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Interview Matthijs Bussemakers – Offshore Wind System Design Engineer at Vattenfall

Are you interested in learning more about the world of engineering? In this series of interviews, we have spoken to a group of professionals in engineering who provide firsthand accounts of their experiences working at top companies such as Vattenfall, Ampelmann, Eurofins, and Heineken.

Our first interviewee is Matthijs Bussemakers, an Offshore Wind System Design Engineer at Vattenfall. Matthijs shares his experience in the dynamic world of offshore wind energy. Discover how he thrives in a competitive environment, collaborates with colleagues from diverse disciplines, and works towards a sustainable future. Don’t miss out on valuable insights and advice from Matthijs for those starting their careers.

What is your full name and what is your position at Vattenfall?

My name is Matthijs Bussemakers and I’ve been working as an Offshore Wind System Design Engineer at Vattenfall for the past 2.5 years. Our team develops offshore wind farms and prepares Vattenfalls bids for future wind farms. I focus on the techno-economical analysis and optimization of our wind farm designs.

What did you do before starting at Vattenfall?

Before joining Vattenfall, I completed a double-degree program in offshore engineering and wind energy technology at the TU Delft in the Netherlands and NTNU in Norway. During my studies, I had the opportunity to live in Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, and Indonesia, which helped me in connecting with colleagues from different cultures in Vattenfall’s international environment.

Alongside this, I also did an internship at a lobbying firm to gain working experience, participated in the Climate-KIC summer school, and founded the Green Teams at TU Delft.

How do you experience your role as a Offshore Wind System Design Engineer?

I really enjoy my role at the heart of the dynamic offshore wind industry. The fast-paced environment and exponential growth of the industry bring immense drive and energy to our organisation.

As part of the offshore development department, we are constantly competing with other energy companies, which motivates us to deliver the best results every day. This also creates a strong coherence among project teams, as we work together towards a common goal of reducing costs and maximising quality in offshore wind projects. This goal became more important than ever with the current energy crisis in Europe and with climate change already knocking at the door.

What makes my role even more exciting is that offshore wind is constantly evolving, with new innovative technologies such as hydrogen energy storage, floating wind farms, and ecological impact minimization shaping our projects.

Additionally, collaborating with colleagues from various disciplines, including engineering, management, and finance, adds an interesting dimension to my job. It’s a stimulating and fulfilling experience to be part of this relevant and ever-evolving industry.

What is your experience in working for Vattenfall and what stands out to you?

You’re given a lot of freedom to define your own role and tasks at Vattenfall, also as a junior. This comes with responsibility and the expectation that you take ownership of the projects you’re given and that you bring an entrepreneurial mindset.

What stands out to me about working here is our common goal to work towards a sustainable future. It’s great to work alongside colleagues who share the same values and drive for positive impact. The open culture at Vattenfall also enables easy connections and networking, all while enjoying a positive and fun work environment.

What is something you wish you knew before you started working in your role as Offshore Wind System Design Engineer?

Upon graduation, the task of finding the ideal job can be overwhelming. While some prefer to go with the flow and naturally run into any job opening they like, others, like myself, prefer thorough research on industries, companies and job profiles beforehand. It’s good to keep in mind that your first job is mainly about learning to navigate a professional environment, developing time management skills, and collaborating with colleagues.

As you gain some work experience it gets easier to switch roles, or even companies, when you are ready to develop in a different direction. Finding a place where you feel comfortable, safe, and able to be yourself is in my view the main driver for personal growth and a steep learning curve. 

Additionally, working at a place that makes a positive impact on the world can be highly fulfilling. Therefore, don’t feel pressured to find the perfect fit right away. Instead, focus on discovering a work environment that aligns with your values and empowers you to thrive professionally.

Can’t wait to get started as an Offshore Wind System Design Engineer or do you want to stay up-to-date on other job openings at Vattenfall? Connect with Vattenfall on via this link.