With the upcoming Business Days Twente, we are looking back at one of the success stories of a previous edition. At the career fair we always meet many talented and driven engineering students. Here’s an interview with one of those students who after meeting at the event found a place at KENC. Harmen Punte was asked to share his experiences and opinions about KENC, the offshore engineering world, and he will also tell a little about his graduation assignment.

Q1: Please introduce yourself and what you do.
My name is Harmen Punte, I am 24 years old and I am from Enschede. I study mechanical engineering at the University of Twente. Currently, I am in the final year of my master’s degree. At KENC I work on my graduation assignment for the university.

Q2: Can you introduce KENC to the readers?
KENC Engineering is an engineering firm located in Oldenzaal. KENC operates in the offshore energy market. The company focuses mostly on engineering and designing the tools, however, KENC also fabricates the tools used to build offshore wind farms.

Q3: Can you tell us about your work and how you came to work for KENC?
Currently, I am working here on my graduation assignment. My first introduction to KENC was when I met Vincent, KENC’s business development manager, on the business days hosted by the University of Twente. There I learned about KENC and what they do since I was unfamiliar with the company.

When I had to do an internship for my study I contacted Vincent again for an internship since KENC interested me ever since I learned about the company. The large and heavy structures, the magnitude of the engineering projects, and the sustainability aspects of the offshore wind industry spoke to me. I wanted to learn more about this industry and KENC’s location in Oldenzaal is ideal for getting acquainted with the industry while studying in the beautiful Twente! Sadly it did not work out for my internship, but luckily I could do my graduation assignment here.

Q4: Can you tell us a little bit about your graduation assignment?
KENC designs and builds so-called monopile upending and lifting tools. A monopile is a large tube that acts as a foundation for an offshore wind turbine. This huge foundation has a weight of 1600t and a length of 100+ meters. I am working on a system that is supposed to be used for designing monopile upending and lifting tools. The idea is that the system I create can be used to create a conceptual design easier and faster than the current design process.

Graduate student Harmen Punte

Q5: What interests you about this kind of work?
First of all, I like big engineering projects; I do not like tiny projects. Second, I want to be involved from the start to the end of a project. To see the whole design process and progress from a concept to a finalized product is something that I find very interesting.

Q6: Where do you see yourself in the future in this field?
Well, I am still a student so my priority lies in graduating and getting experience in the field. I would also like to take on more and bigger challenges, for example, to oversee the whole project and to work on other things like hydraulics. I have the ambition to become a lead engineer.

Q7: Can you tell us something about the hardships of this kind of work?
|I think that one of the difficulties is that you have to understand what the problem is for the customer and find a way to solve it. How can we come up with a solution that is the best solution for all involved parties? Another difficulty is coming up with a solution that sets you apart from the competition. It can also be difficult to get every party to agree on a design. Because KENC also fabricates the products we have to oversee the whole process of drawing, engineering, fabricating, and delivering the tools.

Q8: What advice would you give to students who also want to do this kind of work?
Since engineering is so broad you should look for your niche. Once you find the niche you want to work in, specialize in it during your studies. You should also look for a company where you can apply for an internship or maybe even find a place where you can work.

Q9: Can you give us 3 reasons why you would recommend a student to apply for a job at KENC?
1. At KENC you can work on a variation of very interesting projects in the offshore wind industry and within a company specialized in designing and building large and heavy steel structures. If you like big steel structures while operating in a sustainability-driven industry, then you should apply at KENC because they combine both worlds.

2. KENC has a nice team of highly motivated and very capable engineers. There is a good team dynamic with a flat company structure. With KENC’s location in Oldenzaal, the “Twentse nuchterheid” and down-to-earth mentality can be recognized in the atmosphere within the company. In my opinion, this makes KENC a nice work environment.

3. The expected future growth of the offshore wind industry and KENC’s growth plans for the near future create a lot of opportunities and room for personal development.

Thank you for your participation in this interview, and for sharing your insights and experiences with us! They will surely provide the necessary information to students trying to choose for themselves. This concludes the interview with Harmen Punte, interviewed by Samuel Klein.

Do you also want to experience the offshore engineering world?
KENC is participating at the upcoming career fair of the Business Days Twente on the 14th of February. Stop by for a chat and a coffee! Can’t wait? Just drop an e-mail or give us a call if you want to learn how we can kickstart your career in the world of offshore engineering.