Menno de Boer, who joined Boskalis in 2017, was assigned to the Duqm project in Oman for the first six months of his traineeship. Having studied Civil Engineering at Groningen University, he was delighted to be so quickly immersed in a project of such huge scope and scale. It was a great chance to get some hands-on experience. “You learn by working,” he says. His first job was with the Survey team, where he was assigned practical survey tasks, such as using a Trimble for accurate measurements of the terrain and getting to grips with what was really happening on the ground. Other tasks involved overseeing the dewatering team in the building pits – at a depth of 20 metres below sea level – and working on land reclamation work for the planned liquid bulk terminal. “It’s a nice challenge to work in a different country, in the middle of nowhere, explaining things to people who speak several different and unfamiliar languages,” Menno comments.
I was really proud to be part of the Duqm project
On board the cutter suction dredger Helios, Menno gained practical experience of cutter head maintenance and generic work on deck. On the bridge of the Helios, he subsequently assisted the Production Engineer with data observation and analysis for optimizing rock and soil cutting. “It was complex work that required considerable knowledge and experience, so I really appreciated the opportunity to learn more about how to link actual input with theoretical knowledge and carry out the analyses. We were constantly on the lookout for better and innovative ways to meet the objectives,” he says.
Safety and security are high on the list of core values that Menno has made his own at Boskalis. “I became very aware of the importance of NINA – No Injuries, No Accidents – which is critical, of course, in this kind of work. It’s something I know I will always pay particular attention to.” Menno is currently completing his traineeship in the Tender Department, working on import/export facilities projects. “I was really proud to be part of the Duqm project,” he says. “There are so many interesting, multidisciplinary projects, and there’s a great vibe at Boskalis that I find very positive. I’m keeping an open mind about the future within the organisation.”