LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TEAM BEHIND BOND TM WITH A QUICK FIRE Q&A
Name: Herbert van der Westhuizen
Position: Senior IT Systems Engineer
Bond TM office: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Q. What’s your technical background and how did you first become interested in this area?
A. My background includes lots of Microsoft and Cisco, and as a trainer my IT world involved being part of many labs and exams. That was, until Bond TM founder Will Faimatea joined one of my Microsoft courses in 2004/2005. He introduced me to yachting, giving me a tour around one of the newly built yachts in Amsterdam at that time. I became interested in yachting immediately and staying in touch with Will, who then gave me the opportunity to explore this new area of interest and all the yacht technology management and support around it.
Q. Have you worked on any superyachts? If so, which ones and for how long?
A. I have not, though I do know it’s a high-pressure world to work in as an AV/IT engineer at times. I do often wonder what I would have done had I known about this industry earlier on, though…
Q. Do you spend any time on any operational superyachts?
A. I visit our client vessels very often to be involved with superyacht new build projects, superyacht refits and regular maintenance on the IT systems, which we provide as part of our Bond Support Services.
Q. How long have you worked at Bond TM?
A. I joined Bond in October 2007, just over seven years ago.
Q. Which office do you work in and what are your main responsibilities and areas of work?
A. The Bond IT office in Amsterdam is my home base. One of my main areas of work is as part of our senior IT engineers team, which is involved in design and implementation aspects of yacht technology for new builds and refits. I am also part of the Bond Support Services team, which provides technical support to all our clients, whether onboard a superyacht or on land in a data house, office or residence. I also develop and teach the Bond Level 1 and Level 2 IT training courses, which we present in our Amsterdam and Barcelona offices.
Q. What is your favourite thing about working for the Bond TM?
A. The diversity of areas that we get involved with on client projects and being part of (if I may say) the best yacht technology support team in the industry. Having been involved in the initial stages of Bond Technology Management and Bond IT, and seeing the growth of the teams, has always been an inspiring adventure. I believe that there is a lot more to come, too!
Q. How should someone without a professional technical background get started on the path to becoming an ETO?
A. Enroll in the Bond IT, AV and VSAT courses, of course! Networking (the person-to-person kind) is also important, as making good contacts is always helpful.
Q. What’s the best source of technical news that you’d recommend to others? And how can an ETO stay ready and prepared for anything on board?
A. Read, read and read some more! It also helps if your environment allows for a proper lab set-up to test, break and fix. Being willing to help other crew with their technical issues will prepare you for guests coming onboard. Last but not least, updated documentation will save you time in many ways, most importantly for when there is an emergency.
To see the rest of the team in the Bond TM Amsterdam office, click here.