Sanneke van der Kley

During my studies at the Technical University in Delft, I had never imagined myself working in the Oil & gas industry, nor did I know of the existence of Independent tank storage providers. In 2006, while looking for a final thesis for my Master’s degree on Systems Engineering, I had picked-up news regarding an LNG project on the Maasvlakte, Rotterdam. Somehow this caught my attention, as it was an innovative project, with sustainable product and not much was known at that time yet. Before I knew it, I was working at Gate terminal and witnessed as a project engineer how this state-of-the art was being constructed on a location where once there was only water.

A new world had opened to me and I further explored the company (Vopak) where I had various roles in different locations (and different products) in project management, operations and optimizing terminals.

In 2015 I went to Koole terminals and started in business development and M&A. After a few years, I became Terminal Manager of one of the larger terminals in the Rotterdam area, where mainly Minerals are stored. Recently I started as Program Director, consolidating our organization, which is again a completely new exciting role.

Looking back at almost 15 years of working at independent storage providers, I have to say that I’ve never had a boring day. As an engineer, I have learned how to think both conceptual and analytically, which enabled me to have a diversity in roles: from project engineer to commercial business development and to optimizing the organization and sharpen strategies.

In the coming years, we will witness an energy transition of which effects are already starting to show. It is especially challenging to work in the oil & gas industry to help build a more sustainable and safe industry, partnering with our stakeholders to provide the best support and to take our responsibility in the supply chain; offering new ideas and exchanging experiences. This really gives me energy, to know that you can make a difference.

As a women in this industry, I have to admit that I’m used to being the only woman in the room, which has never bothered me, nor has it deprived me from following my own path. I do see the additional value in diversity and hope to welcome more women at the terminals, as women tend to connect more easily, and by doing that, you are bridging cross-organizational initiatives and ideas, which enable better team work, and give energy to the people working together.

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