Roel in the spotlight


Roel Zwagerman, Project Manager


My name is Roel Zwagerman, 39 years old. I live together with my wife and 3 children (2, 4, and 6 years old) in Emmen. In my spare time, I am often doing odd jobs around the house, with my 3 children helping me or at least trying to.

I studied Mechanical Engineering, after which I worked in the oil & gas industry for 12 years. There I worked both onshore and offshore, currently, I have been working at Lubo Recycling Solutions for 2 years as a project manager.

Employee standing in front of the painting

Before this you worked in the oil and gas sector and now you work in the recycling sector. Why did you decide to make the switch?

There were several reasons for that. An important one was that I felt it was time for a change. Lubo came across my path during my search. In my view, recycling is a new, fast-growing industry, which is only going to become more important and extensive in the future. We are already building mega-projects all over the world and we see that the demand is growing hugely and that installations are becoming more and more complex. The level of recycling is getting better and more sophisticated day by day.

Last year we completed a compost line in the Middle East. This was quite a challenge due to the cultural difference. There is still a lot to be gained in terms of recycling in that region, so delivering an installation there is extra satisfying knowing that you have contributed to a significant improvement.

At first glance, the oil and gas sector and the recycling sector seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, from the polluting oil and gas industry to the recycling industry. Yet these two industries are more similar than everyone thinks; both are part of the energy supply chain, in which recycling will play an increasingly large role.

What does a project manager do at Lubo?

As a project manager, you work on small orders to large, international projects. We are responsible for the project from the moment it is transferred from sales to project management until the warranty period has expired. This means that we also remain the point of contact for the customer after the site has been completed.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

No workday is the same. If I were to describe it in a few words, I would say that you make sure you are and stay in control. That means, as a project manager, you have to make sure that everyone who is involved in the project is aware of the latest information. Each phase of the project involves different people and has different risks. The trick is to anticipate the risks and eliminate or minimize them whenever possible. Depending on the phase of a project, you go over the contract, clear the scope, plan, lead the project team to commissioning, and hand the project over to the customer on-site.

Which phase do you like the most in a project?

Construction and commissioning, because that is when you see the project, which you sold at the beginning, come together. You are on-site somewhere in the world at the customer and see that the project becomes tangible, I find that amazing.

How do you ensure that you are and always remain in control?

It all comes down to communication. Keeping everyone up to date with the latest information and ensuring transparency. If something goes wrong in projects, it is often because of communication errors. People misheard, had a different interpretation, were not informed, or missed something you communicated.

Lubo is working more and more internationally, also on different continents. What is this like for you? Are there cultural differences and differences in the way of doing business? How do you deal with this?

This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job if you ask me. Having the opportunity to experience various countries, cultures, and types of people. Of course, it is not always easy to do business with differing cultures, but that is precisely the challenge.

How would you describe working at Lubo to a job seeker?

Lubo feels like a small family business realizing mega projects all over the world. That is very special. We have grown significantly in recent times but have always been able to maintain that feeling. Everyone knows each other, knows exactly what the other is going to do, and is therefore well attuned to each other, like a well-oiled machine.

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