Meet Joep Oosterlee: Commissioning Engineer. He has a Bachelor’s in Economics, loves to travel and a 9 to 5 desk job is not for him. After graduating, he travelled around Australia. That was when he knew it for certain – he would go to sea! Following in his brother’s footsteps, he started studying at the Rotterdam Mainport Institute. Read his story.
Combining travel and technology really appealed to me. I changed course and started studying to become a Chief Engineer and Chief Officer (MAROF). My brother gave me an adjustable wrench and a sailor’s knife, symbols for the engine room and the bridge! I made my choice and now walk around with the wrench in my overalls. What I am most proud of is that I took the step to do something different and get my diploma. Without doing so, I would never have seen Neptune and the world’s seas.
SAILING FOR TOS
I had just signed off the Holland America Line when I first came into contact with TOS. I wanted to make some short trips and to have a look behind the scenes of other shipping companies. At the time, TOS was still located on the Westerkade. The advantages of working through a mediator like TOS are that you work on a project basis and that they have a big network for potential jobs.
After a while of doing short trips for TOS, I started working at companies such as Damen and Smit Salvage. I then started working as a freelancer and contacted TOS again. As a freelancer, you are responsible for acquiring new projects and this is where TOS’s wide network comes in handy. So I started working at TOS again as a sole trader.
COMMISSIONING ENGINEER AT IHC
After a while, through TOS’s mediation, I took on the role of Commissioning Engineer at Royal IHC. On the whole, the run-up to this position went well. The short lines meant that the application and negotiation process was quick. I really like the work. Getting ships ready and running needs another thought process than working in ship’s engineering. None of the vessel’s systems have been tested and have not been part of its operational process. The commissioning team works with all the suppliers and everyone involved to get the ship up and running. They are essential in this process. My first project for Royal IHC was when the trailing suction hopper dredger, Ghasha, was delivered in August 2020. At present I am working on the stationary cutter suction dredger, the Hussein Tantawy. We expect it to be ready for testing in the spring of 2021. A Commissioning Engineer’s work is very diverse and challenging. I am really lucky and have a wonderful and dedicated commissioning team. The diversity and range of activities of the work and the pleasant cooperation make this work really enjoyable.
MY FUTURE AT SEA OR ON SHORE
If I think about my interests, I enjoy work that is technically challenging and engaging, whether it is at sea or on shore. The sea has played a huge role in my career. Like the sea, I try to keep moving all the time. The IHC projects have definitely been part of this. Who knows what else is hidden behind the horizon.
LOOKING FOR A SEA2SHORE OPPORTUNITY?
You can always contact Jolie Seleba: