When technology makes a child happier than candy

Frank Willems is a process operator. There are not nearly enough process operators in Twente, so he can find work anywhere. He is delighted with his current employer; no job is better than the one he has at Twence

In short

  • He sailed the seven seas but only really feels at home as a process operator at Twence in Hengelo.
  • Frank Willems is a technician through and through. That is one of the reasons why he thoroughly enjoys his work at Twence, where they have sophisticated incineration facilities. He also likes that the company from Hengelo pays attention to sustainability.

Global Goal

global goal icon

This article is part of a series called “Twente Leeft!” (Twente Lives!). You can read personal stories here about living and working in Twente. Twente is a nice place to be, according to the talents we meet. The beautiful nature, space, the down-to-earth mentality; they all characterise Twente. There are also plenty of career opportunities! Twente has many innovative, international and future-proof companies that are desperate for staff. Want to know what Twente has to offer? You can find Frank Willems's story below.

Vending machine

“My job is to operate and monitor the installations here. There are four incinerators here, which use all the technology you can think of”, he says. “Three of them are fuelled by waste and one by waste wood.”


His interest in technology started as a young boy when LEGO Technic was his favourite. Tinkering with mopeds and motorbikes was the next step. “I just wanted – and still want – to know how things work”, he explains. “One of my teachers once said: ‘you know a kid is a real techie when, if they are standing by a vending machine for candy or beverages, they want to know how it works instead of just happily walking away with their candy and drinks without giving it a second thought’. That is very recognisable; I am just like that.”


His job at Twence not only allows him to work with technology, but it also has excellent working conditions. This includes working in shifts, which sometimes makes him feel like he is on a mini-holiday when he has five days off after working for a while. But there is more. “Twence works hard to be sustainable. We use the incinerators to supply heat back to the Marsstede district in Enschede, and we will soon be capturing CO2 so that there are minimal emissions. Sustainability is important, and it is also a chance to learn more about chemistry.”

America and Japan

Frank, originally from Nijmegen and now living in the Achterhoek, deliberately chose to work for Twence. After graduating from maritime school in Vlissingen, he studied General Operational Engineering in Apeldoorn and sailed the seas for some time. "I was responsible for the maintenance of the technical installations on board. The work was great, and I got to explore the world, including America and Japan, but it started to wear on me after four months away from home. I had once done an internship at Twence and had a great time there, so I applied. You want a challenging job when you switch from 'wet' to 'dry' technology, as we call it, and that's what I've got here. And I have the opportunity to further develop myself, by the way. Twence offers a lot of training and education and, unlike with many other employers, we are given time off to follow courses."

Cycling through Twente

Although he has continued to live in Warnsveld with his girlfriend Kaylee and a daughter on the way, he and his colleagues can sometimes be found in Twente in their free time. “We recently had a teambuilding day; we cycled through Twente on an e-bike. My colleagues knew exactly where to find nice places and terraces in Nijverdal and Wierden. We also sometimes have a drink on a terrace in Hengelo. Twence really is a nice employer. I can really recommend it to every technician. Working for a waste processing company may seem like dirty work, but we do not come into contact with that at all as process operators. We make sure that the installations keep running 24/7 by carrying out (periodic) maintenance. If you are interested in technology, you will love working here. No day is the same."

Twente Lives

Twente is the ideal place to live and work, according to the talents we meet. Want to know why? Read personal stories about living and making a career in Twente on twente.com/twente-leeft. Want to look for a job immediately? Then take a look at our extensive job site.

Contact information

Boldershoekweg 51
+31 (0)74 2404 444 info@twence.nl www.twence.nl

Global Goals

Date: 18 July 2022 |

Source of tekst: Twence |

Author: Maaike Thüss