DEME is a world leader in the highly specialised fields of dredging, marine engineering and environmental remediation. The company can build on more than 140 years of know-how and experience and has fostered a pioneering approach throughout its history, being a front runner in innovation and new technologies.
DEME’s vision is to work towards a sustainable future by offering solutions for global challenges: a rising sea level, a growing population, reduction of CO2 emissions, polluted rivers and soils and the scarcity of natural resources. Although DEME’s activities originated with the core dredging business, the portfolio diversified substantially over the decades, including dredging and land reclamation, solutions for the offshore energy market, infra marine solutions and environmental solutions.
While the company’s roots are in Belgium, DEME has built a strong presence in all of the world’s seas and continents, operating in more than 90 countries worldwide. DEME can rely on 5,200 highly skilled professionals across the globe. With a versatile and modern fleet of over 100 vessels, backed by a broad range of auxiliary equipment, the company can provide solutions for even the most complex projects.
DEME achieved a turnover of 2.19 billion euros in 2020.
Site Superintendent DEME
For Jeroen, there was no doubt in his mind that he wanted a career connected to water and at the age of 18, he became interested in the dredging industry. “My parents enjoyed sailing yachts when I was young so there was always a big attraction to water, ports and how they worked, plus I was interested in hydraulics. Dredging is also a special industry – these are not ordinary things we work on! Massive equipment is involved. I think you need a great interest in water too and for me, DEME equals water.”
DEME’s mentality also attracted Jeroen to the company. “DEME has more of a horizontal structure, it is not so hierarchical when compared to other companies. People give you the time and listen to your ideas, even though you are young.”
The key is being flexible, he smiles. “As an engineer you may be involved in the execution or the preparation for a project. You don’t necessarily know what you will be doing next and where you will be in a few months’ time. You have to be prepared for that.
“I would almost go as far as to say, if you choose DEME, you are choosing the DEME life. For example, if you are working on a project site, it is not 9-5. You work hard and get very close to your team. You have to have ambition; this is a very specific industry so you need to love what you do.”
For the last two years, Jeroen has been working on the New Lock Terneuzen project. At 427 m long, 55 m wide and 16.44 m deep, the new lock is designed to provide better access to the ports of Ghent and Terneuzen, and to promote a faster flow of shipping between the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
Jeroen is really enjoying the challenges of this project, adding that it involves so many different scopes. “First of all we performed capital dredging, then maintenance dredging and the deepening of the lock, plus the shore protection.” Additionally, soil protection, soil investigation, dry excavations and quay wall dredging are all different techniques he is learning to master.
“The New Lock Terneuzen project is ideal in that it enables me to build up my experience in the industry. I am lucky to have the opportunity to be involved in such a diverse project and I hope as I get more experienced, I will also get more responsibility. And ultimately working for DEME means that I can stay connected to water!”