Chiel geeft uitleg aan Staatssecretaris Van Geel

Former colleagues dip into their memories (35/50)   

Chiel Roovers switched to ProRail in 2009, and since the start of this year, Rosan Nusselder has been working happily at her desk in the National Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO. Both look back with pleasure at the years when they were working at M+P.

"If you got approval from Gijsan – he was the director when I started there – you could do a lot of things", remembers Chiel Roovers. He worked at M+P from 1998 to 2009. "I had a lot of freedom to follow up my interests. I was a bit less of a technocrat that the others and more interested in developing concepts than developing measurement systems. It still feels unusual that, just 2 years after completing my studies, I was able to carry out a major contract for the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen on my own: drawing up a report about how to tackle noise from road, rail and air transport in the EU. And that I as a newbie had to explain to the Secretary of State how quiet car tyres differ from noisy ones.”

From serious contracts to building and travel adviser

"Another nice extra activity was tracking the construction of our offices in Vught. From the drawing board to the decoration, for every decision, I was involved. In addition I was a member of the social committee, and jointly with 3 other colleagues I organised the legendary anniversary trip to Iceland. When one of my colleagues fell seriously ill and died at the age of 43, that affected me deeply. I then put together a book with tributes from all our colleagues to give to his children to show them how and who their father was when he was at work.”

Prefer to define your own direction

For the last three and a half years, Chiel was seconded full-time to ProRail. He felt he had already got one foot out of the door. Then when an interesting post opened up for him in 2009, it was logical for him to make the transfer. "I had a really good time at M+P, but I preferred to be in a post where I could define the future more myself, rather than bringing in orders and acting as a consultant to customers. Without all the experience I had gained at M+P I would never have been able to take on this new role properly.”

Rosan en Richard doen metingenCommitted colleagues and a variety in the work for Rosan
I rapidly felt at home, I had committed and creative colleagues who worked well together and M+P had a flat hierarchy, which was something that attracted me." Rosan is not just referring to the lack of a hierarchy, but also stresses that everyone was genuinely equal. "From Day One I felt that my opinion was being listened to. As a junior I could easily say to my manager, Theodoor: "Hey, I don't think that is a good idea". And although all of us were busy, everyone made time for questions and there was always someone available to enthusiastically walk through the approach to a new order. And I had plenty of variety in my work. One day I was dangling 80 metres up in a basket on a cherry picker to carry out measurements, and the next I was sitting round a table with civil servants to define the local council's noise policy or I was flying to Malta to deliver an opinion to an international experts' network.”

Enjoying your work
According to Rosan she had five super good years at M+P. "The way we worked was the best. I could spend hours getting totally absorbed in something, but at the same time it was very sociable and I laughed a lot: something that is really important to enjoy your work. Then I remember things like ping pong, right after lunch. I never got any good at it and always lost, but that didn't matter, it was all good for a laugh.”

Happy when I look back at M+PBut with the whole of her life in front of her, and a healthy curiosity about other organisations, she felt it was time to move on. From sound technology to sustainability of mobility at RVO, such as in shipping, for example. "The greening of ships has nothing to do directly with noise, but my experience and the advisory work that I learned to do at M+P were things that I was able to bring with me. And when I look back at M+P, I feel happy. It felt like a really nice, warm time, during which I learned a lot.