Tom travels all over the world for his work at ICT Group

Flexibility makes work and family life easy to combine

  • 30 October 2023
  • 5 min

As a father of a young family, it is sometimes a matter of trial and error to combine work and private life. Especially if you spend part of your working time abroad. Technical specialist Tom van Haperen from Oosterhout has such a job at the Water, Infra and Energy unit of ICT Group. 'Luckily, I can organise my trips abroad quite flexibly, so I don't have to miss anything of my family.'

We speak to Tom while he is working in Norway. On behalf of ICT Group, he is involved in a major assignment from TenneT. When the entire project is completed, there will be a large wind farm in the German part of the North Sea that will supply green energy to the German energy grid via the TenneT platform. There's a lot of automation involved. "In this way, the heated cooling water goes back into the sea. That can only be a maximum of 10 degrees warmer than the seawater, otherwise nature will become unbalanced and you will soon end up with tropical fish in the North Sea," Tom explains. "A lot of automation is also needed to monitor the platform and the wind turbines during unmanned periods. Of course, we have to be ahead of calamities. We can also guarantee the safety of the employees on the platform to a great extent with automation. Under all circumstances, the automation must do its job flawlessly."

Thinking about everything

In Norway, Tom is testing parts of the automation. TenneT is the client of the Norwegian automation company. The platform itself is being built in Singapore. 

"I am someone who is very keen on the details. That comes in handy in my work at ICT Group. "

Tom van Haperen
Technical specialist at ICT Group
Tom van Haperen

"My work is all about safety," says Tom. "Then you must have the courage to say how you look at it at all times.  I happen to be like that, so that’s nice." he laughs. "Moreover, you have to be able to come up with the strangest scenarios that you will then have to test. Another might say, "That never happens!" But sometimes reality is even more unpredictable than you can imagine. A fortuitous combination of circumstances can lead to a disaster. You have to be ahead of that and that's why we have to think about everything. I am someone who is very keen on the details. That comes in handy in my work at ICT Group. Colleagues always say: 'When we think there is no longer a flaw in anything, we submit it to tom. He always picks out the last mistakes'."


Tom lives with his girlfriend, their thirteen-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter. "I've been to Singapore twice for the TenneT assignment and I'm regularly in Norway for a week," he outlines. "In general, we can plan the foreign appointments over a longer period of time. Of course it demands something from the home front, but they grant me my work. They know how much I enjoy working at ICT Group. These are also great projects that we are working on.” 

When Tom is not abroad, he either works in the office at ICT Group in Breda, or at TenneT in Arnhem, or from home. He can arrange that very flexibly. Contrary to belief, Tom is there is a lot for his family the days that he is working at ICT Group or from his home office. "My girlfriend and the kids know when I'm leaving and when I'm back, so we plan our family life around that."

"My daughter knows I'll be at the hotel at five o'clock, then we'll facetime. She's also the one who, when I get home on Friday night, is the first to run towards me."

Will there be a blog of yours here soon?

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