Wilco Dijkstra, surveyor at PUMA

The Netherlands are reclaiming more land: Maasvlakte 2 (MV2). One of the people involved with the project is Wilco Dijkstra. He is employed through Atlas Seistech and works as a surveyor for PUMA, a joint venture by Boskalis and Van Oord; his work is carried out both on the water and ashore.

At the time of talking to him, his main task is collecting data on the water. He tells us about his involvement with this extensive project: “In August/September 2009 I provided temporary cover for a co-worker, so I was no stranger to the project.”

The biggest group

“The thing that really appeals to me is the diversity of the job. As far as numbers go, the survey department is a big group and always there. As a surveyor I work with a variety of professionals ranging from survey vessels’ masters to crane and bulldozer operators. The technology that is being used is of the highest order and even innovative at times. To me, this job means having to deliver the collected data to the person who needs them. This has to be done meticulously and on time, as the recipient needs the data in question to be able to decide on the next move in the project. Without our readings the work cannot go on, but the reverse is also true: if there is no work there are no readings to be taken either.”


“During my time in the navy, I worked as an hydrographer for a while. Subsequently I have also been in touch with Atlas but never worked for them. Years later, when I returned to the world of surveying it turned out that my details were still in Atlas’ database. From then on I have worked for Atlas. What I like about Atlas is the range of different projects. I do like variety within my profession. On the down side, although that is more to do with the nature of the profession as a whole than with Atlas, you sometimes find yourself on the other end of the world at inconvenient times. My plans for the future? I want to remain in surveying for the time being. Maybe I will make a move towards the executive side at a later date.”

PUMA, Projectorganisatie Uitbreiding Maasvlakte, is a joint venture by Boskalis and Van Oord, both contractors in the dredging and offshore industry. PUMA has been commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam to design and realise the first part of Maasvlakte 2 –the expansion of the Rotterdam port– between 2008 and 2013.