Paulo César Gato Araujo, Project Engineer for Freyssinet Chile

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Age 31. BrazilianMaster’s degree in Civil Engineering  2014: Site Engineer – Laguna Bridge - Brazil  2016: Site Engineer - Wind Towers of Trairi - Brazil  2017: Methods Engineer  Atlantic Bridge - Panama  2018: Site Manager – Freyssinet Argentina  Since 2020: Project Engineer – Freyssinet Chile 

From stay cables… to project management

From my very first job for Freyssinet, on the Laguna cable-stayed bridge in Brazil, I specialized in cable-stayed structures. Then I alternated between two types of missions: managing “small” projects – the maintenance of a cable-stayed viaduct in Salvador, a pedestrian cable-stayed bridge in Argentina  or bringing my cable-stay and prestressing technical expertise to larger projects – the Trairi wind complex in Brazil, the Atlantic Bridge in Panama and the San Martin Viaduct in Buenos Aires, ArgentinaAs you see, was mainly assigned on building jobs, but since I arrived in Chili I’ve been working mainly on structural repair and strengthening projects. For instance, I’m currently supervising the replacement of all bearing devices on the access viaduct to Santiago airport. I’m also in charge of the finishing works of the Treng-Treng Kay-Kay cable-stayed bridge in Temuco, and of the Lo Espejo viaduct repair, south of Santiago: we are implementing seismic protection, doing additional external post-tensioning of steel beam with Freyssibarsconcrete strengthening, replacing expansion joints… At 31 years old, I consider myself lucky to have already worked in 5 countries in 6 years, on unique projectsand on different scales. 

Daily challenges

What I like most about my job today is the management of the entire project. The technical aspects, of course; but also cost controllogistics, quality control, team management… The repair business is a daily challengeIt’s about solving unforeseen problems, sometimes without having the original structural plans, and finding clever, quick and economical solutions that comply with the Freyssinet standard of qualityIt’s both rewarding and exciting! Working with Freyssinet products and techniques is blessing, because it means being confronted with unique civil engineering technologies: prestressing, Isotension® method on cable-stayed structures, LAO® system (computer-aided precision jacking) to structure handlingFor a young engineerthese are great opportunities to grow and improve your skills. 

Continuous learning

When I arrived at Freyssinet, I was very impressed with the company’s safety policy and with its very high level of requirement – far higher than the usual standards here in South AmericaMore generally, Freyssinet is very concerned with the well-being of its employees. On a daily basisthis translates into very close teams, easy communication, and a very high level of support from everybody, whatever their hierarchical level. Working in multicultural teams has made me a more open, adaptable and tolerant person, and therefore a more competent and efficient engineer.  

 

Any advice for a young recruit?  

Ask questions, be curious. Some of our projects are really unique, so turn each moment into a learning experience. Even the most seasoned engineers in the house continue to learn every day!  

Your favourite Freyssinet project? 

My first one: the Anita Garibaldi cable-stayed bridge in Laguna (Brazil). 

3 words to describe Freyssinet 

Innovation, safety, multicultural teams. 

 

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