Alain Bernard (DEME) wins the Vlerick Award 2015

Tonight Alain Bernard, CEO of DEME, has won the Vlerick Award 2015. The audience – who was able to vote both via internet as well as live at the event – chose him, because he led his company as business leader in its market segment with sustained results to the top.

The central theme this year was "Legacy & Promise": each of the nominees runs a company with a proud history and valuable legacy that must be safeguarded. At the same time, the company must also continue to develop and grow in order to fulfill the promise of the future.

Almost 400 alumni, former winners and nominees, and VIPs attended the 15th Vlerick Award that took place on Thursday June 4th at Hotel Le Plaza in Brussels. The other nominees were:

  • Bernard Delvaux (SONACA)
  • Dominique Leroy (Proximus)
  • Koen Van Gerven (bpost)


Alain Bernard (°1955) has been the CEO of the DEME Group (Dredging Environmental & Marine Engineering) since 2006.

The DEME Group, headquartered in Zwijndrecht (Belgium) has operations in five continents, and though its roots are in dredging, Mr Bernard has been instrumental in transforming the scope of its business, moving it into land reclamation and hydraulic engineering, environmental projects and providing services for the offshore oil, gas and renewable energy sectors.

In fact, since starting his career in 1980, Mr Bernard has spent all his professional life at the DEME Group, working in a number of different companies there. Between 1982 and 1985, he worked as a Project Manager for Dredging International. He then was appointed General Manager at Hydro Soil Services, and in 1990 he returned to work for Dredging International, initially as Manager of the Benelux division and from 1995 to 2006 as its General Manager. From 1996 to 2006, he was also active as the Chief Operating Officer of the Group.

Mr Benard is a member of the Royal Flemish Academy for Sciences and Art, and is a director at Aquafin, Voka, CFE, FIT (Flanders Investment & Trade) and the Royal Belgian Shipowners Association.

Mr Bernard has 2 master’s qualifications from KU Leuven, one in Civil Engineering and the other in Civil Engineering Industrial Policy.

A sneak peek at the Vlerick Award 2015

About Vlerick Alumni

Vlerick Alumni, a non-profit organisation, is the official alumni organisation of Vlerick Business School. The organisation represents 19,000 alumni in almost 100 countries worldwide. Almost all of the alumni are active at management and director level within international and national companies and organisations. Vlerick Alumni's mission is to encourage Vlerick's former students in their growth, both personally and in companies and in society through professional networking and lifelong learning.

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