"Wanting to know how the world works and then improve it"

Nadine Wennersbusch is senior project manager in the Sustainable Process & Energy Systems department. With her analytical eye she likes to contribute to everything that concerns the project execution. So project management suits her down to the ground.

"TNO and ECN recently clustered strengths to form a single energy research centre. We deal with a wide range of energy issues, from CO2 capture and reuse to heat storage and utilisation. Our goal is to develop technology that contributes to a sustainable society. My department scales up production processes for sustainable chemistry in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels. To this end, we focus on biomass, such as agricultural residues and waste, with the aim of making chemical building blocks for applications such as plastics, resins and coatings. As a project manager, I lead various international projects and ensure that we achieve the intended results within budget and time, which results in satisfied customers."

SOLVING SOCIETAL PROBLEMS

"I studied applied physics in Delft before initially starting my career working for a consulting firm. An enjoyable and educational time, but I missed the link with innovation. After speaking with my former fellow students I ended up at TNO. This combination of being close to research but also application-focused and in interaction with companies fascinated me greatly.

Moreover, I rediscovered the passion for which I began to study. Curiosity - wanting to know how the world works. And then wanting to improve that world. At TNO I can help solve a societal problem. Why don't I use my knowledge of physics directly?

I have always enjoyed contributing to many aspects. The breadth of project management appeals to me – a physics study also equips you with the analytical skills you need to do this. Moreover, given my education I do not shy away from technology and I can ask the right questions."

COMBINE KNOWLEDGE

"TNO is strong because it combines knowledge. There is a lot of interaction between disciplines here. Our projects are multidisciplinary, there are various internal networks such as Jong TNO and you are even encouraged to move to another department. In this way you automatically take your knowledge to the next place. I am also free to shape my own development and seize opportunities.

The Talent Centre at TNO facilitates development for both young and old in many ways, for example via e-learning or an on-the-job assignment. I have two young children and therefore work 32 hours a week, sometimes from home. There is a lot of flexibility in this arrangement too, and many colleagues make use of it. And oh, if the trainee programme had already existed when I joined, I would certainly have joined it. Three periods of eight months in different departments: a great way to get to know the breadth of TNO.”

PROJECT MANAGEMENT OR PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT?

"My ideal working day starts at a quarter to nine with coffee and a chat with colleagues. The day also consists of project meetings, taking actions so that we can realise a new pilot within six months or working with my team on a new project proposal. I may finish off with a lunch meeting with colleagues with whom I have previously done a course.

Will I stay in project management? Above my senior position is the principal role. Or I could move on to programme management. Then I would manage part of a roadmap. But for the time being, project management remains number one for me: I do the more complex projects, often with an international slant and so remain involved in everything."

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