In November 2022, Leon left his role as Chief Officer on a ship after almost 29 years and started working at Damen Naval through project sourcing from MULTI.engineering. We checked in to see how he's doing after his career change.
Big dreams of seafaring
It was always Leon de Hoop's big dream to sail the seas. So he set out to make it happen and in 1994 he graduated from the maritime school as a machinist. "I wanted a nautical position, but because my eyesight wasn't good enough, that wasn't possible. But around the turn of the century, the regulations were relaxed and I went back to maritime school. I earned two diplomas there in two years."
After receiving two new diplomas, Leon de Hoop took up his role as Chief Officer. "My work and projects were mainly in Northwest Europe. Although I also made some long-distance trips to India, Dubai and the Bahamas."
ILS engineer at Damen Naval
"At the end of 2022, I left my seafaring career after 29 years and ended up at Damen Naval with MULTI.engineering through project sourcing. I work there as an ILS engineer on a naval project. ILS stands for Integrated Logistic Support. I optimise maintenance systems to reduce life cycle costs and logistics demand, which facilitates product support."
Career change after 29 years at sea
"29 years at sea is a long time. On the one hand, I was really looking forward to a change of scenery. On the other hand, I certainly had doubts about the switch. Would I get used to it? Is it something for me? In the end, the switch wasn't too bad. I haven't regretted it for a single moment. My career at sea has been great, but it's also been enough now. For 29 years I'd be at sea for a number of weeks and at home for a number of weeks. I missed a lot during that time. Especially since the birth of my daughter – that was really difficult. Now I can bike to work and be home in barely ten minutes. I'm home every evening, can have dinner with my family and can attend parent meetings and things. I like that very much. My wife is also happy – usually (laughs) – that I now have a "normal" office job and I'm at home more."
"The maritime project I'm working on at Damen Naval has been going on for some time. So, I jumped on a moving train, so to speak. I've learned a lot over the past year. It's one big learning process. A nice advantage is that I'm very familiar with how things work in practice. I know the construction of a ship, how it works and how it navigates. For the first time, I'm now experiencing the process that precedes the construction of a new ship. Even though I've spent years on a ship, it's only now that I see what's involved in the preliminary stages before the ship can be built. That's incredibly interesting! What's more, because it's a naval project, there are many requirements that have to be taken into account. It's completely different from commercial offshore assets & systems engineering."
Tackling challenges together
"New challenges are constantly coming our way. We have to discuss this each time anew, internally and with the customers. Together we look at how to deal with them and what steps to take. It takes a lot of consultation and talking to each other, but I like that. I'm also very proud of what we've already achieved as a team. And that's what it really is: a team effort. I always say: no matter how well the boat itself is put together, it's a combination of crew and maintenance that determines how it drives and operates."
Employed by MULTI.engineering at Damen Naval
"How do I feel about being employed by MULTI.engineering at Damen Naval? Well, I love it! I'm extremely happy with the opportunity I've been given. At the first meeting, I already had a good feeling about it. MULTI.engineering is a great company, and we have a really positive relationship. The lines of communication are very short and I love that."