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At the controls: Willem Thissen

New edition of our website column. Today at the controls: Willem Thissen, formerly branch manager in Veenendaal and now a very satisfied pensionado who has not stopped working. On the contrary...

Name: Willem Thissen
Age: 69
Residence: Barneveld
Marital status: Married to Jolanda, father of Jeroen and Sabine, grandfather of Jack and Tobin
Function at Powerspex: Senior project engineer

at the controls willem thissen powerspex veenendaal

Since when have you been working at Powerspex and how did you end up there?

"I worked for Beldick Automation, which was sold to Powerspex in 2017. To my delight, I might add. It was better for the atmosphere anyway - and for more things. Until 2020, I was in Veenendaal what is now called branch manager. In 2021 I retired but so did not stop working. It took a while, but I managed to reduce my work to three days a week."

How do you like your new role?

"Fine. Hans Hiemstra took over my duties. He now does the hard stuff and I do the fun stuff, I've been saying ever since. I no longer stress about personnel or clients. I now occupy myself with advice on new projects, coaching new people, purchasing materials and with some more old Beldic projects. All things I enjoy doing."

Would you recommend working at Powerspex to others?

"Yes, I certainly do. What attracts me is the atmosphere and the fun in the work. At Powerspex, it is not the revenue model that comes first and only then the staff, but the other way around. And we now work in a beautifully renovated building. Everything is new and bigger and all in the same area as before. I work there with great pleasure."

What is so interesting about your job?

"The variety. Every day is different. At the beginning of the day, I have a schedule that is constantly being adjusted. I often get interrupted at my desk. That won't sound like fun to everyone, but I have absolutely no problem with it. Although occasionally working through the day is nice too..."

When is a project a success for you?

"If within the deadline the project is delivered within budget. But really most of all when the customer is satisfied."

Who is your favorite colleague? And your favorite customer?

"I get along with everyone and I can't choose. I really can't."

If you hadn't been a project engineer, what profession would you have wanted to be in?

"Tricky. I love traveling, photography and nature. I would have liked to combine those things in a profession. So organizer of nature trips, or something like that. Although: I would also have liked to work in mechanical engineering instead of electrical engineering. In retrospect, I would have found that a nice study too, something broader."

Do you take your work home with you? Be honest: what is controlled by a PLC in your home?

"Nowadays I don't take my work home with me. In the '80s I did, designing circuit boards until late at night. Later that became less, but my work keeps bubbling up all the time and everywhere. The best ideas come at night; that's when solutions spring to mind.
And as for those PLCs: I don't have any in my house. Lots of electronics, though."

What do you do in your spare time?

"I like to bike and hike in nature and I like taking pictures. I prefer to go to the Veluwe, near here. In addition, I have a passion for traveling. I've been halfway around the world and I want to keep doing that. In February I'm going to New Zealand for a month."

Now for the question your predecessor in this column William van Velsen came up with for you, "What is your vision for Powerspex? What would you like the company to look like in 10 years?"

"I would like to see Powerspex do the same as it is doing now, but bigger. Even more multidisciplinary projects. What we do, we do well but it can grow even more. Not in terms of disciplines, mind you; there are plenty of those. Powerspex is already doing well in many areas and as far as I'm concerned, that can be expanded further."

You may now think of a new question for whoever is at the controls after you.

"What do you get energy from at Powerspex? Me from all my work, but you?"


At the controls

At the Buttons is the website section of Powerspex. Every month, a Powerspex employee takes place behind the purpose-built control cabinet. With each push of a button, a question appears on the screen to which he must give an honest answer. Pressed the buttons, posted an interview? Then the name of the interviewee is immortalized on the control box. When all the employees have been there, the cupboard is full. But that will take a while...

Today Willem Thissen took places behind the switchboard.

In previous editions, these were

William van Velsen
Jouke Dassen
Jitze de Jong
Wim Noltes
Lars Arens
And Werner Heβ