Roberta Vitale, Lead engineer for our International Technical Department

Express CV 

Age 36. Italian. Master’s degree in Civil Engineering
  • 2011  Projet Engineer, FPC Italy
  • 2013  Design Engineer, FPC France
  • 2014  Business Engineer, Technical Department, Freyssinet International
  • 2019  Senior Engineer, Technical Department, Freyssinet International
  • Since 2021 Lead Engineer, Bearings - Technical Department, Freyssinet International

Becoming a “super-specialist” in bearings

After working on prestressing at FPC Italy, I became interested in mechanical design and decided to specialize in bearing devices. I started on the industrial manufacturing side, at FPC France, and continued in the Technical Department, where I am now Lead Engineer. Bearings are equipment for structures, just like the cables of the stays, or the expansion joints; they are mechanical devices placed in bridges between the piers and the deck, and they are necessary for the transmission of loads. They are also found in oil rigs, stadiums, nuclear infrastructures, and many buildings. In short, in the vast majority of Freyssinet structures! This means for me an infinite number of very different projects, and daily challenges.

Working in project mode

I manage technical studies, preliminary design studies, and I also participate in research and development projects. I work in a transversal manner and as part of a team. I provide our Business Units with technical assistance; I work with the other divisions of the Technical Department, to coordinate our studies on projects; and I work with FPC, to ensure the quality of our finished products. Working in project mode is not an empty word at Freyssinet; it is this gathering of skills, this emulation, this real synergy, which enables us to be reactive and competitive. I’m thinking in particular of the High Speed Railway project in Pakistan : the client required a simple design level, but massive quantities, at a lower cost than our competitors. Our proximity to FPC’s sales teams enabled us to make the necessary adjustments in record time, to offer the best industrial solution at the best price, and to win the tender.

Being a woman at Freyssinet

Although Freyssinet is still a predominantly male company, being a woman has never been an issue. I have had the same opportunities as my male colleagues, in terms of level of responsibility or geographical mobility; I am recognized for my expertise and I am proud to have built a good balance between my personal and professional life. And I am pleased to see that there are many more women in the workforce than when I started!

 

Any advice for a young beginner?
Be curious. Have character. Believe in yourself !Your greatest achievement at Freyssinet ?
Participating in the construction of the new Chernobyl containment building. It was the most challenging job ever: we had to design bearing devices with a span of more than 2 meters, in materials that could withstand a hypothetical explosion, and a great thermal amplitude. It is a spectacular work, with a very strong symbolic charge.

3 words to describe Freyssinet ?
International company, teamwork, expertise.

 

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