Having just returned from Peru, and before heading off to Russia, Majdy Al-Chamati took the time to talk to us about his role. As a project leader on traffic management projects, he maintains that adaptability and diplomacy are the key to working abroad.
Tell us about your university studies.
I went to school in Lebanon, and then to university at Polytech Clermont-Ferrand, specialising in electrical engineering with an option in automatic control systems. I carried out my end-of-degree work placement at Mobility, in the Information Systems Department, where I was responsible for developing a data generator for automated testing systems.
After your placement, you were hired by Mobility.
That's right. I was put to work on the development tests and commissioning of the Épine tunnel. After that, I was involved in the A8 and A89 motorway projects, and then on projects in the Fribourg and Jura cantons of Switzerland. In parallel, I was responsible for developing the tool that I had started to work on during my placement. Over the course of these projects, I have expanded the database generator for automated testing and supervision systems. This has enabled us to become more efficient, to minimise errors relative to manual data entry, and to standardise our language.
What is your present position?
I am a project leader within the Intelligent Traffic System business unit. I coordinated the automation aspects of the ventilation project in Qatar and I am currently responsible for supervising projects in Russia. Mobility is currently working on the traffic management platform for the motorway that will link Moscow to St. Petersburg. I assist the customer in relation to contractual and financial aspects, and I provide support to the technical project manager.
Since November 2016, I have been in Russia every other week. The site comprises 700 km of motorway, divided into eight sections. We are currently working on three sections in parallel.
What are the challenges of your current role?
The various sections of the worksite are managed by different Russian companies. My job primarily entails convincing the various parties to come together to achieve a shared technical solution. This calls for dialogue and diplomacy.
Working abroad in a multicultural environment requires a high degree of adaptability. I am the interface between the Russian customers and the Mobility teams in France, and I have to dovetail these different ways of working.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Working in an international context is very rewarding on a cultural level. And, on a technical level, not everyone thinks in the same way! All of these cultural, relational and technical differences add to the challenge. Nevertheless, I have asked to maintain a link with European projects too, so as to stay in touch with European culture and methodology.
At present, I would like to pursue the commercial aspect of my role, while continuing to keep an eye on the technical aspects. As IT is constantly evolving, it is essential to keep up with these changes so as to effectively defend the business side.