The Distinguished Lecture Series consist of lectures given by prominent speakers, including leading executives and distinguished scholars, on a MEL related subject.

These lectures provide the students with the opportunity to interact with the speakers in an actual business environment, to test their knowledge against that of an active professional, and of course, network with high level executives.

Below you can find some of the speakers that have contributed in the Distinguished Lecture Series.

Ben VreeEleanor Hadland is an independent port consultant with almost 30-years experience in the industry. She initially worked for the UK’s largest port operator, Associated British Ports, and subsequently held senior level roles with Drewry Shipping Consultants, Moffatt & Nichol, BMT and AECOM. She splits her time between working with Drewry Maritime Research, where she lead its ports and terminal sector research team and working as an independent port sector advisor.

With Drewry, she is editor of both Global Container Terminal Operators – Annual Review & Forecast and the quarterly Ports & Terminals Insight reports. She has also spearheaded Drewry’s use of AIS data to model the performance of global container ports. As an independent maritime advisor she works with a diverse range of clients on projects outside of the container sector sphere including cruise, offshore energy and bunkering.

She is currently working with Asian Development Bank to research how smart port systems can support port sector decarbonisation efforts in Asia Paciifc. She was awarded BA (Hons) Geography by the University of Southampton (UK) in 1994 and has been a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport since 2001.

Dhananjay Bodke (DJ) Dhananjay Bodke has an extensive track record at the Danish A.P. Moller Maersk group in its entities in the Netherlands. He has worked there for over 20 years in various roles. As the former Cargo Execution Manager, he oversaw the loading and unloading of cargo for Maersk, partners, and feeder vessels across Europe.

He is a certified Master Black Belt in Lean and Six Sigma from PMI UK and has successfully completed more than 400 projects.

Dhananjay Bodke has been a key player in spearheading transformation initiatives, such as the European transformation of Maersk’s operations team, leading to standardization and optimization. In his previous role as a Product Manager, he was instrumental in modernizing one of the oldest but most vital Maersk container tracking systems.

Currently, as the Senior Process Manager at APM Terminals, he is responsible for preparing the APMT Hub terminals for an even better productivity than today and a mindset to meet customer promises.

Ben VreeBen Vree started work in the Rotterdam Port as a Boarding Clerk in 1975.

After he followed the Port and Transport College he became Commercial Manager within Seaport Terminals as part of the Furness group. After nearly 10 years, he changed to Van Ommeren to become active in liquid bulk handling (tank storage) and after almost 12 year he moved to Singapore as Regional Director.

In 2000 he returned to Rotterdam to join Smit International as CEO, a stock listed company active in towage, salvage and maritime projects. After a take-over by dredging company Boskalis in 2009, he joined the Executive Board of this group. However, he left in 2011 to do a few interim jobs.

Now Ben Vree is CEO of APM Terminals Europe, i.e. responsible for the existing container terminal on the first Maasvlakte and development of a new fully automated terminal on Maasvlakte II.

Bert Kruk

In the period 2004-2008 my prime responsibility as Senior and later Lead Port Specialist of Transport Anchor of the Energy, Transport and Water (ETWTR) Division of the World Bank was to avail my expertise in ports and waterborne transport to World Bank projects, both of ETWTR and of WB Regions across the world.

This cross support input was provided through missions, drafting and/or review of Project Terms of Reference, participation on Bidding Evaluation exercises, providing comments on reports, (peer) review exercises, meetings and discussions with internal and external experts and stakeholders, and the (co-) drafting of a number of publications and reports.

I retired from the World Bank on October 31, 2008, but continued my activities as a Short Term Consultant (STC), in particular providing expertise to my colleagues in a number of port and waterborne transport related projects.

I worked in over 70 countries in the world in port and transport related projects.

Eelco Hoekstra

Eelco Hoekstra joined the Executive Board of Royal Vopak in Rotterdam in 2010. He was appointed Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO as per the 1st of January 2011. He has almost twenty years of experience in the international tank storage industry.

After joining Vopak in 2003, Mr Hoekstra took up the position of Managing Director of Vopak Horizon Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. In 2005, he relocated to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he assumed the position of President of Vopak Latin America. In 2008, he was appointed Division President of Vopak Asia in Singapore.

Mr Hoekstra holds a Master’s in Economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He is a member of the International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai (IBLAC); a member of the Advisory Boards of the Rotterdam School of Management; a member of the Board of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA); and a Member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).

Eric Herman

Eric Herman joined Damco on May 1, 2012, as Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for sales, industry verticals, marketing and supply chain development.

Eric Herman started his professional career in 1991 at General Electric Plastics in the Netherlands, where he occupied several positions with progressive seniority in Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain and Business Management in the Netherlands, UK, USA and China. In August 2008, Eric returned to the Netherlands from Asia to lead SABIC’s European Polypropylene (PP) business.

On April 1, 2010 Eric was appointed to the newly-created position of Chief Commercial Officer for Safmarine Container Lines.

Andres Licona


GARP- Financial Risk Manager 2014
Erasmus, MSc, Financial Economics 2006
RSM, MSc, Accounting & Control 2006
RSM, MSc, Finance & Investments 2005
RSM, Business Administration 2004



Work Experience:

Shell Trading 2010 – present
Market Risk Team Leader
Market Trading Risk Analyst

Investment Strategist & Portfolio Manager 2008-2009

Previous Jobs at Robeco, Husbandry Company and Commercial.

Maarten Mol

Maarten Mol is a Branch Manager at Mainfreight. He is responsible for all ocean shipments from and to the Netherlands of Mainfreight. He graduated with an MSc in Urban Port and Transport Economics (UTPE) in 2010.

After graduation, Mr. Mol started his career at Mainfreight (former Wim Bosman) as a Graduate. His first job was loading and unloading trucks to learn logistics from A to Z. In the past years he has been working for Mainfreight at logistics, forwarding, business development and ocean freight (current role).


Gérard Moussault is considered one of The Netherlands’ preeminent banking lawyers and has notable experience in the field of shipping advisory.

A general banking lawyer with notable experience in ship finance and restructuring matters, Gérard’s shipping advisory practice is distinctly international in flavour. His track record includes advising on the financing and restructuring of formerly state-owned shipping companies in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic States.

Prior to joining Bird & Bird in May 2010, Gérard was the managing partner of one of the Top 10 Dutch law firms and built an impressive practice focusing on structured finance, corporate finance and corporate restructuring.

In Chambers 2009 edition he was characterized: “Always one step ahead”. He is singled out for his expertise in structured financing, project and asset financing.

Jeroen Schuering

Jeroen Schuering was born in Zevenaar, the Netherlands (1975). He is fluent in English and has conversational level capability in Spanish and German. He is a Dutch citizen, is married to Florencia and has one daughter Emilie.

During his childhood he lived for several years with his parents in Fort Rucker, Alabama (USA) where he attended the Primary & Elementary school before returning to the Netherlands to attend High School.

His initial study year was at the University of West-Florida (UWF) in Pensacola, Florida, where he attended the course ‘General Management’. He graduated from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and received a Masters degree in Business Economics, with two majors and a thesis:
1. Organisation & Management
2. International Economics & Business Studies
Thesis title: “Airport Alliances, some remarks on a new phenomenon”.

Mr. Schuering initiated his working life at P&O Nedlloyd in 2003, and started as a Management Trainee working in various Commercial departments ranging from Sales & Marketing to Ship Brokering. Working locations included the Netherlands, Argentina, the United Kingdom and Germany.

After Maersk purchased P&O Nedlloyd in 2006, Jeroen accepted a position as Marketing Manager for Central Europe. In this position he handled Market Intelligence and Communication matters for in total 12 northern European countries.

In July 2009, Jeroen started as Key Client Manager for Government cargoes for Maersk Line. Based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he was in charge of Maersk Line’s US and foreign Government business in Europe and Africa.

Jeroen changed roles in 2012 and became Cluster Manager for Safmarine, responsible for countries the Netherlands and Switzerland. In this position he is a member of the Maersk Netherlands Cluster Management Team.

Since 2014 he is Global Head of Key Accounts at Safmarine, based at the head-office in Copenhagen Denmark.

Neil Davidson

Neil Davidson has over 25 years’ experience in the port sector. He joined Drewry in 1997 and founded the company’s ports practice.

His current role is focused on Drewry’s publications and new products in the ports and terminals sector. He has been closely involved as both contributor and editor of all of Drewry’s annual and one-off port sector publications, and spoken at over 80 industry conferences, seminars and private briefing sessions worldwide. He regularly contributes expert insight and analysis to the trade press and national newspapers, as well as TV and radio on occasion.

His previous consultancy experience included participation in port projects in global locations including Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Australia and the Middle East. The work included buy and sell-side due diligence, privatisations, strategic advice and working for lenders as well as commercial and market analyses.
Prior to joining Drewry he spent 8 years with the Port of Tilbury, London, specialising in business planning. He was closely involved in the successful management buy-out of the port in 1992, and its subsequent trade sale to Forth Ports plc in 1995. He also gained freeport status for the port, acting as Freeport Manager for 2 years.

A graduate of the Department of Maritime Studies, Cardiff University, his industry experience also includes working for Lloyd’s of London and the Medway Ports Authority, Sheerness, UK.

Paul Smits

Paul Smits is CFO of Port of Rotterdam as of 1 June 2011. He is responsible for finance, IT and procurement. He is setting up initiatives to stimulate innovation in the Port of Rotterdam. He is also active in accelerating the execution of essential elements in the Port Vision 2030, e.g. with respect to environment.

Before joining Port of Rotterdam he worked for the national telecommunications operator KPN. In his last position he was responsible for all shared services of KPN in The Netherlands. Before that Mr. Smits was CFO of KPN Business Market.

Mr. Smits is Certified Management Accountant and Certified Treasury Professional.

Marcus Jung is a Partner at FPG AIM, this is a joint Venture with Financial Products Group Co. Ltd. of Japan (“FPG”). With offices in the Netherlands, Dubai and Singapore. FPG AIM provides global sourcing, structuring, arranging, M&A and advisory services to investors, banks and companies active in the aircraft, shipping and marine container industries.

he is also a Member of the Board, Non-Executive Director at FPH Amentum, which is an independent and dedicated third party servicer to aircraft equity investors as well as banks and debt investors in the aviation sector. FPG Amentum is unique in that it is an Ireland-based full-service provider with all key functions in-house and a scale that puts it amongst the top 20 aircraft lessors, yet it provides services exclusively on a third party basis. FPG Amentum has a track record of successfully investing billions of US$ and managing some of the most complex restructuring and repossession projects for our financial institution customers

Mr. Jung holds an MSc in Business Management from University of Groningen.

Ruud Legters

Ruud Legters obtained his MSc in Business Administration at the University of Groningen in 1988. After fulfilling his military service as Marine Officer at the Royal Dutch Navy he worked for 5 years in the paper industry. Thereafter he started his banking career at ING Bank.

In 1996 he moved to NIBC in The Hague and begun his career as shipping banker. He was responsible for the origination and management of senior and junior loans and arranging equity for companies owning multi-purpose vessels, container vessels, dry cargo vessels, tanker vessels, offshore vessels and yards.

In 2005 he continued his shipping banker career at DVB Bank, the leading specialist in international transport finance. In his current position as Senior Credit Officer Shipping and Offshore, he is responsible for the risk awareness within the bank by coordinating and performing risk analyses, supporting the Credit Committee and providing risk assessments to Senior Management. In cooperation with the Relationship Manager the Senior Credit Officer Shipping and Offshore he is also responsible for the content and structure of new finance proposals as well as for reviews of existing deals. With his team of 5 Credit Officers in Amsterdam/Schiphol and 2 in Athens/Greece he manages a loan portfolio of in total USD 6 billion, divided over 500 vessels and 125 clients.