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A day in the life of Thomas Machiels – Teamleader Pipeline Supervision Team

Meet: Thomas Machiels

Current job: Teamleader Pipeline Supervision Team

Employed at The Sniffers since: 2007

What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
If I have an appointment with a customer, I typically leave for work at 7.00 a.m. Depending on traffic, I arrive at the customers’ office at 8.30 a.m. My day mainly consists of guiding the area coordinators and pipeline inspectors to make sure that projects run smoothly and to meet the customer’s expectations.

I attend coordination meetings with the customer to discuss the project progress and to solve any problem that may arise.

What are you most proud of in your job?
The development of a good and reliable team who has the necessary knowledge of legislation as well as compliance with safety rules. The follow-up of all main working yards close to the pipelines that are managed by The Sniffers is one thing to be proud of. Being able to execute these projects successfully without causing any harm to the pipelines is our daily motivator.

Any funny stories?
Of course! There are always funny stories in our team. Recently, we were on team building weekend and we had the opportunity to upgrade our 4×4 driving skills. You can imagine what happens when you have to drive on very narrow bridges or have to drive with an automatic transmission instead of a manual car if you are not used to driving an automatic. The event itself was funny but it was mainly educational.

Reflect back from day one to now. Have you evolved in your current job?
Absolutely! I started at The Sniffers back in 2007 and worked as an operator at the pipeline division for 6 years. Then, I became senior pipeline inspector and after 2 years I climbed up to the position of project leader. Now, as team leader of the pipeline supervision team, I have the responsibility to make my team successful. Having a good understanding of the project progress, due to my previous jobs, helps me in achieving this.

What does the rest of your day look like outside of work?
I will come home at around 6 p.m. have dinner with my family, spend some time with my 3 children and put them to sleep. I also play drums in 3 bands and recently started to play the bass guitar. A really nice change from work and it keeps me busy.