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Philips Consumer Lifestyle

From Mechanical Engineering to Personal Care

Even before he studied Mechanical Engineering at university, vehicle engineering figured prominently among Martijn Bonte’s interests. Today, as Senior Development Project Manager for shaving and grooming products at Philips Consumer Lifestyle’s Innovation Center in Drachten, the products he works on may be smaller but the engineering challenges he faces every day are just as great. At Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Drachten, The Netherlands After receiving his degree in Mechanical Engineering, Martijn Bonte did what a lot of top graduates do. He remained at university to do a PhD. Following its completion in 2007, he then had to decide whether to stay in academia or move into industry. For Martijn, it was not a difficult decision. “What I knew for certain was that I wanted to do something practical where I could apply the theory that I had learned and developed,” says Martijn. As a result, he explored many different companies, one of which was Philips.

Challenge and reward “One of the first things Philips suggested was that I apply for their European Business Course - Technology,” he says. “It turned out to be a fantastic experience, because the course allows you to demonstrate your business, technical and leadership skills in a simulated business environment that’s as close as you can get to running a real business.”

Joining Philips in Drachten Having emerged as one of the top candidates, Martijn was immediately offered a job at Philips Consumer Lifestyle’s Innovation Center in Drachten, the North of The Netherlands, as a process engineer. “I always wanted a job in a large company where I could work in multi-disciplinary teams to broaden and deepen my experience. What Philips in Drachten was offering me that other companies hadn’t was the opportunity to develop tangible products, plus job diversity and the freedom to set my own objectives.”

His job now involves him in leading multi-disciplinary teams of around 15 people, including product developers, function developers, application engineers, process engineers and production engineers. “The biggest challenge is that you not only have to build highly multi-disciplinary teams, you also have to be multi-disciplinary yourself,” says Martijn. “One minute you’re diving into technical detail. Another minute you’re collaborating with people in marketing or supply chain management.” Ask Martijn what he gets out of the job at Drachten and you don’t have to wait long for the reply. “What gives me the greatest satisfaction is that I’m helping to produce a world-beating product that you can see in high-street stores around the world,” he says. “Plus the fact that Philips Consumer Lifestyle in Drachten continues to offer me exciting challenges and excellent career opportunities.”

The challenges he was given meant that it wasn’t long before Martijn was taking on even greater responsibility. “After leading several small projects and studying for a Six Sigma Black Belt course in product development, I was given the opportunity to manage new innovation projects for shavers,” he says. “Little more than a year after that I became group leader of my innovation group in Drachten, and a year and four months later I became senior project manager there.”

For more information on engineering jobs at Philips Consumer Lifestyle in Drachten, visit

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