Vincent de Maria
Vincent de Maria is a field-oriented globetrotter who has been working in the export department for the last eight years. This senior site manager, who views his work as an adventure, recalls fond memories of worksites in North Africa.
What professional experience did you have before joining Mobility?
After vocational training in electrotechnical engineering, culminating in an advanced vocational training certificate, I started my career inspecting starter motors and alternators for Valeo. I subsequently worked for a number of large companies, notably CEE where I learnt a lot about installing secure lighting and ventilation systems in tunnels. I also worked on tunnel projects for SNEF, as well as pharmaceutical and clean room projects for Sanofi.
You joined Mobility in 2009. What can you tell us about your role?
For the last eight years, I have primarily worked on export projects. The first was the East-West motorway in Algeria, where I worked on tunnels and underpasses for the Japanese COJAAL consortium. After a spell in France working on the installation of eco-tax toll gantries, I then headed to the Tangier-Kenitra high speed rail line in Morocco. As well as being part of a great team, I learnt a lot about the installation of substations.
I am now working on the refurbishment of the tunnels and underpasses on the Geneva bypass. After that, the plan is to retire.
How do you feel about these overseas projects?
Being away from your family is difficult at first, of course, but working abroad is a true adventure. Adaptability and the capacity to learn as you go along are essential, especially for communication. It is also a great opportunity to discover new cultures. In Algeria, we were working as part of a Japanese consortium, resulting in three highly enriching and cosmopolitan years.
I particularly enjoyed my experience in North Africa, where contact with the locals is especially easy and congenial. I would be happy to work a few extra years before retirement if it were on a site in North Africa!
I would really encourage young people to work abroad: export is the future!
Other than this aspect, what do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy human contact and being in the field. I am generally in charge of teams of 20 to 50 people and, as site manager, you need to be out in the field more often than in an office.
Tunnels are what I prefer, in that you can see achievements directly; work progresses perceptibly.
When you are not in tunnels abroad, what do you do with your spare time?
I am a big fan of motor sport… and travel! My nickname is “the globetrotter”.
When I retire, I’ll keep one foot in France, but I think I’ll live abroad, maybe in Italy where I was brought up, or maybe elsewhere…