Work and Person

Project Engineer

Building trust with engineering departments and implementing overall optimization to lead the project to success

Not research job, but work in which daily effort is certain to bear fruit. That is the kind of work I wanted to be involved in.That is the kind of work I wanted to be involved in.

A person who majors in chemistry at university, like me, generally proceeds to a research job. However, with basic research, it takes time for the results of everyday effort to emerge, and some are not even noticed by the world. I wanted to do something where my ideas could come to fruition, and that is why I was attracted to the work at JGC and decided to work there; it is a place where everyday tasks lead to the great accomplishments of constructing plants. The content of research can be very specific, and the knowledge of chemistry that I gained at university is not necessarily useful in my current work. Nevertheless, I feel that my university experience has been beneficial in the sense that there are many common aspects, including planning and executing research, identifying and solving issues that arise from execution, explaining issues to people in ways that encourage action, and approaching report writing in the right way to achieve the desired outcome. I was assigned to the Project Department, where I am currently belonging, when I joined the company. The Project Department controls the products created by the respective engineering departments, like drawings and specifications, and brings the overall project together. In general, we do not create products by ourselves, but we manage the schedule, quality, and cost for each department, and play the role of leading and optimizing the whole project. For example, the engineers of departments specializing in pipes and equipment are all devoted to performing at their best, but sometimes their efforts may have some impact on the costs and schedule of other departments. We, project engineers must take into account the overall interrelations and present an optimal guideline.

A generalist who has an overall view is required in order to optimize the whole project.

Basically, one piece of work for a project engineer spans the three to five years from the start of a project to the end. Looking ahead three to six months along the pathway to the project goal, I determine what needs to be done now and take action. Meetings with each department are held regularly for the purpose of confirming their status, determining their actions, and solving problems, and where there is a delay to schedule, the problem causing it is always found. We have to provide solutions to emerging problems with consideration for the effects on each department in terms of cost, schedule, and technical aspect. However, there is no ”correct answer”, and we don't know if we chose the best solution until the end. Even so, the time taken to make decisions leads directly to losses in terms of schedule and cost, so prompt decision-making is always required. 
Any team at engineering departments has its own specialty and each member takes pride in their work. A project engineer expresses opinions and decides on directions without deep knowledge of each specialism involved, and so we must be a generalist who has the overall view needed to make judgments, rather than seeking too much specialty. Although it is essential to convey that we have put the policy in place to optimize the overall project, humanity and communication are the essence of obtaining true understanding from the respective departments, and I feel that building trust is of the utmost importance at work.

I used to think the work was not fit to me, but now I find it interesting. And I want to be better here.And I want to be better here.

About one third of the staff at the Project Department are stationed on site. From my third year at JGC, I was stationed at an overseas construction site for two and a half years. Only up to the design process is carried out at Yokohama, but JGC's mission includes the whole process from engineering through to procurement and construction. On site, if we are lacking components, we procure them by the required time in the required quantity, and if there is an error in the drawings we modify it. The role of the Project Department is to comprehensively control every aspect. At Yokohama, there are many options for solving a problem, but on site, you have to improvise with the drawings and materials in front of you. Even though what I had to do was quite clear, I felt the tension of having to provide a solution within the scope of a restricted condition on site. 
Recently, as an assistant engineering manager with five staff working under me, I have been tasked with managing the Static Equipment Engineering Department, Electrical Department, and Instrumentation & Control Department in charge of the facilities that supply the water, steam, air, and electricity used within the plant for the on-going project in Kuwait. It is my 11th year at JGC. At first, I didn't have sufficient knowledge and lacked the communication skills required as a project engineer, and I thought I was unqualified to lead the engineers in engineering departments who have a wealth of experience. However, as I went through several projects, I naturally picked up the know-how and came to understand the relations between the departments and processes. I have become able to grasp the overall image of a project and advise the engineers from the standpoint of total optimization, which gives them a new perspective. I have begun to feel a great sense of accomplishment in putting together their ideas and drawing out decisions. Currently, my work is to supervise engineering departments, but in the future, I would like to acquire further skills and expertise in managing the schedule and cost and become a project manager who oversees the entire project.


Career Path

Career Path
Engineering Management Department
Project engineer on the gas treatment plant construction project (Qatar)
Same project, stationed on site (as a field engineer)
Refinery Project Department
Responsible for detailed designing of the refinery construction project (Kuwait)
No. 1 Energy Project Department
Project engineer on the refinery construction project (Qatar)
Project Engineer on the refinery expansion project (Venezuela)
Assistant Engineering Manager on the refinery reconstruction project (Kuwait)