Q+A Kenneth Eeckeman, IT manager at WIV
Published on 07/04/2017 in Inspire
Kenneth Eeckeman has been passionate about IT from the start. He constantly tries to find the right balance between his job, his family life with two daughters and his music.
Kenneth Eeckeman studied criminology at university but his passion for IT grew at the same time. Because technology was still in its infancy then, in his first job he was also given IT tasks to do. After this, he worked for Siemens as a consultant for about 10 years, collaborating on major projects. After five years as IT Manager at KaHo Sint-Lieven university college, he has now worked at the WIV for almost three years.
The SIP (Scientific Institute for Public Health) has been supporting the public health policy and policy making of the federal government with innovative research, analyses, supervision and expert advice for 112 years. The organisation has a workforce of 850 people.
- Who would you like to sit next to in an airplane and what would you like to ask him or her?
Edward Snowden. I would like to ask him to tell us everything he has exposed, because I’m sure we only know the tip of the iceberg.
- What don’t your colleagues know about you?
My immediate team members know me well because I have a very open way of working. Colleagues in other services may perhaps not know that I make music. I record CDs in my own music studio and I give concerts, too.
- You couldn’t last a day without ...?
Côte d’Or chocolate, I can’t do without that. I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t smoke, but chocolate is my weak point.
- How would you describe your job?
For me, my current job is the ideal combination of a substantial portion of ‘people management,’ strategic working and computerisation. These three together create a varied whole where I can indulge my creative side in devising business solutions. For me it is not just a job, but a real passion.
- Which (IT) book would you recommend to everyone?
I find Helena Blavatsky’s books, ‘The Secret Doctrine’ for instance, fascinating. It’s fairly complex to read, with theosophical insights into the universe.
- What do you consider the most important invention of the past 20 years?
The combination of 3D, genetics and virtual reality with pioneering technology is revolutionary for the world of medicine. From that point of view, the cyber age has started without us realizing it. For instance, it is now possible to implant chips in people or give them robotic arms that can significantly improve their quality of life.
- You can choose: your staff can work at home or be with you at the office? As a manager, which do you prefer?
Here at the SIP we have a very flexible home-working arrangement. Personally, I still think that direct interaction with colleagues is very important. Of course, with the right tools you can work from a distance without any problem, but not everyone can deal with that and a lot of people miss the social aspect if they work at home. So it all depends on the person, the job and the abilities.