Meredith Dijkstra

Published in category: People

PRODUCT PORTFOLIO MANAGER, DAMEN SHIPYARDS GORINCHEM

35 years old
Married to Jan and mother of Twan and Pippin (8)
Thinks: the feeling of ‘we’ at Damen is unique
Chooses: any vessel with a Sea Axe design as her favourite

“I’m crazy about boats – and that’s because of my grandfather. He took me to see the Port of Rotterdam a lot when I was a child. We were often lucky enough to go on board and have a look around – the fact that we were a curious little girl and a friendly old man probably made it easier. Through my eyes, all ships were large and impressive. And that is a feeling that never went away – I decided to study naval architecture and started working for Damen more than ten years ago.

‘Far too big’. That was my first thought when I started at the company, although at that time there were only around 600 of us. In the meantime, Damen has grown even bigger and I have completely reversed my opinion. It’s the feeling of ‘we’ that makes working here so special. It is like a family. As Product Portfolio Manager I am responsible for the standard ship types below 24 metres LPP. This comprises the design, standardisation and detailing, but not for the Yard Numbers themselves – for which the Project Managers are responsible.

However, when a new ship type in my portfolio is developed, I am very much involved in the ‘first of series’ Yard Number.

It is a dynamic position as I am involved in the entire process as well as working together with many different people. It’s a great feeling when the whole team embarks on a new project that culminates months later with the launch of a new ship type and a happy customer.

My home life at weekends and during the holidays is just like my job: energetic and adventurous. I am a mother of two boys. They are identical twins who love sports and getting out and about – skiing or camping are their favourites. Although we regularly go to the theatre as well – it’s wonderful to see how children can get so involved with the story. I also love baking cakes and cooking with all the family – our door is always open to family and friends. Approachability and teamwork play a huge role, both at home and at work.”