Leading engineering firm specialising in structural design

Hein Brakel

Technically creative. Inspired and enthusiastic. A true professional. These key words typify engineer H. (Hein) Brakel, Director of the Bouwtechniek Holding. He started in 1983 as a structural consultant and an associate of Jan Pieters (the eponym of Pieters Bouwtechniek). Hein is still directly involved in many projects in the role of ‘collaborating foreman’ and remains informed in detail of what is going on. From 2017 Hein slowly retires as CEO of the holding. He transfers the responsibilities to ir. J.H. (Jan) Versteegen.

‘Construction is a battle against gravity.’ It is a real challenge to make something fine, slender and elegant, while all kinds of forces are acting on it. Coming to technically feasible solutions in dialogue with the architect. Going all out, but with the necessary sense of responsibility for safety and finances. That's what counts.

The construction profession has many ‘teaching’ aspects. Hein likes to explain the budgetary, technical and aesthetic consequences of a specific choice of structural system. And, why you should not want something. Something that looks very simple on the plan, for example, can be very difficult to implement. It is a challenge to practice this profession as broadly and comprehensively as possible while taking knowledge from the implementation phase with you to the next design. ‘Designing in the clouds’, in particular, is not the intention.

Hein's many international contacts are partly responsible for the fact that Pieters Bouwtechniek is also active abroad. For example, in the restoration of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Paramaribo and the design of the new Parliament building in Kuwait.

His interpretation of his duties is strongly anchored in the Pieters corporate culture: honesty, integrity and corporate responsibility. Going beyond your own field. Always doing just a bit more than is required. Complete commitment. That is what Hein stands for, and with him Pieters Bouwtechniek.

hbrakel@pieters.net