For the past couple years, Empowering Pumps has been inviting people to Nominate an Industry Professional, and today’s Person of the Week is Vlad Bacalu,VP of Strategic and Technical Solutions, Facilities Operations & Maintenance, with AECOM and Chair on the SMRP Board of Directors. This is what he had to share!
Q. How did you get started working in the Industry?
Vlad: About 30 years ago, I had been asked to develop a road map for providing best in class maintenance services for a company that was getting ready to enter that space. While I had some knowledge of maintenance practices, all my prior work had been designing and programming custom electrical automation systems for manufacturing companies. I have a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering, so maintenance was not an area in which I felt I had much strength; this motivated me to learn as much as I could about the industry and engage with organizations that could help me achieve this goal.
I attended specific training sessions, which included infrared, vibration, RCM, and others, and I became certified in most PdM technologies in order to fully understand the application of each technology in the real world. Then, I took and passed the CMRP certification, which I consider a great tool to validate one’s knowledge and experience in the maintenance and reliability field.
Today, I hold the CMRP, CMRT, CAMA (Certified Asset Management Assessor), and CRL certifications. About 17 years ago, I joined the SMRP Advisory Council for Certification; this led to my deeper engagement with SMRP, as part of the SMRP Certifying Organization (SMRPCO) and later on with the SMRP Board. Through this journey, I had the opportunity to network and learn from real living legends in the maintenance and reliability community, including my good friends Ramesh Gulati and Mac Smith (just to name a few).
Q. What is your favorite part of your job? What are you most proud of?
Vlad: As an SMRP Executive Board member, I enjoy working with our volunteers and staff to bring new offerings to our members and develop partnerships with other international organizations in the Maintenance & Reliability or Asset Management fields. For example, our partnership with the Institute of Asset Management (IAM), based in the UK, allows our members who are interested to learn more about asset management to have access to the vast library and knowledge IAM is providing. This also gives the IAM members access to the same benefits that SMRP is offering to our members, creating a true win-win situation for both organizations. Another favorite part is seeing our membership grow and knowing the fact that about 40% of our members are outside of the USA – true signs of SMRP growing globally.
As VP of Strategic and Technical Solutions for the commercial operations and maintenance organization of AECOM, I am fortunate to develop maintenance strategies for our clients and play a role in the implementation of these strategies. I am exposed to different industries, making my job very interesting. I have the ability to stay in touch with the latest technologies and data analytics available for our industry and use them in different applications.
Q. What advice would you give to someone new to the industry?
Vlad: Learn. Network. Share. Learn and stay in touch with the latest tools and processes used in the maintenance and reliability community. Network and develop your circle of experts you can contact when running into difficult situations. Share your successes with others within your organization and outside of your organization. You can do all this by attending webinars and conferences. Get out of your comfort zone! When at conferences, talk with others and discuss your challenges. You will be surprised how much you will learn!
Q. Can you tell us about a cool project you worked on?
Vlad: It was very cool to represent SMRP at the Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM). This is a global umbrella organization with representation from all over the world – North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Japan, and Australia. Understanding and navigating cultural and language differences is really fascinating to me. Through this membership, we managed to sign alliances and MoUs with other organizations to enhance our offerings to our SMRP members. I hope to continue this engagement, since in October, I have been elected as the Chair of GFMAM.
How exciting! Congrats on your new position as Chair! Please keep us posted on your activity moving forward! The #PumpTalk Community can follow along online at @SMRP on Twitter or through Facebook & LinkedIn.
Know an Amazing Person who is making valuable contributions within the Pump Industry? Nominate them to be “Pump Person of the Week”!