Stephan van der Biezen nominated to be new director Witteveen+Bos

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Stephan van der Biezen has been nominated by the Board of Directors of Witteveen+Bos as a new director of the engineering and consultancy firm. The announcement was made at a meeting of the entire workforce on 16 February 2017. Van der Biezen will succeed Henk Nieboer who has served as a board member since 12 April 2006. The appointment will be made at the General Meeting of Shareholders on 5 April 2017.

The Witteveen+Bos Articles of Association require board members to step down in the year they reach age 55. This rule is based on the Vitality Curve for board members devised by Dr. A. Twijnstra. Witteveen+Bos has applied the rule since 1992.

The present Board of Directors, consisting of Managing Director Karin Sluis (52) and director Henk Nieboer (55), decided to nominate Stephan van der Biezen after consulting the senior partners and Supervisory Board of Witteveen+Bos. The shareholders of Witteveen+Bos will be asked to approve his appointment at the General Meeting of Shareholders on 5 April 2017. Witteveen+Bos is renowned for its unique shareholding system (introduced in 1992) under which its employees own all the shares in the company.

Stephan van der Biezen (1970) studied civil engineering and coastal engineering at the Delft University of Technology and began his career at the same university at the Hydraulic Engineering Research Group. He joined Witteveen+Bos in 1998 where he soon became involved in hydraulic engineering projects in Kazakhstan. He was made head of the Coasts, Rivers and Land Reclamation product-market combination (PMC) in 2006. As PMC leader he played a role in such projects as the Second Maasvlakte, the Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence and the Delta Plan for Bangladesh. On behalf of NLingenieurs (the industry association of Dutch consultancy and engineering firms), he also pursued cooperation between the public sector, knowledge institutions and consultancies in the fields of knowledge and innovation.

'The world faces challenging tasks as a result of climate change, population growth and urbanisation', said Stephan van der Biezen. 'Engineers make an important contribution to solving these issues and help to ensure a healthy and safe environment now and in the years ahead. Based on Dutch knowledge, Witteveen+Bos has been able to internationalise quickly in recent years. We are now seeking global cooperation and the modernisation of our products. Technological advances like the use of Virtual Reality and Big Data have opened up numerous possibilities for doing this. In every project we will then be able to offer maximum societal value and best help our clients worldwide'.

Henk Nieboer will continue to work at Witteveen+Bos and among other things will press ahead on further integration of the agency's activities in Belgium. He will also continue his work as Director of the Ecoshape Foundation for two days a week.