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Joep Kraeima

''This hospital houses knowledge from all over the world.''

Using virtual surgery planning to make it easier for surgeon and patient. That is what Joep Kraeima (33) of the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) is working on. For him, the north is the place to make a career. ''It happens in Groningen". 
The human body has always fascinated him. But there was also a great interest in technology. These two facets come together in his current position at the UMCG. Together with his colleagues, he runs a lab where they make virtual surgery plans. With simulations, test set-ups and the final 3D models. ''This way, the oral surgeon knows exactly where to cut. So it is more accurate and it also saves a lot of time,'' Joep explains.

He studied in Enschede. After studying technical medicine, he ended up at the UMCG for an internship. A place that was high on his list. This hospital houses knowledge from all over the world. Here we also do research, innovate. In some areas, we even lead the world,'' he says proudly.

''That's what characterises Groningen: it's a city where you can invest in yourself.''

Joep is someone who wants to keep growing, developing. In 2019, he obtained his PhD. The University of Groningen and the UMCG offered him this space. ''Here they are open to new things, to young and ambitious people. For those who want to research and invent. So we work here with an awful lot of different techniques. You don't easily find those under one roof,'' he explains. But this innovative power is not limited to the UMCG. ''That is also what characterises Groningen: it is a city where you can invest in yourself. The training and advancement opportunities are great here, whatever field you are in,'' he explains.

Outside working hours, Joep likes to be found in the city centre. Sometimes in a café, more often just outside. Walking down the street. ''Groningen is a city that has everything. Lots of social activities, a nice mix of people and a nice atmosphere. You're never bored here.'' Besides the bustling city centre, Joep also praises the tranquillity of the surrounding countryside. He enjoys this even in the morning: he cycles straight through De Onlanden nature reserve to work. No traffic jams, just cycling. To a place that has shaped his career and will continue to do so. A place he is proud of. ''We get to make the UMCG visible to the world. We have to do that together, there are opportunities for that here. If you are ambitious, you will get it done in Groningen.''

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