Floris (28), now Project Manager, started at LCL in January 2018 as a Facilities Engineer. He found leak-tightness testing on the primary cooling system of a nuclear power plant interesting, but not as interesting as working at LCL.
How did you begin your professional career?
I have been professionally active for five years now. My career started as a consultant at a consulting firm that placed me with the engineering company Tractebel. I worked there as an HVAC engineer for the company’s nuclear division. For example, I was assigned to carry out various projects for the nuclear power plants in Doel and Tihange.
My job as an HVAC engineer was very interesting. I was faced with the necessary challenges and gained a lot of experience. For example, I worked at night on leak-tightness tests on the primary cooling system of a nuclear power plant. That was pretty exciting.
Then LCL came knocking. I thought it was a good idea to start something new. As I knew I was going to learn an awful lot, and the company was a perfect fit, I immediately accepted their offer.
Why did you choose this job at LCL?
When I went for an interview, I was immediately impressed by the neatness and infrastructure of the facilities at LCL. That is not the case everywhere. In my job as an HVAC engineer, I never knew what was going to happen to my recommendations and I found that a great shame. In my first job as a consultant, I also noticed that I needed more involvement with the customer and the applications I work for.
I also chose LCL because I could learn a lot here. The complexity of all the processes really appeals to me. I enjoy doing business from A to Z: the start-up of an assignment, such as the takeover of the data centre in Huizingen, the renovation projects themselves and then following them up. I also like to know what happens to a project afterwards, in the maintenance phase. That is all possible at LCL.
These are the reasons why I consciously chose to work for an ambitious SME like LCL. You also work in a close-knit team at LCL. You check everything with your team members. You also get the freedom to find exactly where your interests lie. You can try out new things in order to develop further as long as they fit in with the team’s capabilities.
What were your duties as a Facilities Engineer?
As a Facilities Engineer my focus was mainly on maintaining the data centres, drawing up plans and energy optimisation. At that time, I was mainly given smaller projects and challenges. That experience taught me a lot about the typical critical environment of a data centre. Uptime is everything. So you have to continually weigh up all the risks and take possible threats into account.
After two years as a Facilities Engineer at LCL, I had the opportunity to work as a Project Manager. An offer I couldn’t refuse.
What is different in your current position as Project Manager compared to your previous job as Facilities Engineer?
As a Project Manager, my knowledge about cooling comes in very handy. At the same time, I am also gaining a lot of knowledge about more technical and mechanical applications, which I had little contact with as a study engineer.
I now have a lot more responsibility. I can focus on the complete renovation of the new data centre in Huizingen. We want to replace the entire cooling systems there this year while the data centre remains in operation. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, I work with our team to find solutions so we can continue to guarantee our good service to our customers during the work. Next year it will be the turn of the electrical installation of the data centre in Huizingen.
What makes LCL a good employer?
You don't run a data centre alone! We are a close-knit team that likes to take time to organise team-building activities outside of work so as to get to know each other (even) better. A BBQ or an aperitif among colleagues: we regularly try to organise things amongst us. In addition, LCL offers young employees like myself the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and grow. I definitely feel that’s a significant advantage! Finally, at LCL you find yourself in a growing company in a sector that is undergoing huge development on account of everything becoming "smart", with data everywhere and everyone needing more storage. This means you work in a sector where you can carry on learning continuously.