Peter Baeten becomes Director-General of SCK CEN
By selecting an internal candidate, SCK CEN keeps its sights firmly on the future
The Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK CEN has chosen Peter Baeten, a candidate from within, as Director-General. On 1 November 2022, he will succeed Eric van Walle, who will retire this autumn. Thanks to his extensive knowledge and experience, Peter Baeten will be able to anchor opportunities in strategic lines at a rapid pace.
The Board of Directors has decided to appoint Peter Baeten as the new Director-General of the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK CEN. By appointing him, the Board is making a strategic choice for a candidate from within. "The nuclear sector can expect a wave of challenges in the next five years. The sector is gaining in importance in the fight against cancer, new energy applications and, with the nuclear phase-out in Belgium, is at the start of the largest decommissioning project. As the only nuclear research institute in our country, SCK CEN plays an indispensable key role in each of these domains," says Derrick-Philippe Gosselin, chairman of the Board of Directors at SCK CEN. "Given the speed at which these challenges are coming, it is important to act quickly. It is very important for society that we keep our sights firmly set on the future. This requires a thorough knowledge of the domain, extensive experience and, above all, personal involvement. We are convinced that with Peter we are making the right choice."
Peter Baeten, a PhD in nuclear technology, started his career at SCK CEN in 1995. Since then, he has had an impressive professional career. He was responsible for the safe operation and experimental programmes of research reactors BR1 and VENUS, and later for the technical development of the MYRRHA project. Since 2018, he has held the position of Deputy Director General of SCK CEN. He is also a professor and gives lectures at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and UHasselt. He is active in nuclear organizations both nationally and internationally.
Until 31 October 2022 - his last working day at SCK CEN – Eric van Walle will assist the future Director-General in his current position. Peter Baeten will therefore be able to draw on 33 years of solid work experience. Eric van Walle started working for SCK CEN in 1989. In 2006, he became Director-General. His legacy is synonymous with broadening and deepening.
Eric van Walle will be able to end his career in style. This year, the nuclear research center is celebrating seventy years and SCK CEN is celebrating this with many activities. Eric van Walle looks back with satisfaction: "I was given many opportunities in my younger years, including at SCK CEN where I had the chance to satisfy my hunger for science. The opportunities that others gave me have enabled me to grow personally and professionally. As Director General, I wanted to do the same for others. I have therefore dedicated my career to creating opportunities - opportunities for our research center, our projects and our employees. We have always focused on national and international domains. It is this urge for diversity that makes SCK CEN shine. With Peter Baeten as Director-General, we are reinforcing this course.”