Mart Jansma (37) is cost engineer at Strukton Systems. And one of the happy few in the Bridges & Locks team. In his blog, he explains why he's so enthusiastic about his work.

I've got the best job in the world. If I say so myself. Together with eight colleagues, I run a pioneer's club - because that's what we are - within Strukton Systems, which in turn falls under Strukton Rail. Together we form the Bridges & Locks team. We specialise in the electrical engineering and control installations for bridges and locks. For the municipality of Utrecht, for example, we converted six existing, locally operated bridges into bridges which can be remotely controlled.

Together we can do everything: cost engineering, software engineering, hardware engineering, planning, project management. We are jack of all trades. Because there are only nine of us, we often do each other's work. I'm mostly office-based, but I sometimes get out when I need to take a colleague's place, for example.

"You visit places where no one goes"

From Groningen to Schiedam

We take responsibility for all phases of a project. That means we're involved in all phases of a project. From tender to opening party! It's like running our own shop. And that shop can be in different places in the Netherlands. From Utrecht to Zuidhorn in Groningen, from Weesp to Schiedam: because bridges and locks are everywhere. So you get to see places. Also places where no one goes. In bridge cellars in the heart of Amsterdam, for example. I love that, and the technology itself. A bridge is a machine that needs to work safely.

Making a name for itself

Our team is in the category 'stop talking and get on with it'. We're not just responsible for the work that already exists, but also for work in the future. Over the past four years, we've been making a name for ourselves. And we're proud of the results. We're now preferred supplier for projects in Amsterdam. That means that we get asked to take part in tenders. In many cases, we're awarded the project. We're currently working on the Westerkeersluis and the Mr. J.J. van der Veldebrug in our capital. 

werknemers poseren voor werklocatie Tafelbrug Zuidhoorn
Photographer: Arend Jan Zwarteveen, Tafelbrug Zuidhorn

"Interns are given every opportunity to learn the profession inside out"

Interns wanted

Our pioneering approach does have a price tag though: a full diary. We have more work than we can cope with. We're therefore looking for interns at secondary vocational education level 3 or 4 Electrical Engineering or Industrial Automation. For twenty weeks, they are given every opportunity to learn the profession inside out. Is an intern mainly interested in software? No problem. Or perhaps the hardware? Again, no problem. They come with us to meetings with clients, handovers - it's all part of the deal. Because we work on every part of a project, interns encounter all kinds of things and can discover where their interests lie.

Infectious enthusiasm

I can still remember when I was recruited for this team. I was interviewed by Addie van der Bult, our project leader, senior partner and unifying factor in one. He talked so passionately, so enthusiastically about the work. And that was so infectious, I was immediately sold. I haven’t regretted a moment of it. Apart from finding the work incredibly enjoyable, I also feel very much at home in our team. We can laugh together, there's time for a chat and we achieve amazing results. I mean: who wouldn't want to join a team like ours?

Photographer: Arend Jan Zwarteveen, Tafelbrug Zuidhorn

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