Shapecaret-double-leftcaret-double-rightcaret-downcaret-leftcaret-right-circlecaret-rightShapeclosedropdownexpand morefacebookLogolinkedinlogo-footerlogo-marklogo-mobilemailsearchtwitteryoutube
Menu Close

A unique way to earn your PHD

When Dennis Ernens had his first talk with Rihard Pasaribu, his new team-leader at Shell, Richard asked what Dennis really wanted. Dennis: “I was going to do this high level research project for Shell in collaboration with the University of Twente. Rihard suggested I could use this project as a basis for a PhD, and offered to help to make it happen.”

Rihard explains: “I’m a big fan of nurturing talent; that’s the starting point. But Dennis has also been fortuitous, because he was going to work on a project that needed an in-depth study with support from the university, and which would qualify for a PhD thesis. So from Shell’s point of view, the PhD is a side-effect, but a great opportunity for Dennis. This is a win-win situation for everyone. For Shell because the high level research is being conducted, TMC is able to grow Dennis and Dennis is able to earn his PhD.”

Dennis has been working for Shell through TMC Physics for almost three years now. The arrangement they agreed - Dennis doing his PhD for Shell while staying on at TMC - is unique. “My research is likely to produce results that will be company-sensitive for Shell. Even though it’s standard at TMC that they never own any Intellectual Property, it still required a lot of effort, and paperwork, on all sides. TMC, Rihard and my professor at the University of Twente have gone the extra mile to make this happen.”

Rihard: “TMC are also fans of growing people. Like Shell, they see this as an investment in Dennis. I’ve worked with a lot of contractors who supply services for us, and TMC really look after their people. They provide them with training and knowledge, not only for them to do the job here, but also to increase their capacity and grow their talent.”

Gerben Kuipers, manager at TMC Physics, says: “We are very happy that we were able to make this happen for Dennis. Investing in our people is what TMC stands for. And Dennis is a very active member of the TMC community; he constantly helps his colleagues with problems and organizes activities, such as trainings, fun outings, and so-called ‘pizza-sessions’ to strengthen the network among our TMC employees. Or ‘Employeneurs’, as we like to call them, because we try to stimulate entrepreneurship in all our employees. Dennis embodies this philosophy. It’s not uncommon for him to come to me with an idea or opportunity for a colleague or for TMC. So it’s great we could help Dennis to take this next step in his career.”

Dennis has now begun his research for his PhD at Shell and the university. “Shell offers the diversity and complexity of work that I love, and now with this PhD, I can focus on more in-depth research. What’s more, my colleagues here are very diverse and there is such amazing willingness to help each other and to share information with each other. And TMC is such a great employer. It’s unprecedented that they facilitated this.”

What's your next step? We can help you with that