6. What are your hidden talents?
Being quite introverted, not many will expect my sense of humor at first sight.
7. How would you describe Operation Night Watch in one word?
8. What do you enjoy most about your job?
There are several aspects that I particularly like. One is that coatings technology involves so many scientific disciplines. After almost 20 years in the company, I still learn new things every day! The other part is working with enthusiastic colleagues in different parts of the world – their engagement is very stimulating.
9. The partnership between AkzoNobel and the Rijksmuseum combines two different perspectives on paint and color – why do you think the partnership really works?
The partners bring complementary expertise to projects of mutual interest – this is the key.
10. Which character, detail or aspect of The Night Watch interests you the most?
Tough choice! I will cheat and mention two aspects. The first one is how magnificent material textures are represented in paint, especially the clothing of Van Ruytenburch. For example, the steel gorget looks like real reflecting steel with some rust marks to add to the realism, and the embroidery on his jacket looks shiny and has depth. A second interesting aspect is the painting’s “life”, which includes many moves, an acid attack in 1990, and going into hiding during WWII.
11. In your opinion, what would Rembrandt think of Operation Night Watch?
He would be amazed, for sure. Amazed that after centuries his painting still has mysteries for us, but also amazed about the level of expertise in chemical analysis, imaging and paint formulation we have nowadays.
12. If you were given a chance to time travel, when would you go and why?
Various interesting options, but I would choose 2050 to see how technology has changed our lives (if humanity is still around ☺) because one thing is certain: it will be totally different than the smartest people predict today.
13. What is one thing you’d prefer to never do again?
Many things, but none of them so bad to be worthy of mention.
14. What motivates you the most?
Working with engaged colleagues (or, likewise, squash team players) can create an upward spiral of motivation. In addition, using my strengths to make a contribution is definitely a motivator.
15. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My promotor at the university once said to me, after an unexpected success: “I could have given you ten reasons why this could not work.” Sometimes you have to be bold and just try something new, even if success looks unlikely. No guts, no glory.