Eglet Nyabvure  - Engineer bij Van Berge Henegouwen

At the Women of Infocomm network event we did an interview with Eglet Nyabvure. She is born and raised in Zimbabwe and lives with her husband and children in the Netherlands. Eglet has a technical background and works for the company Van Berge Henegouwen (VBH). It's a company specialized in integrating luxury technology on board many superyachts. This company became part of RH Marine Group and employs over 150 technology professionals.

What kind of work do you do at the company Van Berge Henegouwen?

I am a Lead Sales Engineer, which is an interesting yet demanding position that sees two roles of commercial sales and engineering. I am involved with our clients; the superyacht owners, captains, leading shipyards, owner's representatives and designers at the early stage of realizing their requirement of technology on board into a complete working solution. At VBH our mission is to maximize the total experience and comfort that technology can provide. We work to expand the horizons of how AV and IT can be applied to enhance the pleasure and utility that our clients get from their yachts, and to merge it seamlessly into their lives. We understand technical systems of this kind can be complex, but we make it our job to ensure that where they interact with the customer, they are simple to operate, reliable and enjoyable to use. We call this Living Technology.

Do you also design as lead sales engineer?

I do pre-design. After receiving specifications from our clients, it’s my responsibility to interpret the client’s wish into a usable solution and price it. I do the pre-design and recommend which advanced AV, IT and Communication, Lighting and Security systems to consider. Especially for the marine industry it is very important to know exactly which models are cool and yet compatible to the international marine standards. I'm part of the recommendation process, we have to work as a team to make sure we cover the client’s requirement and expectation. Our company cooperates with shipyards in a very early stage of building the vessels. This gives us a time frame of 2 to 3 years which is an interesting challenge as the technology will have to be future proof.

Do you use CAD software for drawing?

Yes I do, but not always as it's project dependent. Some clients would like to receive detailed information in CAD already in the early stages of their project, and some will prefer intense functional descriptions with drawings to be supplied much later when it all gets to integration. It’s always very important to guard the customer’s expectation and deliver documentation they appreciate.

Can you mention a project you are very proud of at Van Berge Henegouwen?

This project was for one of our clients, a superyacht owner who is a wine lover and wanted to have a cool way of taking his guests through his awesome wine cellar in his vessel. At our company we do not only integrate hardware, but we do focus on the customer experience as well. We put up a system together that had transparent touch Oled screens connected to the cellar. Through the 'touch' interface, you could have visual reflections of the wine inventory in the cellar. Through some cool hardware and software integration, it is possible to see all data of the wines available just by pressing on the screen. We make sure the wow factor is always there.

That's a great project, what was your part?

As a Lead Sales Engineer, it was my role to identify and recommend the software and hardware that could be used to realize this awesome project. This is a crucial part as the backbone of the system has to be able to support the function required. Like all the other projects, the chosen software and hardware should be compatible, robust, reliable as well as easy to use. This calls for a lot of research as well as being conscious of what’s new on the market to add uniqueness to the system. It is very important that you understand the customers owning superyachts. Giving them the best beyond the best and yet maintaining simplicity in using it...that’s part of VBH’s DNA. You have to consider a whole lot and make a huge team effort to achieve what I mentioned earlier; 'Living Technology'.

What kind of education do you have?

 I studied telecommunication engineering in Zimbabwe where I also have worked for known tech companies such as Philips Electronics (Telecom- and Lighting division) and TelOne, a well known communication company in Zimbabwe offering voice, broadband and data transfer services. I have started from pulling data and voice cables from external poles and bringing telephone systems in houses to system configuration and programming up to maintenance and services. In Zimbabwe it was such a sight for many to see; "a girl" in her work suit or dust coat, working as a Telecoms Engineer! That gave me the drive to excel further and be an example. 

In Zimbabwe education is key. According to research done a couple of years ago by The African Economist, Zimbabwe leads the continent with a literacy rate of 90.7 percent. From a young age; both boys and girls’ education becomes part of their growing up. And like most girls during my time in Zimbabwe, to study engineering wasn’t part of my initial plan. I studied arts in high school and even though my parents were a bit hesitant with my decision, I am happy for them, being influential people in my Zimbabwean Culture, they encouraged and supported my change of my BA programme to something totally different which I found much more interesting.

You live and work in the Netherlands, are you still feeling connected with Zimbabwe?

Very much, it is my home and the Netherlands is also my other home. I give back to Zimbabwe in shaping my core personality; determined, focused, enthusiastic, honest and of course the warmness of Africa in me. My other home, the Netherlands boosts open mindedness, creativity, interpersonal and greater opportunities. I try to visit Zimbabwe every other year. I find it also very important for my kids to keep in constant contact with my family back home. Living in the Netherlands is completely different compared to Zimbabwe. My kids enjoy the experience of diversity of both countries. I want this to work for their personal advantage as they experience different cultures as well as the languages in growing up.

You enjoy working in the AV industry, what else do you wish for?

I would like to see even more 'technical' girls and women getting involved to be part of this market. The AV industry is a very interesting market which is ever changing and rapidly growing. I am also confident this market will benefit from the women’s way of working as well as their point of view and approach. It is really broad in its sense and does give an opportunity to be innovative and stand out. Though it is still a male dominated market. I must say that most males, at least I have worked with, do welcome a different approach, do promote and are cooperative to achieve success with their female counterparts.