PM Point of View #49: Influencers Part VI - Energy

By PMI Washington, DC Chapter, Charles Waligura, Karen Chovan, and Darren Booth
Contributed by

An energy project today might be the development of a car battery that will run an electric car for 200 miles; the placement of wind turbines in an open field; or the construction of an oil refinery that can process half a million barrels a day. For organizations seeking to restructure energy resources and delivery, options abound. More than a project, in energy you must consider a full portfolio of intertwining elements. PMs in the current environment often find themselves in the role of Change Manager.  Stakeholder management is paramount, as you deal with the communities that will be affected, energy providers and distributors, and bankers and financiers. Then there are the risks – new technologies and equipment, multi-billion dollar investments, and safety issues. And don’t forget industry and government oversight and regulation. A background in engineering and years of experience in the field are often prerequisites. In this episode we learn how PMs are forging new paths in the Energy sector.

 

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About the Speakers

Charles Waligura

Based in Texas, Charles Waligura has forty years of project management, department management, sales and chemical process industries process and systems engineering. He has managed task force activities such as manpower forecasting and scheduling, client liaison, engineering and construction cost estimating and cost control, as well as managing subcontractors and field construction.

His specialties and experience include project management of wind energy facilities and refinery and petrochemical revamps; business development, and process and systems design for petrochemical plants and offshore oil and gas production, refining, light hydrocarbon processing, pipeline compressor stations and utility systems. 

Waligura has a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston. He is a Past Chairman of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Division for Fuels & Petrochemicals; a Past President of the Project Management Institute, Houston Chapter; and Past Chair of the Project Management Institute SIG Leadership Development & Excellence Committee.
 

 

Karen Chovan

Karen Chovan is the principal of Enviro Integration Strategies , a founding member of the Lean Team , and a training partner with GPM Global (Green Project Management) .  A geological engineer, a sustainability expert, and a project manager with nearly 20 years progressively advancing in the industrial sector, Karen has gained tremendous insight into the risks, challenges, and opportunities for improvements that can be made in industrial operations, projects, and corporate environments. Karen is a forward thinker who has strength in raising risk and opportunistic awareness, aligning multi-disciplinary teams, working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders, and empowering them to build consensus on common goals.

 

Darren Booth

Darren Booth has managed over $2 billion in complex power generation and smart city developments in Australia, Asia, the Caribbean and U.S. working for engineering and construction companies, public utilities and private investors for the past 20 years.


He is currently working on a pipeline of business development projects he calls “GreenPowerU”, guiding Universities, Municipalities and Major Commercial customers in the strategic implementation of disruptive technology solutions to deliver prosperity.


Early in his career, his client’s had a clear understanding of their specific project requirements, today a typical project often includes a diverse set of interlocking and phased criteria for success from reducing operating costs to decarbonizing operations, facilitating customer choice, increasing distributed generation, leveraging employee engagement and productivity all while enhancing the resilience of critical operations during grid interruptions. 


Darren has an undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy a Master’s in Engineering Technology from Murray State University, has global banking, project finance and risk analysis experience with Chase Manhattan Bank and is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

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