A conversation with Eng. Guilherme Pinho e Silva


A conversation with Eng. Guilherme Pinho e Silva

'Brisa focuses on people. We seek to innovate in new technologies and methodologies. I am responsible for the efficient management of assets in order to achieve the objectives in a sustainable way. ’

Tell us about your professional career. How did you become the Director of the Structures Department of BGI – Brisa Gestão de Infraestruturas?

I graduated in Civil Engineering, with Structures specialization, from Instituto Superior Técnico in 1985. I joined BRISA’s staff in January 1990, when the great development of the national road network had started. Initially, as Coordinator of Structural Projects (bridges and tunnels for highways), moving to the Supervision of Construction Works in 1994. Since 2006, I have been responsible not only for the management of Brisa’s facilities and resources, but also for several work contracts and respective supervision direction, culminating in large-scale projects: such as the extension of 30 km of highway between Santarém and Torres Novas, on the A1 highway, and the construction of the Baixo Tejo’s highway. A relevant function underlying all my activity was representing customers (BCR and AEBT) in the implementation of construction contracts and in the inspection of the corresponding works. So, all my work was focused on the customers and their satisfaction. In 2017, entering a new engineering cycle, where more maintenance/ conservation of the built heritage is done, I was chosen by the Board of Directors of BGI to be responsible for the Structures Department. I am responsible for the efficient and integrated management of assets, aiming to achieve, in a sustainable way, the business objectives of the Brisa Group, assessing the state of the assets and, later, developing the actions that will lead to their intervention.

Brisa is a company that has always been innovating. And the world of mobility is constantly changing. How would you describe the evolution of the company in recent years?

It can be said that innovation is in Brisa’s DNA, with interconnection between the Group’s companies for constant evolution. There is an active internal collaboration, with the contribution of many employees’ skills in the Brisa universe. As far as I am concerned, I can mention the involvement in innovative initiatives such as the project developed in 2013 to implement a solution (a pioneer in highways) of Car Pooling for the Oeiras Service Area, in A5 highway, and also the study regarding the optimization of operating costs in Service Areas, adding infrastructure to a single side of the highway (case presented to A.S. de Estremoz, on A6 highway). More recently, I collaborated in the project to implement the new concept of catering and people-centered service, Colibri Via Verde, where comfort and excellent service are privileged. Currently, at BGI, we seek to innovate regarding new technologies and new methodologies.

At this moment, Brisa does not see infrastructures only as a channel that receives vehicles, but also focused on people. How do you define the investments’ priority?

Since long ago Brisa focused on people, both on its employees and on its customers. In fact, due to its commitment to valuing people, employment and family as pillars of its action, Brisa recently received the certificate of Family Responsible Company. Customers, with the company’s various initiatives in the area of ​​mobility, restaurants and infrastructures, have been accessing high standards of service in the road sector.
Regarding road infrastructure, the risk and cost management associated with each asset has led to proper prioritization of investments.

Betar has been working with Brisa for over 35 years. How has Betar overcome the challenges created by your needs? Is Betar a partner to keep?

Betar, and other relevant companies in the sector, have been working with us for a long time, contributing to the objective of excellence underlying Brisa’s activity. Regarding the action of the Structural Department of BGI, Betar is undoubtedly a company with high skills, not only regarding projects but also in terms of asset management. With so many years of solid collaboration, Betar is in fact a partner with whom we want to continue to count.

The infrastructures’ quality is also a factor in international competitiveness and economic growth. Which are the challenges for the future?

The main challenge today, as always, is adapting to behavioral changes. Regarding competitiveness in infrastructure, Brisa’s vision is to seek technological development for monitoring infrastructure. On the other hand, climate change will continue on the basis of changes with a high potential for impact on the mobility sector, so the environmental factor will see its importance increased in the equation for success in international competitiveness and economic growth.

This interview is part of Revista Artes & Letras # 110, from July / August 2019
Partially automatic translation from portuguese: some expressions may differ from their actual meaning.

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