Martijn Bijmans

Employed by the CEW since: 1 October 2016

The innovative water technology sector in the Netherlands is growing rapidly and needs support and human capital. For me, the personal challenge is to ensure that the CEW can best meet this need. At the same time, universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands have enormous potential to apply their knowhow for the valorisation of knowledge and to train the best talent that companies so desperately need. Finding a dynamic that connects these equally important goals in different organisations is very challenging but greatly needed.

Bringing together technology companies, end users, knowledge institutes and governments will also accelerate the development and implementation of technologies and solutions. This will enable the Netherlands to be a standard bearer within Europe and will make the CEW’s ambition of becoming the foremost Dutch applied water technology centre a reality.

Yvette De Vlieg

Employed by the CEW since: April 2012
Office Manager

I started at the CEW with a small interim job. It was April 2012 and the Centre was still in its infancy. While I was there I heard that there was a vacancy for an office manager at the CEW. I applied immediately, was accepted and have been here ever since. It was with great dedication and enthusiasm that I, together with my colleagues, contributed to making the CEW into what it is today. And now I’ve been working in the water technology sector for more than six years. It’s an extremely important part of our current society and world (problems).

I feel right at home as office manager. My colleagues and I run the back office and support everyone where necessary. In addition, I am the secretary of the Supervisory Board to our Centre. Because we are a relatively small organisation, I was able to perform a wide range of tasks from day one (HRM, Finance, Project Support, Secretary, etc.). My job is extremely versatile, no day is the same and that gives me energy and a lot of job satisfaction. What I am also pleased about are the special projects we’re working on.

When I drive through Leeuwarden, past the mist fountain that is part of Leeuwarden-Friesland European Capital of Culture 2018, I’m proud that we, the CEW, participated in this. There have been many projects like this over the years that I could talk about endlessly. Projects that made it into the media, often because of their significant contribution to solving (global) water problems.

The CEW is a wonderful organisation, with a great deal of knowledge and expertise and also a unique partnership. As Office Manager at the CEW, I’m proud to do my part.

Maarten Trilsbeek

Employed by the CEW since: May 2015
Project Manager

Education, technology and working with people, a unique combination that gives me energy every day. Whether it’s guiding graduates within complex projects or explaining the hows and whys of fog to primary school pupils, it doesn’t matter to me.

In May 2015 I had the opportunity to be assigned from the NHL University of Applied Sciences to the CEW. I didn’t have to think long about working for a foundation that connects education and business.

Initially, my role was mainly to manage the projects implemented by the CEW. We try as much as possible to involve students and lecturers from universities of applied sciences when working on these projects. With the expansion of the CEW team, my role has become more and more of a link between education and the CEW. What do I do all day? Promote the CEW within education, inspire (potential) water technology students, introduce (new) topics to the curriculum, monitor quality and adjust where necessary, and not to mention, ensure that we have enough students on board to carry out the growing number of projects.

Bob van Bijnen

Employed by the CEW since: 1 December 2016
Project Manager

I had already been hired by the CEW several times for various projects via my own company, NewAna. So when the CEW was looking for a new project manager, they didn’t have to look too far. I followed a training course in Laboratory and Process Technology at the NHL. This, combined with my technical background at Wetsus and my experience at the Water Application Centre, qualified me for the position of project manager at CEW.

Being able to help an SME to prove a product’s effectiveness, getting it onto the market more quickly and solving water problems together gives me energy.

The CEW is a multidisciplinary organisation where you learn from your colleagues by working together on projects. In addition, the CEW is a training organisation where there is always scope for growth in projects, knowledge and quality. Together with my colleagues, I hope to continue developing the CEW as a robust, high-quality project organisation whose customers are always satisfied.


Nikolaj Walraven

Employed by the CEW since: May 2017
Project manager

My own company Geoconnect has been working with the CEW ever since it was founded in 2012. At the time the CEW was involved in the Friesland Fernijt III project ‘On-line monitoring of Legionella prevention systems’ and sensor technology played an important role in this. At GeoConnect, I develop sensors and this is what brought us in contact. I have always regarded the CEW as an interesting organisation because it connects companies, education and government.

I was originally a geochemist, studied geochemistry at Utrecht University and obtained my PhD at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. After being an independent entrepreneur for 12 years I felt the need to expand my activities. That’s why I decided to send an open application to the CEW to work part-time. It arrived at exactly the right moment: they were looking for support in the area of project management, acquisitions and the acquisition of European projects. Because we already knew each other well, it was arranged quickly and the rest is history. At the CEW, I joined a fresh and driven team who are totally committed to water technology, which is very pleasant and motivating.

My ambition is to take the laboratory into the field more often. By testing on location and directing processes based on the results, a lot of time and costs can be saved. I can make good use of my knowledge in the field of sensor technology. Working part-time for the CEW, as well as running my own business, enables me to develop in the way I was hoping!


Tjeerd Rintjema

Employed by the CEW since: January 2016
Marketing & Communication Advisor

In my work I’m not only looking for satisfaction but also social relevance, and the CEW offers that in abundance! To be honest, I’d never really thought about water technology until I saw the vacancy at the CEW. Now I realise that water technology is a field of vital significance, and that it will only grow and become more important in the coming years.

As a PR and communication specialist, I ‘sell’ the CEW’s services, namely applied water technology research, via various online and offline channels. I also help to recruit students for the water-related programmes of Van Hall Larenstein and the NHL University of Applied Sciences. One of the CEW’s objectives is supplying enough well trained personnel to the water technology sector, both now and in the future. PR and communication play a very important role in this, and that’s what motivates me.

It’s really motivating to give a group of primary school children an unforgettable day by explaining water technology with the help of ‘cool’ experiments, as is a nice publication following a press release. Making a difference, that’s what the CEW does and that’s what makes me happy!

Länk Vaessen

Employed by the CEW since: June 2013
Business Developer

How did I come to join the CEW? Well, that’s not such an exciting story, I fear. My brother-in-law pointed out a vacancy in the newspaper, so I sent an application letter. That resulted in an interview and ultimately in my appointment as a business developer.

I studied Commercial Economics and then started working at Philips Lighting as an International Product Manager, where I was responsible for rechargeable batteries, among other things. After working for Philips for eight years, I became Marketing Manager at Donker Groen (Green Provider). In 2003 I started my own company specialising in non-chemical water purification. Those were exciting times when I did wonderful things and spent a lot of time abroad. Unfortunately, the banking crisis came half a year too early for me and I had to close down. The knowledge I acquired is now of great benefit to me at the CEW.

Being able to respond to the needs of customers, meaning something to them and gaining their confidence is what motivates me. What I like about working at the CEW is that I can sell something unique and important. With a ‘salesman’, people immediately think of someone selling a product or service, but selling knowledge in collaboration with a university of applied sciences and the government is special! In my experience, this ‘new learning’ is the future: companies specify what is needed and the educational curriculum is adapted accordingly. Students will soon be working much more with real business cases instead of dry theoretical material.

What I want to achieve with the CEW is that, together with the universities of applied sciences, we become the leading knowledge institute for applied research in water technology in terms of content, and that we help to shape ‘the new learning’.


Franciska Medina Pappermann

Employed by the CEW since: 1 April 2018
Project Manager

I started working for CEW on the first of April, after moving from Switzerland. I was looking to start my career in the water field; my target country was the Netherlands because of having one of the best qualities of water due to the promotion of leading technologies. CEW was the perfect place to expand my career because it combines water, science and technology.

I studied a chemistry degree in Chile and after working for a while in a biotech research centre there, I pursued a master in environmental engineering in Barcelona.

The improvement of the technologies related to the water resource is one of my life passions and it is what motivates me to contribute to reaching a more sustainable world. What I like the most about CEW is the cooperative interaction between the education and research sector and the companies and governmental parties. Becoming a society that takes care of the environment and its limited resources is nowadays one of our great challenges, I believe that at/with CEW we can contribute together and help make this a reality.

Sandra Bruinenberg

Employed by the CEW since: 24 July 2017

I heard through the grapevine that the CEW probably needed people because someone had left. I was advised to contact Martijn Bijmans. Which I did. And here I am!

I studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Groningen. After that I worked at Wetsus for four years on addressing the problem of biofouling of reverse osmosis membranes. Then I joined a small company that extracted more detailed information from measurement data for customers. After that, I worked at ECM Technologies where I did research into the electrochemical machining of metals and alloys.

I really enjoy the structured implementation of projects: ensuring that all (measurement) data are described in a neat and accessible report, which satisfies all the project partners. Teaching students and observing their development is also very rewarding.

The CEW often solves environmental issues, which I think is a very good thing. It’s wonderful that students are involved in this: they can work on interesting projects while they’re studying and improve and expand their skills in very useful ways.

Personally, I would like to immerse myself even more deeply in water technology and continue expanding my knowledge in this field. I am a teacher-researcher and I would also like to develop as a teacher.


Bob Laarhoven

Employed by the CEW since: 1 January 2018

I ended up at the CEW following a conversation with my namesake Bob van Bijnen and because of an earlier collaboration within the CADOS project.

I was born in Oud Gastel, a small town in the Dutch province of North Brabant. In 1998 I began my chemistry studies at Etten-Leur University and in 1999 I began an MSc course in Biology at the University of Groningen, specialising in marine biology research. Then, from 2006 I attended a postgraduate course in education at the University Centre for Learning & Teaching at the University of Groningen, earning a first class honours degree in teaching biology.

In early 2008 I started working as a junior researcher at the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries at Wageningen University. Here I worked on the European aquaculture project SustainAqua, which supported and conducted several experiments on sustainable improvements to recirculating aquaculture systems. In 2009, I started as a research manager at Til-aqua International, and worked on improving tilapia fry production in terms of better nutrition and development. I also carried out various nutritional studies for external companies and conducted research into temperature-controlled sex reversal in tilapia. Since 2010 I’ve been active on behalf of the Dutch Association of Aquaculture (NGVA) as a member of the Activities Committee, which organises meetings and excursions centred on aquaculture. In the summer of 2010 I started working as a PhD student at the Environmental Technology sub-department of Wageningen University. During my PhD, I was stationed at Wetsus, the European knowledge centre for water technology research in Leeuwarden. In 2015, before I obtained my PhD, I started working as a researcher in the research group Products and Processes for Biotechnology at the University of Groningen. Here I carried out research into the detection and reuse of tertiary cellulose, as part of the CADOS project cooperation. In addition to my work for the CEW, I am currently looking into setting up a company that produces aquatic worms as food for ornamental and farmed fish.

Thinking through research and putting it into practice inspires me, as does seeing students progress. The CEW builds a beautiful bridge between education and industry, with a variety of topics. My ambition at the CEW is to keep my role as a research supervisor challenging and to continue to apply the experience I have to that role.

Maria Osuna Gonzalez

Employed by the CEW since: 23 April 2018

I started working for CEW on April 23, 2018. I learned that CEW was looking for new colleagues and with my background in Environmental Microbiology it looked like a perfect fit, moreover since I really enjoy working with students.

I studied Microbiology at the University of the Basque Country, in my home country Spain. After finishing my degree I pursued a PhD in Environmental Biotechnology at the same university, with part of the experimental work performed at Wageningen University. After finishing my Degree I have held several Postdoc positions in universities and research institutes in the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

I believe that with biotechnology we can make our surrounding world more sustainable, treat our wastewater and recover valuable resources from it. What I like about CEW is the interaction between research & education and private companies, which ensures that our projects are of practical relevance.

I am passionate about working with biology in order to produce something valuable or to solve a problem somewhere. This combined with working with students, from whom you get a lot of energy through their enthusiasm and drive for changing things to make the world a little better. At CEW I want to achieve to do great and high quality research projects, while on the way educate young promising students and learn from them as well.

Victor Torres

Employed by the CEW since: May 2018

Before finishing my PhD at TU Delft, I started looking for jobs and I came across the vacancies at CEW through its website. I actually had some references about CEW and I already had heard upon some of the projects already running here so I decided to apply.

After being accredited as chemical engineer (University of Alicante, Spain), I started working in the water treatment sector for a few years. I developed my career in many positions, stating from doing chemical analysis to second engineer plant manager at the end. I knew about a research project at TU Delft related to the effects of supercritical conditions on calcium carbonate alcohoxydes. When the project finished I started my PhD there.

I do like solving real problems and that is exactly what we do in all the projects that we have at CEW. The great variety of topics we have to deal with at CEW allows me to address a different challenge every day, which makes this job so dynamic and exciting.

For me, CEW is perfect because it combines the best of doing a PhD together with being in contact with daily issues at companies. I also consider Education as part of one of the key pieces in our society, thus supervising, motivating, and supporting students in the lab bring me a great personal satisfaction.

I actually want to influence and transmitting my joy for science and using it as vehicle to promote the critical thinking among our students. Besides that, I also would like to contribute to CEW to grow and becoming a referent within the water sector not just in the province of Friesland, but also in The Netherlands.

Inge van der Velde

Employed by the CEW since: September 2018
Project Manager

I know the CEW through my previous work at water board Reest and Wieden and Drents Overijsselse Delta. I worked there for 15 years as a (senior) process technologist / adviser on the water chain and sewerage. From that capacity I had already had contact with the CEW because of the possible execution of a project. That did not happen then, actually because of unfamiliarity with the CEW on my part. At that time I did not realize what the Centre could deliver exactly. Meanwhile, I see that the quality of both the students, the supervision and the research are perfectly guaranteed. If I had known that then, I would certainly have turned it off here!

In these water boards, I have designed and commissioned a number of WWTPs over the years. In addition, I was allowed to design and commission a new type of sludge fermentation.

Contributing to innovations, in a way that really benefits our customers and other stakeholders, gives me energy. Especially when we can solve a problem that previously no standard solution was available for.

The CEW is a good employer for me because it focuses entirely on my field of expertise, water technology. The fact that I can think about innovative solutions for companies and governments and that together with a team in which all the different disciplines are represented makes working here fun.

One of my missions is to make the water boards more familiar with the CEW, so that they start assignments here. In this way, students can experience that water boards are a very nice employer and water boards can avert the threatening shortage of personnel for the future. A pure win-win situation. I also hope that we will continue to succeed in obtaining attractive projects that will enable us to enthuse students for the water technology sector.

Jordi Moreno

Employed by the CEW since: June 2018
Project Manager

When I heard that CEW would be a partner in the new project LL4WIDE (Living Labs for Water Innovation Demonstration Exchange), I asked for more information directly to Martijn Bijmans. At the end of that talk, I decided to apply for the position of Project Manager as we considered my skills would fit perfectly.

I obtained a BSc of Environmental sciences and a MSc of Water Science and Technology, both at the University of Girona (Catalonia, Spain). Later, I’ve recently obtained a PhD from the University of Twente, during my PhD thesis I developed the Blue Energy technology to further commercialization.

I like to start new things and new project (ideas), or help others enhancing their ideas. Curiosity is my main drive.

CEW is highly dynamic, in terms of different projects with different durations, also the combination of young students and senior management, make an amazing atmosphere to teach and learn.

I would like to increase the international relations of CEW by starting new European endeavors and also, with my background, bring some new expertise in the company to increase the excellence of our applied research work.

Karolina Smiech

Employed by the CEW since: November 2013

I am connected to the CEW via my position as a researcher at NHL-Stenden and VHL Universities of Applied Sciences. After I graduated from MSc Water Technology at Wetsus Academy, I heard via my network that there was a position available at these universities in cooperation with CEW. I liked the description of this position and decided to apply.

I did my BSc of Environmental Technology at Gdansk University of Technology, in Poland and my MSc of Water Technology at Wetsus Academy/ Wageningen University.

I am always happy when the work we do together with our students and colleagues contributes to solving real problems companies face, when we can contribute to the development of companies’ products. I am happy when results obtained in our research are translated into real-life applications.

At CEW I get to work on various projects and explore various water technologies. I very much like the “applied” aspect of the research we do. In my work I get to learn from specialists from companies who are our clients as well as from my colleagues at CEW. I get to meet many very different people – I supervise students from all over the world. My job gives me an opportunity to do a variety of tasks, combining practical hands-on work in the laboratory and work behind a computer, doing things myself and supervising students, combining research and education.

My goal is to continue developing my practical knowledge and skills of water technologies and their applications, to build my expertise in this field. I want to be a specialist who can be relied on.

Biense Hoogland

Employed by the CEW since: 1 October 2018
Student Recruiter

On 1 October 2018 I started at the CEW as an Student Recruiter. I like to contribute to an organization that offers people the space to develop themselves. In addition, the CEW also works on socially relevant topics. Because water is essential for life on earth!

During my study of water technology at Wetsus Academy, I heard that the CEW regularly has part-time jobs for students who do something with water. I then made contact and could quickly get started. It turned out to be a hit, I have experienced the CEW as a nice place to develop myself. After my study I got the opportunity to further develop myself at Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe through the National Watertraineeship. Here they hold up a mirror so that you can better understand yourself and your actions. This helps you to deal better with your pitfalls, but also where your talent lies and how you can best use it.

It gave me the insight that I wanted to dedicate myself to the development of talent. I was very happy when I came back to the CEW. I would like to offer students the opportunity to develop within the CEW!

Janneke Dickhout

Employed by the CEW since: 1 September 2018

When I did my PhD research at Wetsus, Martijn Bijmans was already a colleague of mine. He approached me several times to ask what I wanted after my defense, and after a number of conversations I got here in consultation with NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (from where I was seconded). I therefore combine education at NHL Stenden/ Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences with research projects at the CEW.

I studied natural sciences in Nijmegen, specialization Physical Chemistry. Then I started my PhD research at Wetsus. In collaboration with Membrane Science and Technology at the University of Twente, I spent 4 years researching oil-water separation using membranes, and in particular the interaction between oil droplets and surfaces under different conditions. I finished my PhD officially on 1 November 2018!

The training of a next generation of researchers and technologists I find very beautiful, because they will play a very important role in a world in which we have to deal smarter with resources, such as water and energy. I like it when a student does an internship project with pleasure and finishes it. Nevertheless, I also get a lot of energy from motivating and helping students with whom it is a little more difficult, and the best thing is when they finally see that they can do it. And a personal thing: I enjoy finding out things that I did not know yet. If I go home every day with a bit more knowledge than what I left with that morning, I’m happy.

The work is incredibly varied. Regardless of your background knowledge, you are put on projects that you may not know so much about, which offers the possibility to grow a lot yourself. In addition, it is a nice team of people where, besides working hard, the social part is also of paramount importance.

Improving the connection between the university college and the CEW, shortening the lines and helping to set up even more successful collaborations is what I am aiming for at the CEW!

Tom Vereijken

Employed by the CEW since: 1 April 2018
Project Manager Vida

I have been working with CEW for some time, including on European projects, and in the European Water Stewardship program, of which CEW is a partner. When the Vida project was awarded, it was natural to start the project on behalf of CEW, partly because of the innovation, the food industry (where I originally started) and the European network that comes in handy.

I am a water technologist. In that capacity I have purified water myself for a long time, and then I designed and started installations around the world. After obtaining my MBA, I have worked to get water higher up on the European agenda, partly through the co-creation of the technology platform (WssTP) and the European Water Partnership (EWP). After that, I spent five years as a Water Director at a large engineering firm. Now I am committed to helping organizations (companies / governments) in Europe with the sustainability of water management through the EWS Certification program, and I am a board member at a Water Board. In Brussels I am still active, recently for example to get sufficient budget for water research in the new research program of the European Union over the next 7 years.

I like to change the beacons, to use innovations, and to demonstrate practical issues that make a new standard possible.

The CEW is an open, young organization with a lot of energy. That is a nice environment to work in. Connecting education, research and companies is ambitious, and that suits me.

The CEW is the coordinator of the European Vida project. I want to set up Vida as a successful, leading project through which water innovations can be put into the food industry, and where countless SMEs can benefit from it.

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