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Els Vandekerckhove

R&D Chemist
Hoboken, Belgium
Precious Metals Refining
Working for Umicore since 2021
"What appeals to me at Umicore is that your job contributes to sustainability by recycling precious metals."

Can you describe your role at Umicore?

My main task is to optimize a number of processes. This is initially done on a small scale in a lab. Afterwards, these processes can then be carried out on a production scale. We follow up possible problems and look for potential improvements in the production process.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I have a lot of variety in my job, doing something different every day. So I am always learning. Chemistry in school textbooks is not the same as chemistry in business life. Knowledge and technology are continually changing, as well, and constantly have to be honed. In addition, the flexibility is a real asset. There is always room to change your schedule.

What do you enjoy about working for Umicore?

The warm reception and the great colleagues. And you have the freedom to develop as an individual here. I really appreciate being able to work close to home as well!

Why did you want to join Umicore?

What appeals to me at Umicore is that your job contributes to sustainability by recycling precious metals. Plus you are part of a multinational with an international character and image.

What do you look forward to when you leave for work in the morning?

I look forward to all the things that I will learn, the cooperation with great colleagues and the good atmosphere.

What has been your highlight so far in your role at Umicore?

Every day is a new challenge, so every day you’re learning. For example, I have picked up a lot of new knowledge about the production process in a relatively short period of time.

Advice for new joiners?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because by doing so you learn a great deal. If you are open to all the information and knowledge that your colleagues have, you’ll figure it out!