Lieve Boeykens: “I Believe We All Have To Prove Our Worth”
Lieve Boeykens is the driving force behind the go-to-market strategies of Materialise innovation programs on AM quality control.
Her journey at Materialise started in 1996 when the company was pioneering the use of Additive Manufacturing. She has since served the company in various positions in product and sales management, working her way to the role of Global Sales Director for the Software unit.
Today as Market Innovation Manager, Lieve holds a strategic position in the company and taps into her vast experience in sales and product management to pioneer new solutions and take AM to the next level. Lieve’s passion for exploring new markets and applications is visible in the diverse portfolio of products she has spearheaded, from the medical 3D printing software Materialise Mimics and SurgiCase to the industrial solutions Materialise Control Platform and Materialise Inspector.
Lieve holds a Master’s degree in physics as well as a degree in biomedical and clinical engineering from KU Leuven.
Nora Toure: Lieve, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Lieve Boeykens: After getting my degree in physics and an additional degree in biomedical and clinical engineering techniques I landed an internship at Materialise. I had a keen interest in medical imaging but at the time I didn’t have any affinity with 3D printing and so I learned everything on-the-job.
This is still very much the case today for many newcomers at Materialise. We’re really only starting to see fresh-out-of-school job applicants with dedicated 3D printing knowledge. Originally, I applied for a job as a developer but my manager told me I was way too spirited to be a developer and so I became the very first application engineer at Materialise, for the Mimics application.
Nora Toure: Can you describe your very first experience with 3D Printing?
Lieve Boeykens: When I started at Materialise, I was immediately immersed in 3D Printing. The lunch breaks were always a great learning experience. We were only a small group back then, and I usually joined our CEO Fried Vancraen and Bart Van der Schueren, our CTO. I remember trying to make sense of their discussions and my ears were always buzzing from all the new terminology, like Z-Compensation.
As a software girl, my first hands-on experience was when my manager took me to the cleaning room to remove the support structures from a 3D printed object that had spent a long time in post-curing. It was an urgent delivery and it had to be shipped immediately but it was very hard to remove the supports.
That was my very first experience with 3D printing and I’ll never forget it. I really believe in this kind of hands-on experiences because working on software can quickly become quite abstract and it’s important to get a better understanding of the whole process. We make sure our Application Engineers also gain experience in data-preparation, just to give them a better understanding of what our customers are experiencing.
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