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Ralf Bruyninckx


Ralf in a nutshell

  • Started as a project engineer and has now been CEO of FPC Risk for almost 15 years.
  • In another life, could have been an artist or applied his creativity as a marketing manager.
  • Loves film, script-writing, music, and adventurous stories.
  • Will never forget dangling on a rope while being evacuated from an off-shore platform during a formidable storm.

What is your job position at FPC Risk and how did you get there?

I am the sole shareholder and CEO of this company that my father created 45 years ago. As a student, I had no interest in following in his footsteps, but I eventually gave in. I am still very grateful for his persistence.

I am an economist turned engineer and the first European with a master's in fire safety engineering – a degree I obtained in the United States. I am still passionate about this field of expertise because it merges science with creativity. Even with art, because fire is completely unpredictable and demands a lot of imagination.

What does your job entail?

As CEO, you can imagine my range of responsibilities is quite extensive. I am focused on further developing and expanding our business. A big part of that is keeping my employees happy and motivated, and firing up the team spirit. I try to create a clear framework in which I allocate responsibilities. For example, we recently started a ‘culture team’ with only one objective: to generate a pleasurable working atmosphere.

Obviously, I also have the ambition to take FPC Risk to an even higher level. That doesn’t necessarily mean to have hundreds of people on my payroll. To me, that entails having a few more remarkable, innovative, and international projects to our name.

Furthermore, we need to be aware of the changing demands of the market and the world. FPC Risk certainly wants to be more climate-aware by engaging in local partnerships, thinking twice before jumping on a plane, and developing tools to establish remote services.

Can you describe a typical workday?

No (laughs). But that’s what keeps things interesting. As head of a small to medium business, there are so many things on your plate and people coming your way: banks, clients, large projects, HR-issues, and so on. That list is extremely varied, and I have the final responsibility.

My day can start with a scheduled meeting with a client, followed by an unexpected phone call and an impromptu visit to the Shell plant, and end in a Padel game with my colleagues.

I have to be agile and ready to respond to unforeseen issues on all levels.

What is your favorite aspect of working for FPC Risk?

Of course, there’s the international aspect. I have been to Singapore, Japan, Afrika, name it. Working in those countries, meeting different people, experiencing varied cultures, that never gets old. But even locally, we enjoy an unrivaled variety in our daily operations. How many people can say they get to work behind the scenes of airports, chemical plants, off-shore platforms, hotel chains, and architectural gems?

Then there is the challenge of being innovative in a conservative field, developing new ideas and strategies to improve fire safety for many different industries.

Why do you think a person would love to work for FPC Risk?

Because of the amazing team spirit and the increasing attention to the happiness of our employees – by expanding the leave arrangements, for example.

And because of the diversity in assignments, whether internationally or locally. We always say: Why work for one, if you can work for all of them? And I still believe that sums it all up.

On top of that, there is room to define your own journey. I applaud and encourage initiative and resourcefulness. If you want, you can emphasize your strengths in a unique career path.

 

A day in the life of a fire risk engineer