Henk van Dalen

Henk van Dalen
Director Pacific Ocean
I am based in: The Hague
THNK connection: THNKer , AMS Class 14

I believe that doing good is good business.

My studies on Meteorology & Oceanography brought me a lot of wisdom, mainly to help me find good waves to surf! Finding an interesting career path was slightly more challenging, so after a year of travelling, I joined a traineeship at Fugro, where I was introduced to the world of offshore construction. A fascinating industry where engineering and technology are pushed to their limits to withstand the harsh ocean environment. Projects all around the globe provided me with a thorough understanding of the complexity of offshore operations. Now it was time to move up in the chain – I joined Heerema Marine Contractors, owner of the world’s largest heavy lift crane vessels. My learning curve skyrocketed; from supply chain management to project management and eventually to business development. During this period I also earned my Master in Business of Energy Systems at the TU Delft – a comprehensive study looking at the energy market and strategy of the future. All in all, a decade of working in the offshore industry was a great experience but I felt it was time to use my knowledge for the greater good…

I have been with The Ocean Cleanup just short of a year now. My role is to lead the team to construct its first system, to deploy it in the North Pacific Garbage Patch to capture plastic debris and bring the plastic to shore for recycling. This is a pioneering project, a world’s first, where we are going beyond the known limits of materials and developing a new industry by itself. The company is buzzing with creativity, positive mindsets and everybody is highly dedicated to our mission – ridding the world’s oceans of plastic. We are close to deploying our first system, hereafter my focus will shift to prepare the organization for the scale-up. I am looking forward to THNK Executive Leadership Program and the creative insights it will provide for the road ahead of me. The future is looking cleaner!

I was nominated to become a THNKer by
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