Hello Patrik, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Patrik: Of course! My name is Patrik Ingels. I’m 45, married and I have two children, aged 14 and 16.
What do you do in your spare time?
Patrik: Well, in my spare time, I like restoring classic cars. As a child, I was very passionate about cars, especially classic cars. And now I own an old beetle and a Russian sidecar, but I like to help other enthusiasts as well.
What did you study?
Patrik: I studied Electromechanical Engineering at Thomas More in Geel.
Why exactly did you choose these studies?
Patrik: I didn’t know right away what I wanted to study, but I always had had a healthy interest in technology. Eventually, I based my choice on that interest.
What is your professional background?
Patrik: I have been employed at a large pharmaceutical company in Belgium for 20 years. I’ve held several positions in different sectors: manufacturing, engineering, quality assurance, qualification and validation. After that, I started working as a freelancer.
Why do you prefer working as a freelancer?
Patrik: I was looking for a new challenge. Part two of my career, so to speak. (Smiles) I wanted to spread my wings and explore new horizons on my own.
What are the main advantages?
Patrik: As a freelancer, you have a certain freedom and independence. I love that. You can also prevent yourself from getting “absorbed” by one company.
Are there any disadvantages as well?
Patrik: Of course! It’s quite difficult to handle all the extra administration on your own, for example.
How long have you been working as a freelancer?
Patrik: Not that long: since January 1st, 2016. I’m currently working on my first freelance assignment, actually. I had the unique opportunity to participate in a “greenfield project”. Those are still quite rare in Belgium.
How did you get in touch with Pauwels Consulting?
Patrik: I already knew some consultants and freelancers who worked for Pauwels Consulting, and I had heard good things. Eventually, I contacted Pauwels Consulting myself when I decided to start working as a freelancer.
“The executives at Pauwels Consulting are open to comments and suggestions. I think that’s a big plus.”
Patrik: I got the impression that Pauwels Consulting is managed by a young team who know what they’re doing. The company also made a very efficient impression.
And does the company still live up to those expectations?
Patrik: They do, actually. The communication is swift and efficient, and projects are followed up closely. The executives at Pauwels Consulting are open to comments and suggestions as well. I think that’s a big plus.
Can you tell us a bit more about your current project?
Patrik: I am currently working as a Senior Project Engineer at a pharmaceutical company. They are building a new factory for the production of polymers, tablets and sterile forms.
What are your responsibilities during this project?
Patrik: I’m responsible for the ‘injectables’: the purchase of equipment, installation, start-up, qualification and validation. At the moment, I am also temporarily responsible for the coordination, qualification and validation of a product that will be launched soon.
What do you find interesting about this project?
Patrik: It’s a job with a lot of variety, and there are few house rules. I like that. There is room for independence and flexibility. Sometimes I help colleagues by doing things that are not really part of my job description, for example. I also like to pursue one goal with a relatively small team.
Do you learn many new things during this project?
Patrik: I do. I learn a great deal every day, especially since it’s my first work experience with hormonal products. And I’ve also improved my French, actually. (Laughs)
What kind of projects would you like to work on in the future?
Patrik: I would like to keep working as a Project Engineer. So keep doing what I’m doing now, I suppose.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? An inspiring wisdom, quote or citation perhaps?
“Keep calm and dig in.”
Patrik: I really like that quote. It suits me.
Thank you very much for this lovely interview, Patrik. I wish you all the best for the future!