Marja de Jong

What inspires me to work at Boskalis?

Marja de Jong (31 years old) is taking her first steps as a marine dynamics engineer at Boskalis’ MDD department. “Just eight months on the job, I already feel that I’m making serious impact in a fascinating environment.”

Growing up in Papendrecht, Marja could see the Boskalis headquarters from her house. “Whenever we went for a Sunday walk”, she laughs, “my sister wanted to walk inland to look at the horses. But I always convinced my parents to walk towards the docks to check out the impressive Boskalis vessels. I ended up studying marine engineering, but spent my first five working years in quite a different industry: building car and boat simulators for training and engineering purposes. The knowledge I gained turned out very useful at my current job at Boskalis’ Marine Dynamics Department (MDD).”

Human calculators
The MDD department mostly supports Boskalis Dredging with calculations and analyses, but also answers questions for other disciplines such as Subsea Cables and Heavy Lift. Marja: “Look at us as Boskalis’ calculators, crunching our brains behind the scenes to optimize our fleet’s performances and safety. For example, if one of our vessels runs into rough weather, the crew reaches out to us for advice. Should they drop an extra anchor to stay in place? Can their people stay on board safely?”

“Besides our daily calculations”, she continues, “we also focus on bigger research questions, like ensuring that certain parts of new ships are built strong enough to withstand the heavy forces at sea. I also used my knowledge to contribute to a functioning simulator for Heavy Lift. A very proud achievement, as some people thought this was an impossible task.”

Serious business
Although Marja clearly has fun doing her job, she emphasizes that it’s all very serious business. “Our calculations have big consequences on the way operations turn out. We always keep that in mind when we visualize all the details and break a question down into smaller manageable calculations. I like how that makes everything come to life.”

Sharing an office with R&D and Innovations, Marja is surrounded by role models. She wants to develop herself and become just as skilled as her senior colleagues. Marja: “I also really enjoy working for all the different disciplines and talented people with different backgrounds. They really opened my eyes to all the future possibilities. If I want to broaden my horizon, I know there are countless other career opportunities within Boskalis’ many divisions.”

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