One day in the life of Thomas Antheunis, site engineer

24 Aug 2022

The site engineer is a real conductor who has a say in all aspects of a construction site: schedules, budgets, team management, compliance with standards, etc.
Let's meet Thomas, a young site engineer who will tell us about his work at Tractebel.

  • Thomas, when and why did you join Tractebel? 

In 2020, I was at Pukkelpop festival together with a friend who just started working at Tractebel and had spoken positively about the company atmosphere, that’s what convinced me to apply for the position of “site engineer”. We were so enthusiastic about it that we even missed the gig!

  • What do you do exactly?

After the design phase of road and sewer projects, I am in charge of the follow-up of the execution phase of these projects. In other words, this includes the coordination with the utility companies, finetuning or reshaping designs, evaluation and proposition of solutions or alternatives in case of unexcepted events during the construction, answering any requirement of the client… and more. At the moment, I do these follow-up only in Flanders, where we can find very exiting infrastructure projects!

  • What does a typical job day look like for you?

My days are never alike! There are of course things I do on a recurring basis such as certain vast construction site meetings, internal meetings, coordination meetings. The rest of the time I am on construction sites providing technical advices, planning, organize and supervising construction projects, negotiating with third parties etc.

After work, I like to spend some quality time with my girlfriend and friends to disconnect from work sometimes!

  • What gets you most excited about your job?

At the beginning of my career, I worked for a contractor. I see this as an added value to my job as a site engineer in a consulting firm because I have a good understanding of what is feasible and what the contractor needs. This makes it easier to find the correct solutions.

In addition, working for a engineering company like Tractebel has a number of advantages for me. First of all, of course, the better working hours and flexibility, but even more important is that you can work on various projects in a short period of time which allows you to grow very quickly.
Furthermore, as a site engineer here, you also have more to say in the design to determine what is feasible and what is not. You can provide feedback on the design from a critical point of view, which allows you to have a positive impact on the project and its implementation.

  • What does it take to be successful as an Engineer at Tractebel?

To be successful as a site engineer, you should demonstrate strong analytical and logical thinking skills. Outstanding candidates should display a good work ethic and thrive under pressure. You should also be eager to learn everyday theoretically and practically: Times change, methods and concepts also evolve with time. You should be able to adapt and evolve with time.

You also have to dare to be open-minded in your own job in order to learn, you need to have a good understanding of what your colleagues are doing in order to understand what they are making/designing, and you have to look through the eyes of the contractor and client in order to know how to deal with it on site. By approaching a project in this way, you can make things justifiable and get all parties on board. Each party sees the project from his/her own perspective.

  • What are your career dreams for the future?

To become an all around project manager in every kind of infrastructural project!

  • Do you have any advice for someone looking to pursue a career in the engineering industry?

Keep a very open mindset, there are many shades of grey. By this, I mean that everyone looks at a project from their area of expertise and role in the project. The trick is to be able to look through the various visions to understand each person’s point of view and interests in order to strive towards the best solution as a team.

 

Are you interested in the job position as site engineer? Click here to apply.
Curious about other careers at Tractebel? Click here to see our current job openings.

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