may be proud. I can’t say much more about it.
Last year we did a customer insight project. We did customer interviews and workshops, with engineers, planners, municipalities, contractors throughout Europe – to gather their thoughts on what they consider important in the below ground water management. This was about trends, problems, needs, products. That was very interesting and fun to do! Countries do have a lot in common, but also many of their own peculiarities.

Can you share some key insights on what you've recently learned on storm water management issues?

Even though SWM is about civil engineering, it is often dominated by perception. For example, many people still believe concrete solutions are the only reliable way to solve water management problems. On the contrary, in many cases plastic is more durable and more sustainable.

Can you share the latest innovation in plastic water management systems? 

Our latest innovation is the Q-Bic Plus. That is a revolution in the infiltration and attenuation business. With the Q-Bic Plus, we create buffer volume for rainwater. That concept has been around for a few decades. But the Q-Bic Plus is at least 2 times faster to install, resulting is less disruption to the environment (traffic, homes) and in lower installation costs. It is more inspectable than any other product on the market, making it easy to verify and maintain its reliability now and in the future. The product gives a lot of freedom in the design of infiltration or attenuation tank, allowing a solution for pretty much every project specific conditions. If you ask me about the long term innovation, we’ll see that our passive storm water systems will get smarter and smarter. So. more exciting things are still to come.

Wavin Q-bics in the Wavin Academy. Plan a visit you can hear more about our solutions.

Handy man

Are you a handy man at home as well? Can you share one of your home projects?

I do like to play with a hammer or a screwdriver in and around the house. For example I made my own brick terrace and I made a trapeze on my attic.

A trapeze? At work, or at play, Wavin engineers are always up to something interesting! We would like to thank Geertjo for partaking in this interview, in honour of the Day of the Engineer. And to all our engineers, technology experts and innovators at Wavin, we thank you.

For more information on our rainwater management solutions, please contact your local Wavin office and, for the latest Wavin news, follow us on Facebook.