1. Christophe, to let everybody know you better, could you present yourself?
I studied a Masters in Engineering, Construction Engineer, at the University of Antwerpen in 1990, followed by my military service as a Reserve Officer in the Belgian Air Force. After that, I started working, and combined it with additional university studies. I got a Masters in Business Administration in Management at the Solvay Business School (VUB) in 1995, and a postgraduate in Finance at University Leuven in 2001.
I am now working for 19 years in Carmeuse, first in Belgium, later on in Central Europe, and since 2010 in the position of European Market Manager for Construction. My market has several sub-segments, of which soil treatment has grown a lot over the last decade, and is today the most important sub-segment.
The European Construction team consists of more than 20 people, mainly key account managers, several Technology Applications engineers and communication experts. Call it a dream team.
2. Which of the Carmeuse values is the most important to you (Long term, Responsibility, Respect, Efficiency, Customer Focus)?
Although they are all important, long term is for me the most relevant, as it embodies - in my position – a clear vision on the future, working it out in roadmaps for new markets and products, in a very dynamic market environment as climate change is influencing our different sub-segments in a very fast way.
Our Construction markets are very technical and a lot of research is ongoing in universities and centers of expertise, where we are involved and sponsoring those activities. We are at the edge of knowledge and we are positioning our products in the building materials for the future.
3. Could you explain to us “ViaCalco® for dummies”?
ViaCalco® stands for the use lime and lime-based-binders used in soil treatment applications, officially called earthworks, where in-situ soils are mixed with binders and transformed into solid parts of future embankments for roads, railways, industries and all kind of civil engineering projects. We are creating a material that looks and behaves like concrete, and this by using the local soils instead of new quarry aggregates. This technology is under constant evolution, as know-how and research is moving the technology forward, and bringing us opportunities for basement layers higher and higher inside the road structure.
Over the last 12 years, Carmeuse supplied thousands of small, large and XL-projects with ViaCalco® blends. Our team members inspired stakeholders in all our countries to design and use our products in earthworks for complex civil engineering projects. ViaCalco® is recognized as a sustainable, future proof solution, saving natural resources, execution time and money.
Today, we celebrate our ViaCalco® success story, being proud to affirm that if we put together all the sales of ViaCalco® for the past 12 years, we could stabilize a 30 meter wide highway between Brussels and Istanbul, meaning approximately 2600 km! Or if you are a fan of football, than we could say that our sales of ViaCalco® since 2009 could stabilize an area of 12.250 football pitches.