In the spotlight: Lead Engineer Jacob Hoekstra

When Jacob Hoekstra made the choice to become an electrician at the age of 14, it was his father who suggested weekend and holiday work at Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology – and he was accepted. “My first job was to sort out all the boxes with bolts, nuts and wire end sleeves that were mixed up together,” Jacob recalls. “Ever since then I’ve been able to name every bolt flawlessly. I eventually also did my final MTS internship at Piet Brouwer, and was asked to join as a technician once my training was complete. That was 22 years ago, and I haven’t looked back.”

Jacob has held the position of head technician for the past five years, supporting project engineers and answering any questions his colleagues may have. Depending on the job, he starts his working day at the office or on location. In the initial stages of a project, Jacob tends to work in the office, but as the work progresses there is more of a balance. “During the day, I’m often in touch with project managers from boatyards, as well as with suppliers of other electrical systems and carpenters, plumbers and painters, while arranging everything for the project.” Which Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology project does Jacob remember most vividly? “That’s a difficult question – there are nice memories and unique experiences in every project. But if I had to choose one, I would say Vitters Shipyard’s Whirl Away, the first luxury sailing yacht on which we worked. This was my first experience working in – and thinking in terms of – the very particular world of premier leisure boats. Before that I had been mainly involved with fishing trawlers and coasters.” Jacob describes Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology as a reliable, friendly and future-oriented company. “I have a bunch of great colleagues here. The work is very varied, and management keep track of your preferences within that diversity of tasks. If you want to grow, have more responsibility, do things differently… Everything is negotiable.” According to Jacob, the strength of Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology can also be found in how much they ask from the staff as well as the way they listen to them. But what makes the company truly unique is the fact that the personnel are not used for specific assignments only but deployed broadly for a range of tasks. “Everyone lays cable, everyone connects systems and everyone does repairs. Younger technicians are also involved in commissioning technical installations. Knowledge isn’t guarded here, it’s shared.”