Team Leader at the Strategic Research Group Process Technology in Deventer, The Netherlands
Hello, my name is Hans Lammers. I've been working at AkzoNobel for almost 25 years. Currently I'm working at the Strategic Research Group Process Technology. That's in Deventer, here in the Netherlands, and I've been a team leader for three years. Before I worked with AkzoNobel, I did my Bachelor of Science studies in analytical chemistry, and in 1989 I started working for AkzoNobel in the fibers analytical department. During the first years I also completed my masters degree and I did a post-doc on polymers and that gave me the opportunity to further develop my career, and AkzoNobel really facilitated that post doc work.
While my initial study was analytical chemistry, I really got interested in process technology and because there were so many departments within AkzoNobel where process technologies are essential, it was quite easy to make the switch. In the end it was really my initiative to do that. So now I’ve moved over from being a project leader to become a team leader, and that's a job that I really like doing: working on content, on projects still, and also working on coaching people, I now delegate much more of the work to others rather than doing it myself. It means that I've got to rely on others and coach them basically.
We use a process technology which is called bi-polar membrane electrodialysis. By means of bipolar membrane electrodialysis you can avoid making waste. Actually, the process itself was not invented at AkzoNobel. It is a commonly used technology, but the application we have developed is unique. It's a patented process. It is applied currently on a large scale, and all the development is done within our department, from lab scale to pilot scale to implementation. Seven years ago, we implemented the technology in the plant, so we really developed the technology from the start right up to the very end. So you can imagine that this is very exciting for me as a researcher.
Over 25 years, I've grown as an individual at being able to develop my career. And I'm really proud that I've developed from the starting point to the role I have now as a team leader. Back then I was looking up to people that I'm leading today. I'm really happy that AkzoNobel has given me the opportunity.