Peter Van Houdt

Engineering Specialist
Olen, Belgium
Electro-Optic Materials
Working for Umicore since 2015

"The friendly atmosphere, the casual relation between managers and employees."

Can you describe your role/position at Umicore?

I am responsible for the production-related investment projects within the Electro-Optic Materials business unit. From the initial stages to the commissioning of the new installation: drawing up budgets, placing orders, planning work, managing the field – that’s quite a variety of tasks!

What do you like about your job?

Managing a project is like a huge jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces have to fit together perfectly and I like the challenge. You also come into contact with areas you know little about, but where you can learn a lot about. And sometimes you may end up in a completely different world.

What do you like about working at Umicore?

The friendly atmosphere, the casual relation between managers and employees, and the opportunities to further develop in your career, in whichever direction you want to go.

Why did you want to work at Umicore?

I thought it would be interesting to work for a Belgian company that is also a global leader in the field of recycling precious metals, among other things. I feel that innovation and sustainability are core values here.

What do you look forward to when you set off to work in the morning?

Seeing your projects grow step by step, making a positive difference to the production process and helping internal customers achieve their goals.

What has been the highlight of your time at Umicore so far?

The Handling Pyrolysis Oven project. For this project, I could get my creative juices flowing during the design phase. It focused on expanding capacity, but with a more ergonomic way of working. The close collaboration with the operators certainly contributed to the success of the project.

Any advice for newcomers?

Don’t limit yourself to your immediate working environment. Get to know people at other levels so that you can see things from different perspectives and thus gain a better understanding of the different production processes.