The coronavirus pandemic prompted one pharmaceutical company to look for a new solvent tank for its COVID-19 vaccine.
Project engineer, Peter Bijman: “Walking through production helps me understand why I do it”
Nine out of ten is just not good enough: it should always be better. Peter Bijman, senior project engineer at Gpi is a paradigm of perfectionism. 22 years ago, Peter was looking for a new job as a engineer in the manufacturing industry. When he first applied, Gpi was still too small to offer such a role, but only six months later Peter was exactly the right person Gpi was looking for.
Once an order has been received for a tank, the ‘engineering’ team is assigned a project so that its design details can be fully worked out before going to production.
Peter is the senior project engineer of this team. As part of his job he makes sure designs are technically up to standard and approved and that the right materials are available to start production.
Peter explains why he decided to join Gpi: “I wanted to work in manufacturing, so that I could see the results of what I was doing. Our offices are right next to the production hall, so I regularly take a walk around. I see everything first hand and so can understand for myself why I’m doing it.”
The team’s ‘fount of wisdom’
With his long years of experience, he is a walking encyclopaedia, the team’s ‘fount of wisdom’. Peter is not only happy to help younger colleagues develop their skills, but clients too, both regularly seek out his expert advice if they have questions about their products or projects. Peter draws inspiration from actively listening to clients’ needs and creating well-designed tanks on the basis of a datasheet. He does not have the ambition to be team manager however: “I’ve been temporary manager on a number of occasions, but I much prefer the technical side of things. That’s my forte.”
As to the question as what he would still like to learn over the coming years, Peter responds: “Less work. The company is expanding rapidly and we are always busy, so there are always too few hours in the week. I sometimes find myself sending emails at 3 in the morning because there’s something we might forget or can improve with a good idea. Fortunately, I have a happy and stable home life, but in five years’ time I hope I’ll be working less, as well as enjoying the fantastic products we make a little bit more.”
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