In the spotlight: Pieter Ras, Lead Engineer Industry

It was around 20 years ago that the father of Pieter Ras, who also used to work at Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology as an engineer, tipped off his son about a vacant position at the company. Pieter had just finished his technical school (LTS) studies and immediately started work as an engineering apprentice. He soon became an engineer in his own right, then a service engineer, and a decade ago he was appointed to a managerial position in the Industry & Residential Housing department.

Pieter overseas various projects and engineers, ensures that all the materials required are ordered and holds meetings with the project managers involved. He and his team are responsible for installations at various clients (from fish processing companies to hospitality wholesalers), care homes, churches, renovations and new construction projects.

“In all the years I’ve worked here I’m almost always the first person in the building,” says Pieter with a smile. “I arrive at seven and enjoy a cup of coffee before my work starts at 7:30. In the first half of the day I visit projects, go over the planning and explain what everyone needs to do. Then I send out some emails and order materials before getting down to work at the project myself and leading the team.”

Over the past two years Pieter has reduced the amount of physical work he undertakes in construction and increased his service activities. This is due to a serious accident he had on a renovation project when a short circuit caused Pieter to suffer 26% burns on his nails, hands, neck and head. He fell into a coma and was hospitalised for six weeks while enduring a series of operations. “My positive attitude was my saviour,” Pieter says. “I’m someone who can’t sit still and who always keeps busy. I wanted to get back to work as soon as I could!”

Pieter describes Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology as a strong and well-developed company on all fronts. “I have some great colleagues and Piet Brouwer is an excellent employer. I have enjoyed working here all these years. I could have stayed home for a while after the accident, but I wanted to return to work and to my co-workers. People take care of each other here. You’re taken seriously and your ambitions and wishes are heard. There are many opportunities for self-development at Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology, and you can always turn to your co-workers if you have any questions.” Pieter still finds plenty to inspire and challenge in his work: “No two days are the same and interesting things are always happening.” The project Pieter most remembers from the past 20 years was in Haiti where Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology was responsible for the installation of a generator at a brewery. “This was a special project, not least due to the collaboration with the local population and the amazing surroundings.” And there’s another project abroad Pieter remembers well. “In Kisangani, Congo, I worked on starting up a generator for a brewery for the first time, which was both fun and educational.” Pieter is scheduled to have another operation this summer. “Once I’m fully recovered I look forward to taking part in more projects abroad.”