René’s Challenge

René’s Challenge: The human touch in engineering

  • 30 April 2019
  • 5 min

René van der Pluijm became a member of the ICT Group family after the takeover of his former employer Nozhup, an industrial system engineering company. Nowadays, René is a hands-on project leader for large scale infra projects, a principal consultant for several clients and a manager for the teams he works with.


“Something ICT Group does really well,” René says, “is keeping a flexible mindset where normally a big company tends to become unwieldy. Staying flexible allows ICT Group to truly deploy its human capital. It also explains why ICT is leading in their field: ICT Group sees change as an opportunity. Colleagues learn from each other and the projects that are done company-wide. For example, when I attended the IA Knowledge Event that was organised by ICT Group last November, I was struck by the fact that ICT Group is truly the trailblazers of smarter technology, they are the change.”


René loves his job, especially the engineering part of it. “That’s why I enjoy being a project manager so much. Being on the floor helps me keep my knowledge up to date. I’m curious to find out how things work. Why is that installation designed the way it is? It’s great to learn how much thought was put into it, technology will make life easier when it’s done right. When you understand the impact of engineering on a production line, you will build a better factory for your client. Why do we put these installations in a tunnel? ‘Because they also went into the last tunnel we built’ is not a satisfying answer in my book. I want to know everything there is to know.”

“At ICT Group we see change as an opportunity.”

Challenge yourself

So René enjoys a good challenge, getting a project on its feet and have it run like clockwork. “I look back on many interesting projects over the course of my career, each one challenging in a different way. The projects, the new sea lock at Ijmuiden, the completion of the A4 highway between Delft and Schiedam, and the wind energy supply chain issue on the German part of the North Sea, are all ambitious and challenging projects. Nothing is impossible. You are encouraged to think ahead and to grow intellectually and practically. Just challenge yourself.”

René’s challenge:

The world’s largest sea lock is currently being built in IJmuiden in the Netherlands. The lock exceeds the size of the locks in the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal. Ambitious? Certainly. But it’s a sheer necessity in order to ensure that the Port of Amsterdam remains accessible for large container vessels and cruise ships. And to create a water barrier that stops the sea during storms in order to guarantee the safety of millions of people.

ICT Group has a wide variety of projects. “For every project applies that you connect people, goals and solutions. The key to success lies in human cooperation.” Sometimes, it is necessary to fulfil projects close to the client by working in their office. Other projects are on realization locations. It gives a lot of variety: no day is the same. However, it’s also possible that you work from one of the ICT offices. There are offices all over the country: from Barendrecht to Eindhoven and from Maastricht to Groningen.

René, working on the sea lock at IJmuiden: “Unsafe situations must never arise, under any circumstance whatsoever. The economic and public interests are simply too large. This is the reason why we predict possible failures. What can possibly go wrong, and how can it be prevented? We think of all possibilities in advance, and test all possible situations just as extensively as in a normal situation.”

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