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Matthieu Delvaulx

Programmer - Process IT
Hoboken, Belgium
Precious Metals Refining
Working for Umicore since 2011
"Owing to the diversity of the many projects and the different processes in the plant, no two days are alike."

Can you describe your role at Umicore?

I am an industrial automation programmer at Umicore. This includes all automated processes in which production is involved, such as our metallurgical furnaces and chemical reactors as well as robots, cooling towers, bag filters and even air conditioning units in production halls or control rooms. In addition, we build the visualization for the operators, so that they can follow and direct the process with a WinCC or an operator panel.

What do you enjoy about your job?

There are a lot of challenging aspects to the job. Developing a program for a new project, contributing ideas about the process for production, but also for all the related safety aspects. Plus we do repairs if a service is shut down by a defect to make sure that they can carry on with production. We are given quite a lot of freedom in our job to plan our day independently so that the necessary tasks can be completed.

What do you enjoy about working for Umicore?

Owing to the diversity of the many projects and the different processes in the plant, no two days are alike. You do have a fixed schedule of what needs to be done, but that can soon change. So every day is challenging and fascinating.

Why did you want to join Umicore?

I have always been fascinated by technology and automation. That made Umicore, as a high-tech company, very attractive. In addition, my grandfather had a good, long career here. He was always very proud of all the stories I told him about the company.

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

I look forward to my first cup of coffee while I go through my emails or chat with colleagues. Although it may be that there is no time for that because I am sent straight off to do a repair. Then the cup of coffee is twice as welcome afterwards.

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

After my studies I started as an EMR process operator at Umicore. After four years as a process operator and additional evening courses, I ended up in my current job as a programmer. At first, I was thrown into a project to program the new pressure filter building in water purification. That was quite the challenge: you learn the basics at school, but at the workplace you realize that actually, you still know nothing about it. Fortunately some experienced colleagues were around, ready to give me advice and help. When I look back, I realize that I learnt a huge amount from that experience. And those pressure filters are still running with the same programming!

Advice for new joiners?

Don’t be afraid to go to someone with your questions! You can never know everything. There are colleagues everywhere, ready to help you with tips & tricks.