‘I didn’t expect to get off to such a flying start’

Having the freedom to innovate was an instant given from the moment that Jurjen Stopel applied for a job at Visser & Smit Hanab. Now, after just a year on the job, he is already at the helm of an organisation-wide project: implementing virtual construction among more than a thousand colleagues. “Innovation really appeals to me. My drive is to structure processes as efficiently as possible. After all, there’s nothing worse than unnecessary manual or repetitious work. I always find ways to improve and think it’s a shame to ignore opportunities to do so. I immediately felt I had the room to innovate at V&SH and that really appealed to me.”

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“I graduated from the University of Twente last year with a Masters in Construction Management and Engineering. My research was into improving information exchanges with the help of Building Information Management (BIM), also known as virtual construction. V&SH had intended to roll out BIM at the Integrated Projects department within five years. But the rollout was completed in six months. From the standardisation to the procurement of the necessary software and hardware. And from staff training to new working methods. BIM has already resulted in 20% lower failure costs, enthusiastic clients and various new assignments.”

Trust and freedom

“Thanks to this success I have been asked to roll out BIM throughout the organisation. Virtual construction also provides many opportunities for other departments! At first I managed a team of five designers. And now the challenge for me is to transfer this new way of working to more than a thousand people. I didn’t expect to get off to such a flying start! I am proud of what I’ve achieved and pleased to have the trust and freedom I get. I think it’s really cool for a young guy like me to get the chance to implement innovations and grow professionally. Not only at V&SH but also within the VolkerWessels group. If you were to ask me what’s next, then I’d have to say it would be fantastic to focus on robotisation in the future. Because that’s true innovation!”