“They had their friends and their routines, and did not want any change,” Noort explained. Now, five months later as Noort and his family are preparing to return to The Netherlands, his children are asking if the family could extend their stay.
“At this point, we like it here, and have really become a part of the community. Now the idea of leaving is hard,” Noort said. “Our time here has been smoother and more memorable than any of us imagined.”
Noort and his family spent five months living in Bel Air, MD while he worked at ECBC as a part of ESEP. ESEP is an international exchange program that promotes international cooperation in military research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) through the exchange of military and/or government civilian engineers and scientists. ECBC has been an active participant in the ESEP program for many years. Currently, ECBC employees are serving ESEP rotations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Chile, Australia and The Netherlands. The ESEP experience helps ECBC scientists create personal working relationships with international partners and have resulted in efforts such as mutually beneficial leveraging of technology between participating organizations.
“Having Daan work with us was very beneficial to our work, as well as personally and professionally enjoyable for our whole group,” said Jennifer Sekowski, Ph.D, DABT, Principal Investigator for the Systems Biology of Host-Toxicant Response Project in ECBC’s Biosciences Division. One of the projects Noort worked on at ECBC was to transition an assay from his laboratory at TNO to ECBC. Sekowski first started this project in summer 2013 during a week-long visit to TNO. Sekowski said it was invaluable to have Noort at ECBC working to continue that project with the rest of the team.
“His chemistry background and international perspective helped us develop important new tools and protocols which have opened new possibilities in our DTRA funded work. Already, the chemical analog probes he synthesized while here will allow us to publish an extra manuscript this year, an extra deliverable we can provide for our customer, DTRA. We also plan to follow-up on this and related work in future collaborative efforts of interest to DTRA and DHS.”
Before Noort returned to The Netherlands, he discussed his experiences working and living in a different country.