A seal of quality on the works in Mexico
Pamela Hernández Chávez has been working at Techint E&C for almost ten years. Today she’s the Head of Quality at the Dos Bocas Refinery, one of the most emblematic projects in Mexico.
Pamela Hernández Chávez is a Civil Engineer with a degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She joined Techint E&C in September 2012 as an intern, working in the office of the Director of Operations in Mexico, before being transferred to the Tamazunchale project at its outset, where she stayed until the mechanical completion stage.
Since then, Pamela has been involved in some of the company’s largest and most ambitious enterprises, such as the Pesqueria Power Plant, the Altamira Compression Station, and the Ternium Hot Rolling Mill. Today, she works as Head of Quality at the Dos Bocas Refinery, running Quality Management and checking compliance with a whole host of regulatory, customer, and internal Techint E&C requirements. One of her responsibilities is to identify and report on improvements in processes and tools, while another is about developing strategies to improve customer communications (PEMEX). When talking about her experience at Dos Bocas, she says that “It’s a really fast-moving project, as we have to do all the things we would usually complete in two or three years in just one. That means we have no leeway, as we have to do it right the first time—there’s no time to correct things or do them again.”
Although Pamela enjoys her work, because she can get fully involved—and in some cases take reconciliation steps—in all project processes, she’s not only passionate about quality but also excited by innovation, as she finds it to be a critical aspect of her work. “I think it’s brilliant thinking on the part of the company to keep abreast of the latest tools on the market. I’m convinced that innovation is central to finding alternatives to help us improve the quality and range of our activities. And it’s also important, before applying any improvement, to ensure all the requisite verification is carried out to check that it effectively optimizes resources, times or processes.”
At the LACA project, Pamela developed an application to upload deviations on SAP, which continued to be implemented and improved in Dos Bocas and currently is being developed as a corporate tool. “Before, if an inspector detected something was wrong, they wrote it down by hand then created a record once they were in front of their computer. Then someone else came along and looked at it, and only then was it uploaded into SAP. Today, when an inspector detects a deviation they simply upload it directly to SAP from an app on their mobile which radically cuts process times.”
“Working at Techint E&C keeps you on your toes, constantly adapting to change; you also need to be proactive and sure of yourself. Each project is different, so you’re always coming up against fresh challenges and new experiences, as working here is a daily learning process.”
When she graduated, she imagined herself building houses or roads near the city, with a defined workday and well-planned activities. Instead, she found herself working on the outskirts, on a shifting timetable that depends on where the project got to, subject to all kinds of activities that can arise immediately, out of the blue. This is what really inspires Pamela. “It’s great to see how the places where we work change, how they impact positively on society and people, and how the challenges that arise can be gradually solved. I really like being able to actively participate in these processes.”
Pamela is adamant that, "each stage is important, as learning and enjoying the processes and projects is essential for professional growth." She reflects, with a few words of advice, that, “Sometimes it’s quite hard to work as a team, especially when you get different leadership styles, which don’t let people get involved so much, reducing communication. It’s really important to involve everyone in the processes so that objectives are met and everybody can feel part of the results, whether good or bad. That’s the key to good teamwork.”