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TMC Employeneur Awards: Ambassadorship rewarded with the Silver Employeneurs Award

Twice a year, TMC rewards Employeneurs for their exceptional work with the ‘Employeneurs Award’. One of the winners of this year’s award is Thijs van der Aa. Even though Thijs has only been working for TMC since April 2016, his enthusiasm for Employeneurship has already led to the introduction of new clients and a new team member. For his outstanding contribution as an ambassador of TMC, he was rewarded with the Silver Employeneurs Award.

Thijs started his career within the field of chemical and material science, and he has worked for several companies since then. “I have always been fascinated by technology, materials and chemistry,” Thijs explains. “That’s why I chose to study Applied Science at the Fontys in Eindhoven. I learned about the practical side of technology, how to do analysis, and about product design and materials. This laid the foundations for my work at several companies, where I held positions as a technician and composite engineer. As a technician, I was responsible for the compounding, injection molding, and testing of experimental types of plastic. Although I really liked this job, I missed the ‘bigger picture’ in which I could better understand the way components and additives in plastics are used at the company. That’s why, later on, I took a job as a composite engineer at VDL Fibertech Industries. Here I learned how to develop and improve new and existing composite products for healthcare equipment. I was also responsible for setting up specific rheological and mechanical tests, and I taught colleagues about their implementation. Moreover, I learned about the various composite production techniques and materials – something that interests me a lot.”

New opportunities as an Employeneur Thijs enjoyed his job a lot, but unfortunately his project ended after two years. “On the one hand, I would have liked to stay on this project for a longer time, but on the other hand I was curious about other opportunities that the technical industry could offer me,” Thijs tells. “That’s why I called my former teacher Guido Smets. He introduced me to his former student Luuk Wilders, who now works as an account manager at TMC Chemical. It took just one conversation with Luuk to get me enthusiastic about TMC and the Employeneurship model. I was very honoured when TMC Chemical offered me a position as a chemical engineer without having an actual project for me yet. Although I wanted to start in a new job as soon as possible, this time ‘in between projects’ gave me the opportunity to get acquainted with TMC. This enabled me to fully embrace the Employeneurship model and TMC as an employer.” 

Growing in career After a few months, Thijs was introduced to the ITEC a department of Nexperia (former NXP Semiconductors Standard Products) for a challenging job as a process engineer – a project Thijs is very happy to be working on. “At ITEC, I am responsible for the process development and optimisation of the IC Assembly Prototype Equipment. This equipment has very fast outputs and needs to be an industry benchmark in various fields of discrete manufacturing. This means that I have to determine a process window ‘preferable’ within a tight cycle time. Each sub-process in the machine can have several material combinations and the process must fit within 50-100 msec. Our goal is to have a robust process that is validated at Cpk’s of 1.67, which is a measure of process capability. The ITEC project is fascinating and gives me the opportunity to grow in my career.”

“The fact that my enthusiasm inspires others to come in contact with TMC is a nice plus to my job.”

Inspiring others Thijs’ positive experience at TMC, and his project at ITEC Nexperia, didn’t stay unnoticed by others. With his infectious enthusiasm, Thijs has already brought in two new clients to TMC, as well as a new team member. “Reason enough to nominate Thijs for the Employeneurs Award,” Luuk Wilders tells. “It is great to see how Thijs contributes to our business cell by sharing his enthusiasm and his drive to make it within the world of technology – two aspects we value a lot in our Employeneurs.” Thijs: “The fact that my enthusiasm inspires others to come in contact with TMC is a nice plus to my job. I am very proud that TMC thought my ambassadorship was remarkable enough to reward me with the Silver Employeneurs Award. I hope I will keep developing myself in the coming years, and I hope to keep inspiring others with my story as an Employeneur.”

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