About the Instructors

Heavy-lift Technical Workshops are offered as two one-day sessions. Day 1 will focus on heavy-lifts for land & barge transport, while Day 2 will cover heavy-lifts related to ocean transport.

Heavy-lift Technical Workshops

24 April Land & Barge Transport with Dirk Verwimp, Sarens Group
25 April Ocean Transport with Cornelis “Cees” Coppens
Note: These workshops can be taken together or separately

Day 1 Land & Barge

With more than thirty-three years’ experience in technical and commercial functions in the engineering and mechanical heavy transport and lifting industry, Dirk Verwimp has gained expertise in these sectors in Europe, Oceania and Africa. For the past 12 years, he has worked on oil and gas, mining and metals, wind, power and infrastructure projects worldwide, including projects for the Goro Nickel and Koniambo Mine in New Caledonia, and petro-chemical shutdowns for Exxon, Shell and BP, as well as the AREVA Nuclear Power Station Olkiluoto in Finland.

Dirk holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from IHRH Hasselt University, with concentrations on bridges, road and infrastructure areas. He earned his MBA at the EHSAL Management School in Brussels. He lectures at industry conferences on heavy lift and heavy haulage and on OPEX improvements to modularization and barges.

Currently, Dirk is the Senior EPCM Advisor, Oceania, for Sarens.


The Sarens Group, established in over 50 countries worldwide, is a global leader in Heavy Lifting and Special Transport. The fleet consists of over 1500 cranes worldwide, of which 200 are currently working in Africa. Besides that, Sarens also owns Special Transport equipment; 1800 axle lines of Self Propelled Modular trailers and countless in-house designed solutions for every possible problem. Sarens’ motto ‘Nothing too Heavy, Nothing too High’ is well reflected in its Special Projects department, which has engineered the lifting of a 10.700Te topside in one piece in Norway. Another example is the Koniambo project in New Caledonia, where after 120 axles of SPMTs moved 15 modules of up to 3.750Te 7km inland; the SarTower system was used to assemble the plant, stacking the pieces 60m high.

Day 2 Ocean

Educated at the Maritime Education and Training Academy in Amsterdam, Cees sailed the high seas for seven years as a ships officer on Dutch-flag ocean-going vessels. He attained consecutive nautical officer ranks culminating in his Master’s license.

In 1985, he came ashore and joined Mammoet Shipping in Amsterdam as a project manager for heavy-lift operations. To upgrade his chartering skills, Cees attended a one-year course at the Dutch Maritime Shipbrokers Association in Rotterdam and graduated as a shipbroker.

During a 25-year career with Mammoet/BigLift Shipping as a Port Captain, Cees has been in charge of a huge number of heavy lift operations all over the world, including projects for Daewoo, Fluor, General Electric, Mitsui, MOL, Siemens and many others. Now retired from BigLift Shipping, he is still active in the heavy lift business as a lecturer and consultant.

Latest News from Europe