49th Annual ECC Conference

Featured Sessions

An Executive Perspective on Capital Project Delivery
  • Moderated by Dave Witte, Senior Vice President, IHS and General Manager - IHS Chemical
  • Ron Corn, Sr. Vice President, Petrochemicals - Chevron Phillips Chemical Company
  • Tony Jones, Sr. Vice President, Project Execution - Valero Energy Corporation
  • Walter Pinto, Sr. Director Global Projects & Engineering - Lyondell
Enjoy this facilitated discussion with senior executives from the Refining, Chemical and Midstream Industries. IHS’s will frame the conversation with a presentation on global market trends and current macroeconomics that impact these 3 industries.   Following Dave’s opening remarks, an engaging executive roundtable format will feature different perspectives
on capital program development in the global market, with a tailored focus on improving capital project delivery on domestic projects. 


Resilient Project Techniques for Boom & Bust Cycles – What have we learned from the last boom/bust cycle and how can we be better in the next boom?
  • Moderator: Phyllis Kulkarni, Regional Director, North America - IPA 
  • Panelists: 
  • George Bridges, Manager, Contracting & Materials - ExxonMobil Development Company
  • Philip Luna, SVP Americas Strategy & Development - Wood plc
  • Scott Curley, Group Vice President, Global Account Manager - ABB

When markets make significant shifts, the flexibility of our project system becomes clear: how can projects be delivered economically? Using the U.S. Shale oil as an example, what did the industry learn? How did this market change impact project delivery? Applying best practices from the previous cycle can set you up for more competitive results in the next cycle and help you do more with less. Using a moderated forum-style format, this session will combine perspectives from Owners and Contractors on what they learned in terms of program management approaches, speed to market and agility, and supply chain integration in order to maximize overall capital efficiency and profitability.

Closing the Knowledge Gap between Academia and Industry
  • Steve Cabano, President – Pathfinder, LLC
  • John Dalton Sr., Advisor to the Board of Directors – Zachry
  •  Lingguang Song, PhD, Interim Chair, Associate Professor, Department of Construction Management
    – University of Houston
  • Frank Falcone, Adjunct Associate Professor/Civil and Environmental Engineering – Villanova University
  • Christine Fiori Program Director and Clinical Professor/Construction Management Program – Drexel University
  • Edward Jaselskis, PhD, E. I. Clancy Distinguished Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering – North Carolina State University
  • Cindy King, Associate Director – CII (Construction Industry Institute) University of Texas
  • Ellyn Lester, Associate Professor - Construction Management Program – Steven's Institute of Technology
  • Jorge Vanegas, PhD, Dean, College of Architecture/ Professor, Department of Architecture – Texas A&M University
For the past 11 years, ECC has been addressing the gaps between industry skill set needs and University curriculum.  This session will communicate the excellent work some Universities are doing to prepare graduates for industry and will share some of the metrics involved with resource development at the industry level.  Many of the activities we will discuss are a direct result of ECC’s thought leadership and continued energy around this issue.  There will also be a call for action where attendees will be asked to get involved to personally support the activities the universities are initiating and moving forward. 

Breakout Forums

Sadara: When Mega Goes Giga 
  • Joseph Brewer, Project Director - Dow Chemical
The Sadara petrochemical project, a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco, has set the new world record for the largest single petrochemical project ever built at one time. Its scope included 26 world-scale production units and extensive infrastructure covering six square kilometers (2.5 sq. miles). The project utilized 25 engineering offices while the site workforce peaked at 60,000 workers. A true “giga” project. Mr. Brewer will initially cover the scope and timeline of the project, but will then transition into a discussion of the unique challenges of project management and execution when dealing on an unprecedented scale. These component topics will include organizational design, team alignment, risk management, contracting strategies, safety management, and other strategies needed for success When Mega Goes Giga.” The challenges faced by the team when moving from a standard project methodology to a much larger scale project and then transitioning the team back to smaller projects is applicable to all audiences. 

The Next Step Change in Safety 
  • Marc Younis, ExxonMobil
  • Jeff Zagone, Dow Chemical
  • Michael Acuna, KBR
  • Thomas Collins, S & B Engineers 
Safety is an area that we can never stop addressing and striving for continuous improvement. But imagine if we could make a true step change in safety. In this session we will discuss additional innovations in creating safer environments as well as the positive impact of families and companies in impacting safety in every facet of our lives.

Moving Advanced Workface Planning (AWP) to the Next Level: Applying AWP Principles in Action and Expected Outcomes 
  • Jamie Gerbrecht, Global Technology Sponsor, Construction - ExxonMobil Research and Engineering
  • Silvana Lara, P. Eng, Global Director of Advanced Work Packaging (AWP)and Workface Planning (WFP) - Fluor Canada, Ltd.
  • Antonio Romero Monteiro, Construction Manager - Jacobs
  • Simone Ponticelli, Business Strategy Consultant - Accenture
As more projects that have implemented Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) principles are progressing from conceptual design to field execution, are the expected results being realized? We will discuss several case studies that have produced tangible results from the combination of using AWP and Information Management. Owner/Operators and EPCs will highlight Industry Presence, Implementation Best Practices, and Results from their experience using AWP principles.

Designing for Capital Efficient Projects
  • Michel Verhofstad - ExxonMobil
  • Pamela Roche - KBR
This session will use case studies to explore drivers of capital cost on typical process plant projects and mechanisms to set minimum facility levels while maintaining safety, reliability and operability to drive capital efficiency.

Change the Culture, Change the Game
  • Ryan Millar, Senior Consultant and Executive Facilitator - Partners in Leadership
The presentation is derived from the New York Times Best Selling Book “Change the Culture, Change the Game". This session takes a looks at the culture and belief systems in place and looks at how these hold us back from achieving new corporate goals. For example, if there is a belief that innovation must occur to make capital projects more economically affordable, how do you create a culture of innovation that makes this possible?

Reinventing Construction: Practical Steps to Improve Productivity And Predictability 
  • Matt Parsons, McKinsey & Co. (Moderator)
  • Wayne Crabtree, Chevron PRC
  • Mahesh Veerina, CEO - Cloudleaf
  • Todd Zabelle, Strategic Project Solutions
  • Glenn Ballard, Univ of California
U.S. construction productivity is far behind other industries, and dramatic improvement will require owners and contractors to move together to new ways of working. This session will bring leaders together to examine the root causes of poor productivity growth in the construction industry, explore practical ways to improve the situation, and discuss the beginnings of a shift toward a system of more productivity through variability reduction, improved resource allocation, and inventory reduction. The discussion will explore how a more holistic project operating system that addresses management, technical systems, and mindsets and behaviors can drive a step change in predictability, productivity and performance.

Equipping the Next Generation: Developing Competencies that Deliver Business Outcomes
  • Christiane Spitzmueller, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Energy Industry Consultant - University of Houston
The need to develop critical technical and non-technical competencies for both owners and contractors in the project world is well-known (especially amid the “great crew change”), however few organizations understand how do this effectively. Through experiences in her training research, as well as with clients in the oil & gas industry, Christiane shares what companies should do to focus limited training budgets and available time on developing competencies that deliver measurable business outcomes.

Driving Competitiveness in Small Capital and Project Portfolios
  • Moderated by Anthony Caletka, Principal - Capital Projects and Infrastructure - PwC
  • Heath Satterfield, Sr Manager, E&P Project Management and Continuous Improvement - Devon Energy
  • Tim Rowe VP Freeport Technical Site Support - BASF 
  • Sandy Lee, Sandy Lee, Vice President Project Services - S&B
Small portfolio projects require fast and innovative solutions to maintain the quality and profitability of larger projects.  This session will discuss best practices from design approach, contracting strategy and project execution.  Case studies will provide innovative ways of working to drive competitive culture in a lean environment.

Exploiting Trust: The Critical Factor in Knowledge Transfer During Succession Plannin
  • Ellyn Lester, Professor - Stevens Institute of Technology
Trust builds organizational culture and is especially important during succession planning and leadership transitions. If reciprocal trust is not inculcated amongst peers, as well as between supervisors and subordinates, productivity is dampened due to infighting, misaligned motives, and at times, even sabotage. Employees who feel loyalty towards their organization see themselves as part of a shared legacy. Investing in building trust embeds conduits of knowledge transfer that enervate and enlighten organizational transitions. In this session, you will learn new strategies to exploit trust to induce optimal knowledge transfer and achieve the best possible outcomes from leadership transitions. 

Gaining Capital Efficiency with Technology by Improving Insight and Understanding on Projects
  • Bill Helms - Jacobs
  • Maggie Friedemann - ExxonMobil
How can project generated data be utilized to manage and forecast performance over the life of the project? What kinds of tools, methods and technology solutions are available to proactively assist management of complex activities as the project moves from engineering into construction? This session will explore how the use of key data sources such as, quantities, cost and work-hours can be utilized to make decisions and impact project outcomes. Use of project case studies and learnings will be shared to set the stage for an informative and practical session to help you to achieve a better outcome for your next project. 

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