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"You need to be bold and always try to think of new ideas"

Published 27.4.2021

Juan Pablo Hernández is currently the Survey Supervisor at the Fortín de Piedra Phase 4 Project - Desalination plant in Añelo, Neuquén province, Argentina), where additional equipment for gas treatment is being added as part of the development of new facilities.

Juan Pablo joined Techint E&C in 2017 as a surveyor at Fortín de Piedra, when Tecpetrol began working to develop the area, and worked on different projects for YPF, Mega, Pluspetrol, among others. He defines himself as a surveyor “by trade”, inha profession he inherited from his father, who knew how to transmit his love for work and the gift of a curious spirit. Innovative by nature, Juan P. Hernández looks at the world with the premise that “everything can be improved” and the certainty that with knowledge and perseverance changes are possible. Thanks to his initiative, drones were recently incorporated as work tools to collect topographic information on the works.

The glass full of the pandemic: globalized work and permanent training

Juan P. Hernández describes all the measures currently being taken as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: “We have a scheme of 21 days of work and 7 days of rest, which reduces the movement of people, and we function as work cells. I am always in a "bubble" with my 5-person surveying team, we work and make meals together, always respecting the protocols of distancing and safety ".

But beyond listing all the challenges caused by the pandemic, Juan P. Hernández enthusiastically highlights some of the benefits that emerged from this crisis scenario: “On the one hand, thanks to all the technological tools that had to be implemented to supply the presence, it was possible to globalize work and erase the distance between the field and the office. This is wonderful, because now from the field, with Microsoft Teams for example, we can consult specialists or meet with colleagues who are in their offices anywhere in the world. Before, the field worked in a more isolated way, but we are no longer "those in the field" and "those in the office", but rather we are an integrated whole. As a consequence of the pandemic, we have state-of-the-art tools that allow us to work collaboratively internationally.

On the other hand, also thanks to technological development, we began to have greater facilities to train us without moving from the work and that changed our lives. I participate in Supervisor Development Plan which is excellent, it keeps me active and gives me continuous learning. I really like this about the company: it gives you the possibility of having a career plan, with a direction and containment that goes beyond any project, which aims to keep you on the axis and focused. In times of pandemic, this was of vital help to me. "

How to innovate from the role of supervisor: study the earth from the sky

For Juan P. Hernández, reality can always be improved, you just have to dare to think about how to obtain the desired changes. For this reason, he points out that when he detects a need or a problem, he thinks about how they can be improved, and begins to investigate and formalize proposals. Many times their analysis and research work gives really successful results: this is the case of the incorporation of the drone as a work tool in projects.

“When I had the opportunity to learn how a drone worked, I realized how valuable its use would be for surveying. First, my brother bought a drone to take photos and videos, and soon after I imitated him and began to investigate its applications at work. It was the middle of 2018 and I started taking him to the La Calera project to test and learn. We were improving ourselves, and already at the beginning of 2020, in the project for Mega, we started with the drones in operation, with a weekly monitoring system and updates for all sectors. Its use was crucial during the pandemic, when people did not have the possibility of going to the works in person, many clients could not travel from Buenos Aires and thanks to the drones they were able to see the progress permanently ”.

The implementation of the drones required arduous learning work: “It took us about two years. We start with simple photographs from above and Today we even make 3D models of the facilities and pipelines. In addition, the use of drones is associated with several programs that are used in parallel, such as Arcgis, which allows to centralize information and add engineering and data from the progress of the work to photogrammetry ”.

Throughout this innovation journey, Juan P. Hernández points out that the company's support was essential: “I always felt accompanied, punctually with the help of my immediate supervisor, Thiago Zurita, who is Project Manager, who always trusted me and knew how to guide me and make all the returns and constructive criticism necessary for this development to be possible. In addition, from Techint's Innovation Management I also felt supported, since Guillermo Cremaschi always endorsed the importance of the innovative project and the decision to replicate it in other countries. They already called me from Mexico, Peru and Chile so that I can give them training and guide them in the implementation, so I am working on manuals, tutorials and instructions ”.

The parental mandate: teach everything you know

Juan P. Hernández had a great teacher: his father, who has been in the profession for more than 40 years. He relates that, in the beginning, his father passed the tasks on to him and gave him the confidence to carry them out, always helping him if necessary. For this reason, he internalized a “solidarity” conception of knowledge, as something that should always be shared: “I have the conviction that one should always teach everything one knows. In the first place, because it is a reward for those collaborators who work giving their best every day. If tomorrow I am transferred to another project, I must have the peace of mind that the team that worked with me will be able to carry out the required tasks, that is why I always tell the boys that everyone must learn to do everything. It is essential, for us as supervisors, to contribute to the training of collaborators so that they can carry out quality work ”.

How does an entrepreneur rest ... thinking

Between his family in Piedra del Águila (Province of Neuquén), his 8-year-old daughter and fly fishing, his days off pass quickly. However, the biggest break for Juan P. Hernández is to think of new ideas: “You have to be encouraged to constantly think of new ideas. Obviously we can be wrong, but we can also be better. He who does is wrong, and he who does not… will never know ”.

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