Working at Vinçotte

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Manu Pineiro

Manu started working at the AIB laboratory in 1986 with his ‘Mechanics’ diploma. In 2003, he was asked to join the Coating Technology Department. He took this job to heart so much that soon people around the building were addressing him as the ‘Rust Doctor’.

Small but versatile

“As an inspector, I am now mainly occupied with expert’s appraisals of steel structures. This can involve a periodic inspection, for instance, meaning that I inspect an existing structure. Every year I spend three weeks inspecting the coating system of the columns on which the Fluxys LNG terminal (Zeebrugge) is built”

Worldwide

“Another exciting part of my job is that Coating Technology is an up-and-coming area of technology. This is something I appreciate a lot: we are leaders in this area and our unique know-how is even requested in other parts of the world. In addition, we work within a very broad field of expertise so our work is very varied. On one day I might be in the Antwerp dock region, the next day I might be at the Feluy site in Wallonia doing an expert’s appraisal for our petrochemical clients on the coatings used on the inner walls of tanks containing corrosive chemicals. The following week I might be abroad for an inspection at a pipeline manufacturer.”

× Koen Meulemans

Koen Meulemans

Koen Meulemans, who is passionate about mechanics, graduated in June 2010 from Xios University of Applied Sciences in Diepenbeek as an Industrial Electromechanics Engineer. Fresh onto the employment market, he applied to four different companies and Vinçotte turned out to be the best employer. Now, one year and several months later, he looks back on a budding, but exciting career as a Pipeline Survey Technical Specialist at Vinçotte.

Big and small challenges

“For my job, I move around a lot. My fields of work are our clients’ sites. I closely accompany the work done by contractors, as the quality and the final result of the work performed depend on our inspection. On site, I mainly inspect all of the welding work and the preparations for welded joints by the contractors as well as the state of the pipes and/or the bends. As a basis for this work, I use the EN 12732 standard, Belgian legislation and any specifications from the client.

The last site where I worked was in Flémalle (in the Liège region). We shared an office there with the client, where we organised our administration and reporting, but I spent the bulk of my time outside on the site. I reported every day to the pipeline coordinator. Last winter, I was accompanying another small site in Westerlo. There an existing pipeline for Daf Trucks (diameter: DN 100) was being re-routed. My most challenging project to date was VTN2, a large gas pipeline (diameter: DN 1000) between Raeren and Opwijk that serves as a duct for guaranteeing the gas supply between Russia and Belgium."

Responsibility is a plus

“A gas leak can have devastating consequences. You think immediately about a disaster like the one that happened in Gellingen. Naturally we are not sent to a site without prior knowledge: I have had a six month training and I am still studying a lot. I am now able to add to my CV a Welding Inspector course from the Vinçotte Academy, training courses in ultrasound inspection and magnetic inspection and soon I will be able to add a training course in radiographic and dye penetrant inspection. For me, the responsibility that I am given is a plus. The job also gives me a lot of satisfaction because I can guarantee the safety of others through my work.”

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