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Kristien De Wit

Project Manager
Hoboken, Belgium
Precious Metals Refining
Working for Umicore since 2009
"At Umicore there is a lot of scope for learning more and developing further as an individual."

Can you describe your role at Umicore?

As a junior project manager, I am responsible for the organization of a number of shutdowns and shutdown-related projects. Organizing shutdowns goes from organizing the site setup and preparing everything to do with preventive safety to assessing schedules and interactions. In addition, our team supervises repairs to installations. Shutdown-related projects differ every year and vary widely. For example we look for solutions for dust transport systems or we build new filter units or extractor systems.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The variety: no two days are alike, either in terms of the technical solutions or the diversity of the internal departments where we work. It makes every day fascinating. Plus we work in a really great team where we always help one another and treat one another with a lot of respect.

What do you enjoy about working for Umicore?

The variety of the technical installations is really fascinating. The technical progress is constant, too. You feel that Umicore does its utmost to be the best in class. There is a lot of drive and ambition to become an even cleaner, more environmentally friendly plant.

Why did you want to join Umicore?

I did my first work experience at Umicore while I was studying, when I had a student job in HR. Even back then, 17 years ago now, I felt very welcome. My colleagues were always very keen to teach me new things about the plant. The family feeling here is extremely warm and kind.

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

Through our work as engineers, we can make a major contribution to Umicore’s ambitions. Helping to make this a better plant is a big incentive for me.

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

My experience as an expat in China was a real highlight. I was still fairly young, but I was given trust and the opportunity to grow in an international project team. I learnt a huge amount there, both personally and professionally, and had an incredible experience.

In addition, I experience a highlight with my team every year when we can organize a successful shutdown or complete a major project. It always feels like a reward for the many months of preparation.

Advice for new joiners?

At Umicore there is a lot of scope for learning more and developing further as an individual. There are no wrong questions; you can only learn something. The key words are communication, openness and respect.