With over 40 employees, we make Cugla strong. Laboratory assistant Noortje Wagemakers is one of them. She always wants to know more.
A lot of specific knowledge required
The confirmation is in the repetition. After three ultratests, performed in different seasons, the puzzle pieces are falling together for Noortje Wagemakers (1999). The pattern is unmistakable, she has found a trend between the adjuvant dosage and chemical composition of a raw material. After more than six months, there is important data that may even be useful in further improving other mortars.
The young laboratory worker can cry out with pride on such days. It was for moments of happiness like this that she came to Cugla a year ago. Within the R & D Centre, she is part of the mortars team. “We are constantly working on quality control and improving existing products. The work fits well with my chemical engineering studies that I took at Avans. There, I also spent a lot of time in the laboratory.”
She would not call herself a do-gooder, but she sees many possibilities and opportunities in this industry. Indeed, the cement industry still has a fairly large carbon footprint. This time lends itself to more research on that.
We are conducting research into alternative raw materials, which I am happy to contribute to. I think product innovation is important, that way you make sure you can always keep up with the times. At Cugla, quality always comes first.
Noortje has been included in Cugla’s training programme, which means she will be trained as a concrete technologist and allowed to carry out her own project. She is happy with the opportunities she gets. Her workplace, the R & D Centre, still feels like a special place every day after a year of work.
“This is where our concrete technologists work on our products every day with state-of-the-art equipment. You hardly see a research centre like this anywhere.”
During a tour, she stops briefly at the ultratest and explains its operation. “When the mortar is in, the device gives signals every minute. The device measures how long it takes to get the signal from the transmitter to the receiver, the more structure (strength) the faster the signal. This allows us to see how the mixture rises and estimate how the strength develops. Beautiful.”