Project Leader, Engineering

What is the role of a Project Leader, Engineering? They are a management employee responsible for coordinating various phases of strategic projects, from study, through execution, to commissioning.

Pascal Bejjani has been making his mark in project management since joining Rio Tinto. Starting out as Section Leader, he then took on the role of Senior Project Manager and later rose to the position of Project Leader, Engineering.

What are your responsibilities as project leader?

I’m responsible for all the major aspects of project management, including integration, content, deadlines, costs, quality, human resources, communications, risks and procurement. I prepare the organisational structure for the team and define the roles and responsibilities of every person working on the project. As the complexity of projects increase, so do the number of people involved.

What does your average workday look like?

A project leader is a bit like an orchestra conductor, since I need to make sure that members of different teams come in at the right time. The teams are constantly interacting with one another. My job is to orchestrate their work: pre-op checks, operations, procurement, construction, engineering and project controls. Right now, I’m working on the aluminium billet casting centre project at the Alma smelter, and I make sure the project is running smoothly and meeting the operational objectives. It’s all very exciting!

What do you like most about your job?

My job allows me to manage different projects and dive deep into various areas, including engineering, processes and facilities. I also like that there are so many opportunities to learn new things, given that the organisation has expertise in other disciplines such as ports, rail and hydropower. It keeps me curious and eager to learn. Rio Tinto has a wealth of expertise, which allows me to surround myself with the right people to carry out projects.

What makes you proud?

The fact that we’re able to carry out projects that have a positive impact on the community is a great source of pride for me. Currently, the aluminium billet casting centre—a $240 million investment—is one of the most important projects in the region, and I’m proud to be part of it!

What qualities must a person have to succeed in this job?

The organisation has supported me in my career path, and I feel empowered in my role. You need to enjoy working in a team and have good interpersonal relationships through effective communication. You also need to be able to use your leadership to motivate your teams and have the ability to adapt to changes.