Interview: Boud Van Rompay, founder of Hydrex

Boud Van Rompay, CEO Hydrex. Credit: Boud Van Rompay

Horrified by the levels of pollution and sediment contamination he saw when he first started work as a commercial diver, Boud Van Rompay founded Hydrex in 1974 with the goal of clean rivers, seas, and oceans. That ambition still drives the company and its founder today

Born in 1949 in Koningshooikt, a small rural town in the province of Antwerp, Belgium, Boud Van Rompay remains the CEO of Hydrex and is also the founder and CEO of Subsea Industries. Yet, maritime engineering did not figure in his background. His family, including his father, mainly consisted of traditional country doctors, while he went on to study law.

“I abandoned law studies to become a cave diver and explorer and a mountaineer, making breakthroughs in underwater cave exploration. That laid the foundation for a future in underwater technology,” he explained to DPC.

Aged 25, he founded Hydrex. “Clean rivers, seas, and oceans: it was, and still is, our purpose,” Van Rompay continued. “The name Hydrex is coined from hydro (water) and expertise. The aim was and is to create maximum expertise with water to attain the goal of clean oceans. It’s a goal that keeps me going and fuels everything I do.”

This is an excerpt of the DPC September edition. To have access to the full article, and more DPC features, please subscribe here.