Anton Voermans, currently responsible for the Hydrodynamic Design department in Wärtsilä Marine Business, manages the team designing and developing propulsion systems for existing vessels, often with special requirements such as improving fuel efficiency or lowering the noise levels. “When I joined, I started off as a designer, and during my years at Wärtsilä I have moved on to lead the design team,” he sums up his current role.
“The propulsion business itself is really special,” Anton says, and that’s what motivates him in his daily life at the office. “It is a great feeling to see the actual result of your design in the vessels around the globe. We co-operate with interesting businesses and stakeholders. Sometimes you even see a vessel you helped to design again in a documentary in the media which is something that doesn’t come as a first thing into your mind when designing propellers,“ Anton laughs.
As Anton’s team is working with the special propulsion systems, they need to develop and find new solutions and increase the team's expertise constantly. This leads to the need of finding and sustaining deep relationships with different organisations and research institutes. “Our team links the academic work to the business. We are the executioners of the projects and connected to the practical side whereas the institutes support us in the development work,” Anton says.
Many projects, stakeholders and teams have taught Anton about the nature of the project work. “It is important to recognise when a change is needed to achieve the success that is anticipated. For instance, if you notice that you are on a dead-end road, you need to change your walking path and take the map to find a new road. Secondly, always ask other people’s help, share know-how between the departments, and the people around you. Search for knowledge inside or outside the company constantly.“
His interest in learning more, developing his skills and executing innovations can be easily seen in practice. Anton’s colleagues appreciate him for his experience in this and fact-based decision-making skills. “For being successful with design work it is valuable being able to simplify complexity,” Anton explains.
Anton thinks the future, in general, is all about innovativeness and therefore Wärtsilä needs to invest in its employees. When talking about the human capital, often the focus is on ‘know’ and ’how’, but also people's connections play an important role in this. Hence, Anton ’s team works with many stakeholders and cooperates with multiple teams at a global level. “For me, this community has become more and more important as we get to know each other better during the years I’ve been in the company,” Anton says. “It feels good, being part of the social Wärtsilä community.”
"The combination of technical challenges, extraordinary innovations we create and the people around me are the reasons why I’ve already worked for 21 years at Wärtsilä with joy,” Anton concludes.
In his free time, Anton enjoys being active. He likes playing tennis, skiing, and cycling in the forests. Especially, he loves the seaside, as he thinks there really is nothing better than relaxing and watching all the beautiful vessels, with Wärtsilä propellers, passing by!