If you ask Kris Maerten, Technical Manager of the REGENESIS EU, on how his 11 years with the company has changed his thinking about our planet, you may be surprised by his response. Rather than altering his view about the fragility of our environment, Kris feels his experience has changed his thinking about the people who live on our planet. He feels that, although cultural differences are present between people and countries can look significant on the surface, there are a lot of things that connect us. Kris’s views on people and their shared experiences stems, in part, from REGENESIS EU’s broad geographical territory, where Kris is not only responsible for sales in the Benelux district, made up of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg, but also involved in the remedial design work for projects all over Europe, including the UK, Scandinavia, and France.
An Experienced Remediation Professional
Based in Leper, Belgium – a small town located in in the Flemish province of West Flanders – Kris received his degree in Environmental Engineering from Ghent University, in Belgium. Upon graduating, he pursued a career in environmental work, and benefited from new legislation on soil and groundwater protection that was introduced in Belgium in the mid-1990s. Bolstered by an increase in demand for trained professionals in the environmental industry, Kris joined ABO, an environmental services company, where he served as a Project Manager for several years. He joined REGENESIS in 2004 as a District Manager, responsible for sales and customer support in the Benelux district. In 2007 he was promoted to Technical Manager, and his role was expanded to include remedial designs for projects throughout Europe. During his time at REGENESIS, Kris has evaluated more than 2,000 sites for the use of in situ remediation technology, including aerobic and anaerobic bioremediation, in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO), stabilization, and abstraction system enhancement. He takes a consultative approach in his work, and interfaces closely with a variety of clients, while striving to provide the best possible solution for their remediation and site issues.
When asked what the most demanding part of his job is, he cites the quick turnaround required in responding to clients. “Urgent requests for designs are rather common,” admits Kris. “And can make the work load high. They all typically come in simultaneously, and the work is sometimes difficult to plan.” Although his position presents its share of challenges, Kris is quick to point out the rewarding aspects he enjoys. “Developing remedial designs, especially on difficult projects, is a highly creative process.” Kris shares. “The moment when you discover the right remedial approach for a challenging site is very satisfying. There are a lot of pleasant facets to my work: successful results of a remediation you’ve designed, and helping a client to win a project are a couple of good examples.”
Riding through the Belgian Countryside
Away from work, Kris spends his free time with his wife and three children. Cycling is a favorite activity, and he can often be seen riding his race-ready touring bike around the Belgian countryside. “Nothing is better to clear the head than a long bike ride,” He says. He also enjoys soccer, reading, and travel. In addition, he and his wife enjoy volunteer work, often helping a small Belgian organization raise funds to assist Ethiopian children to go to school.
Adapting to Change in the Remediation Industry
As you might expect for one who has worked professionally within environmental services for over a decade, Kris has seen the industry evolve – especially with regard to bioremediation. “In 2004 hardly anyone in Europe had experience with bioremediation, especially chlorinated solvents, or in situ chemical oxidation. That has changed completely and I think REGENESIS has played an important role in this.” He goes on to say, “In the last couple of years I’ve seen less in new technologies. That’s why our new product, PlumeStop®, is something completely different from all other in situ technologies on the market and could become so important.” When describing what it means to work for REGENESIS, Kris points to the opportunity to work in a global setting. “REGENESIS gave me the opportunity to transition from working for a local consultant to working in an international setting, with high-end technologies and a very professional, experienced team.”
REGENESIS is pleased to have Kris Maerten as Technical Manager of the REGENESIS EU, where his diverse experience and consultative approach with clients helps achieve successful remediation outcomes for a diverse range of clients.