Civil service career

After a successful career in research and business, I'm now in yet another different professional world. When the Ministry of Flanders, the civil service of the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, set up a special group of technical experts to support government initiatives aimed at stimulating the development of the information society in Flanders, I knew this was a unique career opportunity. I was able to play a key role in getting this new group up and running, and was responsible for setting up a successful knowledge center on e-government & the information society. After having learnt the inner workings of the Flemish administration, I also provided independent advice to the Flemish e-government project team. I later became a fulltime member of the Co-ordination Cell Flemish E-government (the successor to the previous e-government team) as an advisor e-government strategy & technology. Later I was promoted to senior advisor e-government strategy & program management, responsible for the Magda platform, a SOA platfom for data exchange & application integration. I now play a crucial role in the Flemish e-government programme, by providing strategic technological & organisational advice on innovative electronic service delivery solutions. What I find particularly interesting in this job is that I get the opportunity to tackle tough (e-)government problems with the business mindset I still have from my previous career. Modernizing government isn't always easy, but it can be done!

  since January 2005 
senior advisor e-government strategy & program management
Co-ordination Cell Flemish E-government, dept. Administrative Affairs, Flemish government (Belgium)
  • responsible for formulating the appropriate strategies to achieve Flanders' ambitious e-government goals, and for choosing the most suitable ICT technologies to build, deploy & manage complex e-government solutions aimed at businesses, citizens & organizations
  • responsible for the supervision of major e-government back-end infrastructure projects, both inside the Flemish government, and in co-operation with the federal and other regional governments (e.g. deploying a service-oriented architecture for application integration and data exchange, setting up a federated identity management infrastructure using Belgium's electronic identity card, setting up a private government cloud for service provision to local government, ...)
  Apr. '01 - Dec. '04 
chief knowledge officer / e-government strategic advisor
Cell Media-Innovation, dept. Science, Innovation & Media, Brussels, Ministry of Flanders (Belgium)
  • charged with the collection, classification and dissemination of knowledge on information society initiatives and e-government projects, both inside and outside the Flemish administration
  • assisting the (previous) e-government team in conceiving innovative e-government approaches and solutions, formulating long-term e-government strategies and defining e-government architectures and standards
  • responsible for the supervision of e-government projects inside the department, responsible for the follow-up and evaluation of new media and interactive digital television (iDTV) pilot projects

Business career

I had just started writing my Ph.D. thesis on knowledge-based hypermedia systems when I got a job offer "you just can't refuse" from s.a. OFFIS n.v. As a result of the fast growing interest in all things Internet they were desperately looking for someone with electronic document management and Internet experience, so they just headhunted me. After having succesfully managed a couple of important intranet projects, I was promoted to the board of directors and became responsible for projects & consultancy in Flanders. During that time I also spoke at seminars organized by I.T. Works bvba, and saw how successful these were, so when they asked me to become their director consulting services and manage the launch of their Belgian IT news portal I quickly accepted this new challenge.

  Oct. '99 - Apr. '01 
director consulting services / senior IT market analyst
I.T. Works bvba, Gent (Belgium)
  • charged with the launch and the expansion of the ICT consulting and training services of I.T. Works, especially in the field of XML-based document management and application integration
  • responsible for the collection and editing of technical background information, the evaluation of new IT products and services etc., to support and improve the I.T. Works IT seminars
  • chief responsible for the design, the development and the daily management of the newsharvesting software behind (no longer active), the popular IT newstracking site of I.T. Works
  Feb. '97 - Oct. '99
director projects & consultancy Flanders
s.a. OFFIS n.v. (now part of the Aubay Group), Gent (Belgium)
  • responsible for the initial launch and the continued success of the OFFIS activities in Flanders
  • charged with getting the Flemish branch office of OFFIS in Gent started and fully operational
  • chief responsible in the OFFIS board of directors for the internal and external network management of OFFIS within Belgium (hardware procurement, software selection and human resources management)
  Feb. '96 - Feb. '97
senior consultant networked information systems
s.a. OFFIS n.v. (now part of the Aubay Group), Zaventem (Belgium)
  • responsible for providing advice to companies, institutions and organisations during the design, implementation and management of electronic document solutions in advanced networked business environments (Internet, intranets and extranets)
  • charged with providing support for the pre-sales activities, the implementation and management of on-going electronic document projects, and providing follow-up for the post-sales activities
  • introducing recent new approaches and developments in the creation, the consultation, the distribution and the management of electronic documents inside a company
  May '90 - Jan. '96 
unpaid project consultant hypermedia systems
METALogic - AI Technologies & Engineering n.v., Leuven (Belgium)
  • responsible for providing advice on the introduction and use, in SMEs working in metallurgy and materials engineering, of advanced hypertext and hypermedia systems with materials information
  • charged with establishing and maintaining the necessary national and international contacts, presenting and 'selling' finished systems both to potentially interested companies and to the end-users

Research career

After completing my Belgian military service in the 2nd Regiment Field Artillery, I was invited by prof. dr. ir. Walter Bogaerts to join a newly formed applied research group at the department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering (MTM) of the K.U.Leuven. Although I originally started my research in the field of expert systems and AI (artificial intelligence), in early 1990 I switched to the more promising research field of knowledge-based hypertext and hypermedia systems.

  Nov. '88 - Jan. '96 
hypermedia project co-ordinator within the Materials
Information Processing Systems (MIPS) research group
  • responsible for the set-up and supervision of national and international research projects into advanced knowledge-based hypertext and hypermedia systems for interactive access (both off-line and on-line) to corrosion and materials information sources
  • introducing recent new approaches and developments in the hypertext and hypermedia field of research by giving lectures and lessons, and by organizing courses at a university level
  July - Sept. 1987 
temporary contract at Siemens n.v. Oostkamp (Belgium)
  • responsible for the design and development of a knowledge-based jobschedulingssystem
  August 1986 
student contract at Honeywell A.C.E. Brussels (Belgium)
  • responsible for the evaluation and review of project management software
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