Meet our lecturer, Geri Van Krieken

After graduation (as a material engineer), I started working at Hoogovens in IJmuiden (Netherlands), nowadays Tata Steel Europe. I learned a lot about maintenance welding and repair welding, it was a very good time.

At Tata Steel I also experienced the first steps into teaching. At that time Tata Steel wanted to improve the quality (especially the welding quality) of sub-contractors. And, to support that, it was decided that an IWP and IWS course would be given at the Corus training centre. And I was one of the teachers - it was part of our job as welding engineers. It was fun and a lot of preparation because none of us three teachers had any teaching experience. It was an interesting and steep learning curve. And, after that, more courses followed.

I also did some teaching/lecturing for IWE courses, specifically on repair welding and hardfacing layers. I enjoyed it. And I remember the emotions when I started a new IWT training and almost all the guys that I taught a year earlier on IWS were in the classroom for the next course.

It is amazing if you are able to help change people's lives - and keep them interested in the beautiful welding field.

During my career I saw a lot of different fields of industry, but welding and materials always kept me company.

After a few years of offshore experience at Heerema Marine Contractors, the company decided to stop with pipe-laying and I, like 800 other people, was made redundant. So I had to do something. For the offshore period I needed my CSWIP3.1 and 3.2 and I was intrigued by the teachers, flying all over the world to deliver courses. I thought that could be a job for me. So, after being made redundant, I didn't want to leave the offshore and industry behind (I still miss it every day). I was informed that TWI were looking for an inspection lecturer, so I applied, and here I am - an official TWI lecturer!

The nicest thing for me in this job is the travelling, seeing new places and new people on a regular basis, and especially the questions and stories from the candidates.

I think in the last year I have never done a CSWIP 3.1 or 3.2 course without having a candidate in the class that had worked for Heerema or in one of their factories, or even know the inspectors that I worked with!

To be honest, sometimes it is a difficult job; living in hotel rooms out of a suitcase, the waiting in airports, and repeating this over and over the same again, but the interaction with students and colleagues is worth it.

I always had a passion for welding. I think I believed that there was something magical happening in the bright arc. The passion for welding has never left me and, although I never had the opportunity to become a real welder, I enjoy doing it myself as well.

Find out more about CSWIP Welding Inspection courses

Geri during a recent training course in Norway (second from the left)

Geri during a recent training course in Norway (second from the left)