Ivo Velichkovski, Site Manager for Freyssinet Macedonia

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Age 34 - Macedonian - Master’s degree in Civil Engineering 
  • 2010  Site Engineer in a construction company in Skopje, Macedonia 
  • 2014  Site Manager – Freyssinet Macedonia 
  • Since 2019  Project Manager – Freyssinet Macedonia 

Great professionalism 

After a first experience in a local company, I joined Freyssinet as a Site Engineer on a motorway bridge reinforcement site. I was a young engineer from Skopje, so happy to join such a prestigious international company; but what surprised me most was the complexity of Freyssinet technologies and the amount of know how available. I also discovered a very high level of professionalism, which is perhaps common in some European countries, but which for me was unprecedented. Especially in terms of safety at work, quality, cleanliness of worksites and environmental issuesAs a Project Manager, I am now responsible for all of these aspects, in addition to managing the site and customer relations, of course. 

Paving the way to innovation 

Our country scope includes Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania, i.e. small countries, with limited resources, and often dated construction techniques. This means a double challenge for us. The first one is convincing local companies that implementing innovative solutions is for their own benefit, not just for ours. How do we do that? Bexplaining that post tensioning techniqueshigh performance fiber concrete or carbon fiber fabric help reduce materials, save money and are also more sustainable. The second challenge is transferring these technologies to contractors, design offices or architects, and therefore providing a lot of technical support to our customers. It’s a difficult, time-consuming but very rewarding job. For example, during the construction of a shopping mall, we suggested technical alternative to significantly lighten the structure. The contractor agreed to use prestressing slabs and to change the design, and that’s how our team became the first to introduce this Freyssinet technology in my country. I take great pride in that. 

The joy of learning 

We try to pave the way for many innovations… and I myself try to take every opportunity I can to improve my skillsFreyssinet really allows you to grow; and to me, it is a huge land of opportunities. I have specialized in prestressing and structural strengthening of bridges, and I will soon be in charge of bearings and expansion joints on a bridge renovation site in Kosovo. I keep informed about Freyssinet projects all over the world. And of course, I follow the Group’s training programs. I did a 2-week PT training in France, at the “Freyssinet Academy”, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. One week of theoryone week of workshops, and continuous experience sharing with many engineers from all over the worldAmazing! 

 

Any advice for a young recruit? 
Be daring! Seize all opportunities, and don’t hesitate to create your own.

The Freyssinet project that you are most proud of? 
Of course I am very proud of our cable-stayed bridges: the Panama Bridge, or closer to Macedonia, the Rion-Antirion Bridge in Greece. I hope one day there will be a Freyssinet structure as beautiful in my country?… And in the meantime, I really enjoy working on a bridge site, then walking on it to celebrate!

3 words to describe Freyssinet? 
Challenge, chance, change.

 

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