Meet Kevin, Mechanical Engineer Data Centres

Graduated from Stellenbosch University in South Africa in 2016, Kevin has been interested in Mechanical Engineering from the beginning. At the time of studying, Royal HaskoningDHV offered Kevin the opportunity to be part of the DEF Bursary Programme. This allowed him to excel in his studies and eventually pursue his career in the Industry & Buildings team at Royal HaskoningDHV in Cape Town. Curious about his journey of working at Royal HaskoningDHV and becoming a valued member of our Data Centres team in South Africa? Then keep on reading!
Kevin Decker

We work in close teams where your personal and professional growth is very much supported and encouraged.

Kevin DeckerMechanical Engineer

Fast personal growth and development

“My role started off as a junior drafting engineer. In this role, I mainly worked on healthcare projects involved with the design and construction of clinics and hospitals. I quickly progressed to a design engineer role, where I started gaining experience in specialised projects such as clean rooms, BSL labs, GMP and Breweries. In 2019 I got the opportunity to go to Frankfurt in Germany for training on data centre design and implementations. I was involved in the design multiple Data Centre projects in Europe where I worked closely with our colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany. Covid-19 cut this trip short, and upon my return to South Africa I started to get involved with building the Data Centre team in South Africa. I now fulfil a rewarding role of task team manager and leader for various Data Centre projects in Africa.”

A unique multidisciplinary approach across borders

“Our Data Centre team is spread across South Africa in places as Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. I am in constant contact and collaboration with our European colleagues, and we work together in a multidisciplinary way. At Royal HaskoningDHV, it really helps that the internal collaborations are great, even across borders. In this way, I can talk to different engineers, technical directors and development and design teams that all give me new insights and perspectives.

The Data Centre market in Africa is an emerging sector. Developments like new ways of working, technology and the shear fast pace of the market make it extremely valuable to make use of the multidisciplinary network within the organisation to learn in a beneficial way. To put this into perspective: I have learned more in the past 2 years working with my colleagues in Europe on Data Centre Projects than that I have learned in my entire career so far!”

The culture and great in-house opportunities

“I feel there is an inclusive and a diverse environment within RHDHV. We work in close teams where your personal and professional growth is very much supported and encouraged. It certainly changes the way you feel about work in a positive way, it gets you excited to do the job. If you are struggling with something or if there is something you want to dive into as an interest, there is always support.

Various in-house initiatives are available, from digital platforms offering training, to weekly webinars with interesting talks and knowledge sharing offers a lot of personal development opportunities. Initiatives such as mentorship programs, graduate programs and leadership development programs really add another level of development for young engineers like myself. We have a hybrid working model which allows flexibility and freedom to work twice a week at the office and the rest of the days I can decide by myself where I work. Also, my hours can be filled in a flexible way.”

Contributing to society and communities

The global digital revolution is bringing prosperity to more and more countries and regions. And where digital infrastructures are created, new economic opportunities arise. Data centres facilitate this 21st-century transformation benefiting millions of people in their daily lives. This is also something Kevin experiences: “Currently with technological trends such as the industry 4.0, the internet of things, the rise of smart technology the way information is shared, stored, and used is changing rapidly. The demand for infrastructure to support this is increasing, and as a result there is a big demand for Data Centres in Africa. It is exciting for engineers to be involved in Data Centres as an emerging market and technology here. You can actually make a contribution to the society by bringing this technology and infrastructure locally.

I find it very rewarding to contribute to enhancing Africa by bringing ease of access to information, storage faster internet facilities to the local communities. It benefits the society and people’s lives in terms of better internet security, storage facilities and cheaper prices for internet. And not to forget that the construction of data centres bring a lot of employment opportunities for the local population. This brings a lot of purpose and joy in my job.”

Do you want to develop yourself?

Then our global data centre competence team is the place to be.

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