'Wageningen still has a special place in my heart. I had a wonderful time there and received an excellent education. The quality and breadth of the education has allowed me, together with other Wageningen colleagues, to breach the traditional stronghold of Delft at the top level management of the drinking water utilities'.
Martien den Blanken (1951) finished his studies in “Cultuurtechniek” in 1976. He joined Kiwa nv, a certification and research institute for the Dutch drinking water companies. After several years of research as hydrologist he became research manager in 1979. In 1986 he joined the Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg, first as Head of Distribution, and from 1989 as Deputy Technical Director. At Adviesbureau Witteveen + Bos in Deventer in 1992, he was asked to set up a consultancy branch for the drinking water market.
Once this was well established one and a half years later, he joined N.V. PWN Waterleidingbedrijf Noord Holland as Director Drinking Water. PWN is one of the ten drinking water utilities in the Netherlands who, besides the task of supplying inhabitants with drinking water, also has the important task of nature management and recreation. PWN manages nature reserves totalling more than 8000 hectares which are visited annually by 8 million visitors. Since 2005 Martien is CEO of PWN.