Arun Ratish Haridass's story
I moved to National Grid LNG as a maintenance manager and worked here for three years, helping to transform the maintenance and asset condition of the plant.
My current position is that of mechanical officer (Terminals and Compressors) within National Grid where I have worked for nearly two years looking after mainly rotating machinery across the UK (24 compressor stations and 2 terminals). I have been involved with, and am continuing to carry out, major refurbishment overhauls of equipment and currently providing subject matter expertise in the field of mechanical engineering.
I am currently undertaking numerous projects across the UK, small and big, to overhaul and revive assets across the fleet within National Grid Gas Transmissions.
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Describe your career journey so far
I did my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Kumaraguru College of Technology (Anna University), India and then moved to the UK to pursue my MSc in Automotive Systems Engineering. Following my studies I did a work placement as a chassis engineer at Jaguar Landrover carrying out HIL (Hardware in Loop) engine control unit tests.
I moved on to Ford Motor Company in Dunton Research Centre as a Powertrain planning analyst looking at future projects on inline gasoline engines. However, I wanted something more in life and looked outside the automotive sector where I landed a job at Corus/Tata Steels Strip Products in Port Talbot. I worked there for five years holding various positions from Graduate project engineer, process safety implementation engineer, and section manager for Blast Furnace 4 - within operations and engineering.
I obtained my chartered mechanical engineer status with the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and delivered a number of successful high profile projects before moving to National Grid.
What kinds of projects do you work on, and what role do you play?
I work on projects which are 100% asset based. These projects range from carrying out extensive overhauls to minor repair modification of Gas Turbine Compressor Units and ancillaries. The role I play in is mainly project manager/engineer in charge of delivering these projects. However I still carry out the various roles within the project management frame work supporting various other projects.
Tell us about your proudest moment in your career so far
The proudest moment is when I undertook and completed an overhaul of a compressor unit following a major breakdown by executing the work in a more structured way safely, within budget and time. Also supported the team and motivated them to support me in achieving the result.
Tell us about a challenge you have had to overcome in your career, and what you learnt from the experience.
The main challenge for me was ageing assets and personalities of people. With ageing assets I could carry out overhauls and revive them. But my main challenge was to overcome different personalities and I overcame it by working with those people to own the project and make it their own but embrace the change, empower them and shared vision and achieve results.
What advice would you give to somebody new to the project profession?
A career in project profession is one of the best path for one’s future however, the path is not simple, each and every project is unique and different, however if the fundamentals are followed this helps pave the way for a successful result. Not all projects end up with successes but when those failures occur, the lessons need to be learnt to overcome those failures.
The important factor to the above is take risk in projects but make it a calculative risk rather than one which is unknown.
Explain your decision to become a member of APM
As my job involves leading and project managing a number of projects, I felt I needed to add more structure and become professionally recognised through an organisation which will provide the necessary support to help me to deliver my projects successfully.
How does APM membership help you in your job role, career and studies?
APM has changed the way I deal with projects on a more structured and professional manner, due to my current Associate membership with APM I feel valued and have been recognised by my industry for delivering successful projects.