changing of the guard at ABT
On 1 January 2008, ABT’s general manager, Jacques G. Hulsbergen, handed over the reins to Professor Frans van Herwijnen and Walter Spangenberg. Ton Boerhof remains as financial director and will continue his work alongside the new directors. The trio will focus on a more active approach to the market, with ingenious and innovative superior technology, smart product/market combinations and the added value of interdisciplinary advice.
The new board members are all ABT veterans. Walter Spangenberg joined the company in 1986 as a project manager/design engineer in the Delft office. Seven years later he was promoted to the position of consulting engineer. Since 1999 he has been director of the Structural Engineering discipline. Frans van Herwijnen also started out at ABT as a project manager in 1978. In 1989 he was appointed consulting engineer and in 1996 was promoted to industry director of the Architecture discipline. All three board members are partners in the company.
Frans van Herwijnen
After a career spanning more than 30 years – with almost 20 years as a partner and nine as general manager – Jacques Hulsbergen is taking early retirement. He will stay on in an advisory capacity until mid-year. Since its establishment in 1953, ABT has steadily grown into what it is now: a stable, knowledge-based consultancy with many different links to the market. In the early years, the emphasis was on structures, but over the years ABT has developed into a fully fledged multidisciplinary consultancy.
The two successors will continue to work as consulting engineers in addition to discharging their board functions because they are great believers in contact with the practical work. Spangenberg: “Management isn’t a ‘chore’ for us, but our real passion is design: the practical work, coming up with ingenious, practical solutions for clients.” Frans van Herwijnen adds: “I also want to focus on innovation through research and development, which will enable us to maintain and reinforce our position.” He is also a part-time professor at Eindhoven University of Technology. They are assisted by Ton Boerhof, who trained as an accountant and has been with the consultancy since the 1970s – for the last 20 years as financial director.