Hannelore Watelle

Divison: GF Piping Systems

Department: Sales (Belgium)

Job Title: Sales engineer industry

Field of studies: Industrial engineering, electro mechanics

What inspired you to become an engineer?

As a kid, my brother and I loved to play with Lego bricks and build our own little worlds with K'NEX components. However, I also loved to draw and do crafts – so the more typical girl stuff. Later in school, it turned out that I was stronger in technical fields like building and drawing than in languages, for example. I believe I have merged these two interests into a larger dimension, which led me to pursue engineering.

What is the recipe to build a successful career in engineering?

I believe that building a solid career in science requires a combination of three elements. First, setting the foundation with a happy and healthy work-life balance. Second, having a supportive and capable team to enable growth, improvement, and resilience. Lastly, it's important to be flexible enough to work hard while also embracing moments of enjoyment and fun. This is true both as a member of a family at home, and at work.

Which inventors or inventions have inspired you?

From the past, I would pick Leonardo Da Vinci, Edison or Bell. Not only their inventions were great for their times, but we still use those principles in our daily life, when we call friends or simply turn on the lights at home – that's amazing! It would be fantastic to be able to contribute to either build or improve a technology that millions of people can use for centuries to come. 

However, I am not only thinking of inventors: my family in general, friends, teachers, some influencers… All of them accompanied me in my life and supported my learning paths and career journey. 

When I think of great inventions of the present, I am currently fascinated by the process of 3D printing. It is great to see how it can be used in so many fields. I am particularly interested in the technical possibilities it provides the medical sector – for example, applications like prostheses.