Geert works as a project leader at Flanders Make. He made the switch from the industry. As such, he supports the team with his industrial experience, thus further bridging the gap between the academic and the corporate world. 

Geert, project leader at Flanders Make

"I got to know Flanders Make and what it does when I was working with my previous employee. During my 25 years in the industry, I experienced first-hand that Flanders Make had interesting projects for our sector and that it was pleasant to work together with them. Still, I noticed, like other machine builders in West Flanders, that the distance to the office of Flanders Make in Leuven was often a limiting factor in the partnership. You can imagine that I was thrilled to hear that they would set up an additional site in Kortrijk. A location close to members in West Flanders offered huge opportunities. Also to me personally, because soon afterwards I became project manager with Flanders Make.

My tasks are twofold. On the one hand, I support from Kortrijk the process that must ensure that the new building will be erected within the legal framework and within the pre-set term. From the ProductionS core lab, a multi-disciplinary team is also planning the technical infrastructure of the labs. Today, this is still being done from the Howest premises but we hope being able to move to the new site in the fall of 2020.

Flanders Make’s third hub will become a genuine flagship establishment. We will focus on everything related to flexible assembly. This means that we will have infrastructure that we and our members can use to execute projects studying the flexible assembly of various mechatronic systems and sub-systems. In other words: everything that must be built, screwed or glued together so as to create a mechanical and mechatronic structure with a size not exceeding 300 x 300 x 300 mm and with a maximum weight of 30 kg. In principle, every system meeting these criteria can be assembled on our future infrastructure, which will be able to switch between different products in a very swift and simple way. For this project, we work closely together with Gent University. The department of Professor Johannes Cottyn is part of our project team and helps us to make our plans concrete.

For me, it’s a real bonus being able to contribute to the dissemination of cutting-edge technologies. At Flanders Make, we create new things and try to introduce them in the industry. And it must be repeated again and again how important it is to keep the industrial fabric in Flanders alive. Because it’s only through innovation that we can offer the manufacturing industry in Flanders a future."