Vincent Haerinck – Day In The Life

Day in the Life: Vincent Haerinck

Vincent Haerinck, Business Developer and Team lead of our OT department, documented a typical day in his professional life at Toreon.

From planning meetings, capturing market trends, and shaping the cybersecurity future of the Energy industry to a lunch run and picking up his kids from after-school activities, Vincent noted it all down in this blog for you to read!


It is Tuesday, April 30th and I get up at 6 a.m., as this allows me to have a little me-time eating breakfast without any screaming kids in sight… yet. I can eat my breakfast in peace and start my meal preparations for noon, as I won’t have a lot of time to prepare any food. More on that later!

At 7:30 the kids are eating breakfast and I am doing the first tasks for my workday, going through the backlog of e-mails, preparing my calendar, and checking which tasks and meetings need preparation. Any urgent issues might cause a reshuffle of the entire agenda, but luckily, not today! 

Vincent Haerinck

At 8:00 sharp, I leave home with my wife and kids and bring them to school, which luckily is only a 400m walk. It is enough of a distance to have some physical activity to start the day positively and I believe bringing your kids to school really has a positive influence on your relationship with them.

At 8:20, I am back in business and can start the official workday. I start off by verifying if any changes were preformed to my team’s planning or any discrepancies popped up. After that, I discussed briefly with a colleague on our presence at an upcoming event, who we would be targeting, and where to strategically place our booth.

Almost half an hour later, at 8:45, the first official meeting of the day takes place: our planning meeting. We are a rapidly growing company, which means we are selling lots of projects with varying degrees of size, resource limitations, timing requirements, etc, and we need to sync between all team leads that the projects are well-staffed, any issues are communicated and that potential problems in the future are flagged well-ahead of time. 

It is now 9:15, after the planning call, I contact some of the OT team members to initiate actions based on feedback from the planning call and I start ticking off my own to-do list. At this moment, I have more spare time to spend on “Business Development”, which means I am responsible for taking up contact with potential new customers and seeing where we could help, analyzing which market problems we can address with our expert services, which suppliers we might partner up with, capture any market trends where we need to have an answer to. A very dynamic and exciting job! This morning, I spent most of the timeslot checking in on potential projects within my network (thank god for the existence of LinkedIn) and sending out reminders to open conversations and action points I had previously. All while writing this diary and grabbing some coffee in the process, of course!

Once the clock hits noon, I close the mentally challenging first half of the day and go for a physical challenge: time for my lunch run. We have a Toreon Strava group, where we motivate each other to exercise more, those Toreon Sporting stats will not log themselves! I go for an easy run, enjoying the little sunshine we get in this beautiful country and reloading my energy levels by getting that blood pumping again. After my run, I have a small cooldown period while having a fast lunch (which I already half-ate while running, I was too hungry to wait) and the mandatory shower (even when no odor might be noticed during online meetings and working from home, I do respect my house members and personal hygiene ;)).

At 13:30, I am ready to go back to it. An afternoon filled with similar activities to my first half of the day: checking how we can further improve our services to match the market demand, helping the Energy Market, and shaping its future of cyber security. As I am responsible for the Energy Market within Toreon, I analyze the evolutions we see in that market and match an offering from Toreon to that. 

To give a small example: there are some European laws and regulations upcoming for ports (of which we have a few in Belgium, like the Port of Antwerp) where large vessels need to plug in their on-board power systems to the grid to limit the carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions in those areas. This seems very simple but having a “plug and socket” system for a ship with the high-voltage energy consumption of a small town is not a small feat. Let alone getting the invoicing correct in our complex energy landscape in Belgium and getting the necessary power delivered from our onshore grid to the vessel from the moment it docks.

Where we have power consumption, we also have data transfers. That’s where Cyber Security (preferably Toreon, of course ;)) should come in: we offer security architecture services where we can support how systems should interact with each other on a high level, but also help write the security requirements for all vendors supplying solutions, and even help those suppliers to develop their solutions securely so their systems don’t get hacked from day one. Believe it or not, gaining control over the power delivery to a tanker or container ship is an attractive target to some parties if only for the bragging rights (ask our Ethical Hackers and OT Security team ;)). To achieve our success in these environments, we must provide our services with the right context to the players in these markets so they can understand the added value we bring.

This was only one small example, many more challenges are going on in the energy market: managing all the data and insights from our digital meters by distribution grid operators, transitioning to a more decentralized production system where we have massive amounts of data that will influence our decision-making processes, the use of flexibility in our electricity system where you get paid to either consume more or less based on the actual load of the grid and so much more. For each of those challenges, cybersecurity plays a crucial role of ensuring the success of those evolutions. Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss on some of them, I will be happy to!

At the end of the day...

Toreon balance

Time flies when you are having fun, so I complete my working day at 17:30, right on time to pick up the kids from their after-school activities. As this is the last day of the month, I double-check I have submitted all necessary data so all our administrative processes can run fluently for the end-of-month closing.  

Again, I am lucky as the after-school activities are a half-kilometer-ish walk from my home so it makes for a good activity to close off the workday. My evening will be filled with helping with homework and boring my kids and wife with the latest news in the energy transition challenges we face in Belgium and some light fitness activities, so it helps to be refreshed and digest the workday with a good walk. Sometimes I get my best inspiration moments during those walks, so I always make sure I have something with me to note my thoughts.

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