Bechtel Fellows

Angelos Findikakis, Flow and Transport Simulation

Expertise

Angelos is a specialist in water resources and the analysis of flow and transport processes. He has supported dozens of Bechtel projects from all major business lines. He is the functional lead of the Hydraulic & Hydrology Group in G&HES.

Get to Know Angelos

What is the most exciting or challenging project you were involved in, and what was your role?

It was the study for the environmental restoration of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, the largest lake in South America and a major oil production center. The lake communicates with the Caribbean Sea through a narrow strait that serves as the main waterway of the tankers coming to load oil. Environmental concerns included the increasing salinity of the lake due to the deepening of the strait to accommodate larger tankers, accelerated eutrophication, the discharge of untreated wastewater, and oil spills. Part of our work was to assess the current hydrodynamic and water quality conditions in the lake and its ecosystem and evaluate different environmental restoration options, including the relocation of several major oil loading and processing facilities. My role was to coordinate and integrate the technical inputs of two international research institutes and several local subcontractors working on different aspects of the study and to interact with several local organizations. Understanding such a complex system and coming up with recommendations that would balance the environmental, oil production, economic development, and other concerns was very challenging, but also very rewarding.

What is the best career advice that you’ve received?

Learn how to listen to other people.

What do you see as the key skills that new engineers need to have in the global job market?

Because the world is becoming more and more interdependent, new engineers, besides solid technical background in their discipline, must also have an understanding of the world at large, including a good grasp of geography, world history, and an appreciation of cultural diversity around the world. They should learn foreign languages, mastering at least one. Also equally important is critical thinking. Because today it is so easy to get information about almost everything on the internet, new engineers should have the ability to view and critically analyze any piece of information or data they get, and they should try to explain what they see in terms of the fundamental concepts and principles of math and physics.

What leadership skills do you think are needed to be a great engineer?

Great engineers lead by example. They are able to understand the greater engineering and social context of the work they are doing and they know the value of teamwork, putting personal agendas aside when they work in a team.