The Brains of Nynas: Hilde Vandeneede
During her many years at Nynas, Hilde Vandeneede has gathered an impressive experience from her various positions focusing on both technology and marketing. Last year, Hilde was appointed Bitumen Product Manager. Find out what’s on her mind.
With a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a post graduate of Business Economics from the Belgian university KU Leuven, Hilde Vandeneede joined Nynas in 1990 in the position of Research and Development Engineer in the laboratory at the Antwerp refinery. During her many years at Nynas, Hilde has gathered an impressive experience from her various positions focusing on both technology and marketing. Last year, Hilde was appointed Bitumen Product Manager, which is an important role in the marketing department.
In Nynas bitumen marketing team, we work extremely closely together, even though we’re located in different places (Brussels and Stockholm). In my role as Bitumen Product Manager, I collaborate with all regions and functions, more and more also including our Naphthenics department. For me, it’s important to listen to all parties concerned and ensure that they are consulted when coordinating product development work or in other activities that are managed by the marketing department.
I’ve been engaged in work related to our bitumen products throughout Europe for more than ten years. The role of Bitumen Product Manager is a relatively new one. Most activities within my area of responsibility are related to portfolio management based on the objective of enhancing the value of our products, not only for Nynas, but also for our customers, by looking ahead to changes in the market environment and in the industry.
Much as I like my job, I find it important to make time to relax and spend time with family and friends. I try to go for a walk every day, with colleagues when I’m in the office, or with neighbours and friends when working from home. But I’m also keen to exercise the grey cells, and I can spend hours getting lost in jigsaw puzzles, crosswords or logic puzzles, like sudoku and tectonic. But what really recharges my battery is being out in the forest, at a suitable distance from the noise of the street.
Over the more than 30 years that I’ve been working at Nynas, I’ve met many colleagues from different parts of the bitumen business. They have all helped me to grow, both professionally and on a personal level. Some of my colleagues have also become good friends. Given my long career in the company, I’ve obviously experienced many changes. In addition to what they have meant professionally, some changes have also affected me personally, like having to say goodbye to colleagues.
For me, it’s important to help people wherever I can. In my work, this means that I try to be rational with a hands-on mentality, in order to solve problems when they occur in the best way possible. Of course, this is easier said than done, and sometimes it’s better to reflect a little longer and seek out decent information before making decisions. On a personal level, my ambition is to live in the moment and enjoy what comes my way, rather than have big dreams for the future. In short, to take life as it comes.