CW Oman 2015 Awards: Meet the judges

A panel of industry experts is currently sifting its way through nominations for the Construction Week Oman 2015 Awards

ANALYSIS, Business, Construction Week Oman 2015 Awards

The first awards event of Construction Week’s 2015 awards programme is just a couple of weeks away. The Construction Week Oman Awards 2015 will take place at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Muscat on 30 March.  

Now in their fourth year, the awards have become a fixture in the social calendar for Oman’s construction community.

There will be awards in 13 categories up for grabs, ranging from the best company initiatives in fields such as sustainability, health and safety and corporate social responsibility, to individual awards for the engineer, project manager and construction executive of the year.

There are also a series of awards for projects and for companies, including Consultancy of the Year and the much-coveted Contractor of the Year, which has been won in the past by Towell Construction, Bahwan Engineering and by Carillion Alawi.

Nominations for the 2015 event have now closed and a panel of industry experts is currently sifting through the entries.

We have asked those who will be casting their votes to tell us a little more about themselves.

David Skinner
Operations director, Al Turki Enterprises

Tell us about yourself.
I am a contractor’s civil engineer with a broad range of experience covering infrastructure such as roads, irrigation networks and marine works and services, industrial projects including smelters and power stations, and buildings. This is my third time working in Oman, having first come in 1992 and I am now in my 18th year here.

Is this your first time judging?
This is my third time as a judge. It is very worthwhile to see how other projects in the country are delivered and how different companies operate.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?
I am hoping to see a wide range of good quality entries showcasing the best in Oman’s construction sector, particularly from Oman-owned companies and how they compare with international companies in the market ? both newcomers and long-established.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?
For projects, I like to see works which are challenging and not the run-of-the-mill, which have been delivered on schedule to high standards of HSE and quality. For companies, working safely to high standards of quality, profitably and where they have done something out of the ordinary. And for individuals, a demonstrable improvement due to their inputs into the construction or management of a project.

Steve Scott
CEO, Al Hassan Engineering Company

Tell us about yourself.
I have worked in the engineering and construction sector of the Hydrocarbon industry since graduating in 1984.
Before joining Al-Hassan in Oman, I worked for Foster Wheeler and KBR in a range of positions, including managing director of Foster Wheeler’s business based in Africa and as KBR’s vice-president of downstream business for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

In these roles, I had responsibility for, and oversight of, projects in the oil and gas, refining, chemicals and power business in a variety of countries.

Is this your first time judging?
This is my first time judging for Construction Week.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?
Enthusiasm in presenting their projects and pride in their achievements. I also look for a willingness to share experience and learning from the challenges they have overcome in delivering the project.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?
My first priority is safe delivery, supported by a clear culture of safety in an organisation. After that, I look for application of project management skills together with collaboration and practical innovation to meet objectives.

Ravindra Nath Teegala
Managing director, Al Majal Petroleum & Engineering

Tell us about yourself.
I am a mechanical engineer by profession and managing director of Al Majal Petroleum & Engineering Co, Muscat. I am involved in various project construction activities and oilfield equipment fabrication and maintenance works.

Is this your first time judging?
This is my third time judging for this great event.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?
Companies and individuals who are professionally managed, highly organised, who have dedicated themselves for the execution of their projects on time and who satisfy their clients, customers, suppliers and their own staff.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?
Projects which are of national importance, which fulfil the dreams of government and citizens, and which contribute to the infrastructure of the country as well as the growth of its GDP. Companies and individuals who have successfully completed projects on time, have shown excellent quality of workmanship and who have dedicated their time, technical skill, management capacity, planning and resources to the success of a project.

David Hutton
Oman country manager, Aecom

Tell us about yourself.
I am a chartered structural engineer with more than 18 years’ experience, which includes consultancy and contractor/developer roles. I have worked in southern Africa, the United Kingdom and the Middle East and have been based in Oman for the last seven years. I am focused on quality and efficiency in delivery of projects. Having worked for a developer and a D+B contractor in the UK, I learned the importance of efficiency in delivery.

Is this your first time judging?
This is my first time as a judge, albeit I have been a regular participant in such awards.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?
I am looking forward to seeing submissions that show an improvement on what has been done before, clearly differentiating their submissions from the norm. As engineers, architects and builders we are expected to improve the quality of life for others and that requires innovation.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?
I am hoping to see designs and projects that challenge the norm and provide value for the client. The best projects are those that challenge both the client team and the designers to deliver the best possible product that fits the budget. With regards to companies and individuals, I am looking for those who deliver more than just a design service to their clients, but instead challenge clients and staff to improve on the last job.

Rocky Chan
General manager, Rider Levett Bucknall

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Rocky Chan, general manager of Rider Levett Bucknall in the Sultanate of Oman

Is this your first time judging?
Yes.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?
I want to see how well they perform and their overall contribution to a project.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?
For companies, I want to see how they contribute to society and the economic considerations they make as part of the construction process. I am also interested in their productivity, marketing ability and their employee welfare considerations. For individuals, I want to learn something of their personality and their achievements in research and development.

Jamie Kellick
Counsel, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle

Tell us about yourself
I have been living and working in Oman for the last seven years (with a small stint in Dubai), as a contentious lawyer acting on, mostly, construction and project-related matters.

I could be considered an ‘ex-pat brat’ having grown up in Dubai (Jebel Ali Village, actually) in the late 1970s-1980s, returning to the region some 20 years later when moving to Dentons’ dispute resolution team in Muscat. Since my return, I have been cited in legal directories as a foreign legal expert in Oman and UAE law and have acted on some major construction disputes in both jurisdictions.

Is this your first time judging?
Yes it is, and I am grateful for the opportunity.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?
Hopefully, well-presented entries showing some diverse and interesting projects being undertaken in the Sultanate.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?
With the majority of my time dealing with breakdowns in professional relationships leading to litigation or arbitration, it is going to be a breath of fresh air seeing those projects and individuals which have embraced teamwork and shared values. Those entrants which have prevailed through a shared vision and a commitment to teamwork instead of a selfish, self-centred way to get things done will certainly be grabbing my attention and additional points.

Derek Lowth
Group commercial & contracts manager, Special Technical Services

Tell us about yourself.
I am a chartered engineer with over 13 years’ experience in the construction and engineering industries and most recently in the oil & gas sector. My current position is that of group commercial & contracts manager for Special Technical Services, with overall responsibility for legal, commercial, contractual and compliance matters for the eight STS Group companies that operate throughout the GCC. I have been resident in Oman for over five years, having previously worked in Qatar and prior to that in my home country of Ireland.

Is this your first time judging?
No, this is my second time, having acted as a judge in 2014 and I am again looking forward to challenge ahead.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?
I would like to see entrants show commitment to driving change in the industry and their performance to produce a better built environment.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?
I will be looking for companies and individuals that are leading change in the industry by incorporation of change in their proposed solutions which are sympathetic to the values of the country both past and present. The winning projects will need to demonstrate their ability to deliver on the three factors commonly associated with successful projects – time, cost and quality.

Kobus Havemann
Country manager, Driver Group

Tell us about yourself.
I have been involved with the construction industry for the last 20 years, having worked in Ireland and UK for 12 years, which were preceded by three years of experience in South Africa. I have been based in the Sultanate of Oman since 2010. I have recently been promoted to Driver Group’s country manager for Oman.

Is this your first time judging?
Yes, this is my first time.

What are you looking forward to seeing from the entrants?
I would like to see how each entrant’s presence in Oman positively influences the country and its people.

What are you looking for in winning projects, companies or individuals?
For projects, I would like to see how modern technology and design can be implemented to make a project sustainable, durable and able to blend in and cope with the climatic conditions prevalent in Oman.
For companies and individuals, I would like to see how they will leave a lasting positive impact on the Sultanate.

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