Juan Ramón Malave Carrasquel
MSc Metallurgical Manufacturing Processes & Management, 1986
EPC Project Procurement Manager, CN Constructions
Based in Caracas, Venezuela
I am responsible and accountable for all procurement and contract function. Applying extensive, diversified knowledge and experience of purchasing, vendor drawings and shop fabrication expediting, inspection, traffic and logistics, warehousing, material control and systems, contracting practices in developing and executing the plant project.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
Priorities change a lot. It means also that the Murphy’s Law is very active and you must be psychologically prepared to the pressures and the many punches you have to withstand by having plans, procedures and corrective actions ready.
What made you interested in your current role?
I would not say that it was something in particular, I would say it was an evolutionary career process. The connection surely was my background in steel fabrication. The steel products are used extensively in hydrocarbon projects in pipelines, pressure vessels, steel structures, fired heaters, furnaces, heavy equipment and so on. From there I was engaged in the rest of the activities of the procurement function and systems with national and multinational oil project for companies like PDVSA, Total Fina Elf, BP, ConocoPhillips, Fluor, SNC-Lavalin, Foster Wheeler etc.
How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?
The first 5 years after my metallurgical engineering degree at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and then my MSc at the University of Birmingham I was a Process and New Application Engineer in metallurgical plants and the in a USA transnational company producing industrial gases in Venezuela. The second stage till now (more than 28 years) I have been working mainly in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) projects with also some years dedicated to manufacturing strategy and competition analysis as a consultant.
What motivates you?
If one considered motivation as part of performance and ability, then after all these long years I feel confident of having the skills, knowledge, experience and training to performance at a high level for the development of my country. In my personal life though, my two daughters and son are professionals in Fashion and Graphic Design, Medicine, and Industrial Engineering. I still keep working for a better future for Venezuela.
Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?
Actually I came to the UK to study in Swansea University (I was attracted by this seaside town) but then after spending a year or so studying English between Cardiff and then in Bournemouth, I was advised by a girlfriend who lived and studied metallurgy in Manchester about this MSc course at UoB she had heard of. I wrote a letter to Professor T Bell, former coordinator of this course, and I was accepted, came to visit and I fell in love with UoB and Edgbaston where I lived the rest of my stay in England.
Did you get involved in any extracurricular activities as a student?
Not really. But I spent a lot of time at the Guild of Students, library and sports facilities.
How did your time at university help you start your career?
I would say it helped me to be more confident to work with transnational companies and then in international project management teams composed of North American, French, Norwegian and English people.
What advice would you give to current students?
It takes a lot of time. money and effort but at the end it will be rewarding!
Juan's fondest memories of the University
“The campus, the sports facilities and mostly the midday time at the Guild of Students and pub where I met a lot of friends. We shared a lot of time together, cooking and drinking at my flat and became close friends till recently I lost contact of them.”