KH Engineering is ‘a perfect fit’ for me

Tom van den Outenaar, Project Manager at KH Engineering

‘For about half of my time at KH Engineering, I have been working for KLM at Schiphol Airport. A dynamic environment, which has a special meaning to me. As a little boy, I spend time in the hangars at Schiphol with my father, who worked for KLM. My father arranged the preparation of aircraft for flight, but I was more interested in the technology behind it. That technical interest is still my main motivation in my work today.’

‘After the MTS and the HTS, I went to study at TU Delft. There I learned to persevere, it didn’t come easy to me. That go-getter mentality is very useful in my work. Not every project runs smoothly and then it helps if you can improvise and follow through. During my studies, I had a part-time job as a service technician. After my studies, I first worked as a mechanic in a factory and later as a Mechanical Engineer at various engineering firms. Ten years ago, I chose to work as a Project Manager at KH Engineering.’

‘For more than five years, I have been the Project Manager for KLM at Schiphol Airport on behalf of KH Engineering. They have an enormous number of buildings at and around the airport. From hangars to offices and from workshops to technical areas: in total, there is about 700,000 m2 gross floor area. For the maintenance of all these buildings, I am involved in the multi-year maintenance plan. And KH Engineering takes care of the engineering and execution of the work on electrical and mechanical installations in these buildings. In recent years, KH Engineering has built up a permanent group of as many as 70 colleagues in order to provide KLM with the best possible service. Building up this organisation was a great job.’

‘Because it involves so many buildings and so many installations, you have to deal with complex assignments because of their size and lead times. That requires a lot of consultation and you have to listen carefully to the customer’s wishes. You have to translate these into the right information for your engineers. You also have to be constantly informed about all projects under your care, so that you can always answer questions about them. In addition, you must be able to respond to changes. You can imagine that the corona crisis had major consequences for KLM. That drastically changed plans, projects and schedules.’

‘In the end, it’s all about completing your projects safely, on time and within budget. That requires a lot of preliminary work, guidance and aftercare, and sometimes it is quite a challenge. What am I proud of? For example, that we did a huge replacement project where fluorescent lighting was replaced by LED lighting. I also enjoy my connecting role between client and organisation, especially when my ready knowledge of the buildings is called upon. For example, in my current, new role as Consultant for KLM, where my advice is sought on the best approach to maintenance and management.’

‘I really enjoy my work and experience a pleasant working atmosphere. KH Engineering is a perfect fit for me. Otherwise you wouldn’t last ten years. What I particularly like? They have a very diverse customer portfolio and you get a lot of freedom here. Would you like to be taken by the hand in your work? That is possible. Would you rather go your own way? That is also possible, as long as KH Engineering and its clients benefit from it. That works very well for me.’