About the Author - Piet de Neef

Piet de Neef - Mechanical Seals Explained
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About the author
Piet de Neef was born on the 4th of July 1943 to an English mother and a Dutch father in Cottingham (near Hull) in the United Kingdom.

At the end of the war he and his mother moved to Rotterdam in the Netherlands where they lived-in with his Dutch grandmother for almost 15 years. Since his grandmother did not  speak a word of English and (in the early years) his mother spoke not a word of Dutch, he became bilingual whilst growing up. His father served in the Dutch merchant navy as an engineer, keeping him from home for extended periods. Around the age of 15 his dad decided to take a shore job with a view to introducing a firmer hand in his upbringing (not that it made much difference).

Piet was educated in the Netherlands but, primarily because his dad insisted he went to the HTS (Higher Technical School) following the compulsory schooling, he quit after a  year and took a job as mechanic with the Rotterdam based repair shop of Weir Pumps. In June 1962 he was called up for military service where he was selected to be trained as a sergeant in charge of the crew of a Bofors 40L70 anti-aircraft gun. After having served his time in February 1964, he re-joined Weir.

By then he had come to realise that his decision not to complete the HTS schooling had  been a bit foolish so to “compensate” he attended evening classes at the MTS (one level lower than the HTS). This, together with being busy “hands-on” during working hours, provided a firm base for his further career. In 1971 he decided to “move on” and took a job as sales engineer for the Dutch representative of Beldam Packing but soon realised he was not cut out for such a profession and in 1972 he joined what was then known as Borg Warner Mechanical Seals based in Etten-Leur in the South of the Netherlands. The rest is “a long story” which is told in this book.

Whilst working for Weir, he once again ignored his father’s advice (“never dip your pen in  the company’s inkwell”) and married the managing director’s secretary Ans van den Berg  to whom he has now been happily wed > 52 years. Together they have 2 daughters, one son-in-law and 2 grandchildren. Piet and his wife live in Roosendaal.
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