Country of Origin
Eindhoven University of Technology, PDEng, Software Technology (1993 – 1995)
Eindhoven University of Technology, MSc, Computing Science (1988 – 1993)
Current Job Position
Senior digital IC designer (2009 – present) at Energy Micro (Oslo, Norway)
How did you get a job in Norway?
I originally heard of Energy Micro via an article in EE Times triggering all the right keywords for me: low power, ARM, startup. Shortly after this I was contacted by one of Energy Micro’s engineers, Henrik, with the question if I could come over and give a presentation that he had seen earlier, about our asynchronous design tools aimed at low power IC design. At that time my previous company was in the weird position that we were no longer allowed to promote or sell these tools. So, I contacted Henrik, explained him the full story, told him that I was actually looking for a new job, and ended up sending my resume shortly after.
I was already enthusiastic about Energy Micro before my initial visit and this became even better during the day of my interviews. Now I am very glad that I can work together with this very experienced and energized team!
What is it like living in Norway?
I had never really visited Norway before, apart from one earlier business trip to Oslo and the job interview itself, but it had been on my vacation list for a long time. By now I have enjoyed a couple of summer vacations hiking in Lofoten and Dovrefjell national park. In winter time there are of course plenty of opportunities to go (cross country) skiing, snowboarding, or watching the northern lights. I really like the nature here. Also in Oslo itself it is very easy to get out and for example do some skiing after work or in the weekend. Not much wrong with Oslo as a city either 😉 Culture wise Norway is not that different from the Netherlands and for me it is quite convenient to visit family and friends in the Netherlands if I want to.
Can you tell me about your job and current projects you are working on?
When I joined the company they were just about to receive first silicon, so naturally there was a heavy focus on test and characterization. I therefore initially joined the test team and later on became involved in digital design for the Tiny Gecko and Giant Gecko microcontrollers. At the moment, I work in the EFR (Energy Friendly Radio) project. I for example work on our mixed mode simulation flow and FPGA prototyping flow, used by lead customers and for internal verification and software development. My digital design work is mostly related to clock management. From time to time I get to use my asynchronous design skills as well 😉
Are there any memorable events while working at Energy Micro?
I think Energy Micro is really good at celebrating its successes. I like the way information about technical progress, sales, and strategy is shared and discussed in the team. Celebrations are always ‘best ever’ and I am looking forward to our New Year’s party at which making fun of our CEO lyrically is likely to be taken to new heights. Highlights for me were the Sjoa rafting and the strategy weekends in general.
Did you have any big challenges in your career?
Learning Norwegian? Actually, the biggest challenge or rather most difficult time in my career was towards the end of my previous job. It was the time after it had been announced that the group I was working in, was going to be shut down. The issue was not so much losing my job, but seeing how quickly relationships between people changed for the worse and how much politics suddenly popped up. On the positive side I actually enjoyed looking for a new job (for which we had plenty of time) and considering all new possibilities. In the end the only challenge was deciding what I wanted to do.
How do you picture yourself 10 years from now?
That’s a long time; I normally don’t think that far ahead really. I just hope that every now and then I sit back and take the time to listen to myself; check if I am happy, motivated and challenged, and if not that I do something about it. So far I really like my life and work here in Norway. I hope I will keep enjoying this journey for a while so that 10 years from now I can look back on a great ride.
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