Meet the Team – Henrique Ronfini
Lidiar Group’s Henrique Ronfini brings a unique perspective to infrastructure and engineering projects having joined the industry from a successful career in the automotive industry, where he gained exposure to world-class Japanese project management techniques and skills.
Inspired by a desire to make his mark supporting major infrastructure projects, he transferred his skills to the industry and is excited about the future of infrastructure in the state. We caught up with Henrique to find out more about his career, love of cheeseburgers, the great outdoors and why he would have loved to work on the NASA Apollo Program.
Why did you become a Construction/Engineering Professional?
After spending over 15 years in the manufacturing industry working for multinational automotive corporations, I decided that I needed a new challenge. In the beginning, I did not know where to go; there were too many options out there, which was making it hard to choose one. One day I realised that most of the conversations I was having with my friends were about the same topic; they were about the projects around Brisbane. I thought how significant it would be to be part of these projects as they will leave a legacy to our community. Since then, I have steered my career in this direction. Today I am here at Lidiar Group, where I have the opportunity to be part of these projects and much more.
What do you love about our industry?
I love having the opportunity to work on different kinds of projects while at the same time helping our community. It can be a project of renewable infrastructure helping in the energy transition. It can be a project to help Lismore City be back on its feet. It can be a new gas pipeline to reduce the energy price. It can be anything, and who knows what is coming next!
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on two different projects. One is for an Expansion of a Gas Pipeline in Western Australia, and the second is about a Corporate Assurance project auditing a $30M project for a Fertilizer warehouse.
What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?
My most outstanding achievement was the Nissan Stamping Shop that I helped deliver in 18 months. The project was from the ground up, a year and a half later, the press line was producing stamping parts and the plant delivering vehicles. I learned a lot from this project, it showed me how a simple and direct approach can deliver amazing things.
What’s the best project you have worked on?
It was the Nissan Factory project where I had the opportunity to learn a new way of managing projects. The Japanese project management way is simple and straightforward. It does not waste resources with unnecessary red tape. It focuses on only the value-added activities and how to quickly react to any deviation from the plan with simple steps. This mindset helped us to deliver incredible results in a record time. We not only built a completely new car factory but also delivered a new vehicle production in 18 months.
What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?
We all should try to keep it simple. The simplest it can be the best it will be.
I have seen many people trying to implement very fancy approaches to solve simple problems and, in most cases, end up either not implementing or not solving the problem at all. Complicated solutions tend to be complicated to implement as well. In my opinion, it is better to start doing the simple things first to create momentum and improve the current state then make continuous improvements along the way.
What would your last meal be like?
A juicy bacon cheeseburger with chips, a cold beer, and a giant brownie.
What is the last movie you watched or series you binged?
What excites you about the future of infrastructure?
The transition to renewable/green infrastructure is the greatest challenge of our generation; Every day we all see on the news the temperature records being broken leading to floods in some areas or bush fires and cold front in others. This brings a sense of urgency, but the good thing is that we know how to fix it. I can wait to be part of these projects; I would be very proud and it would bring me a sense of satisfaction knowing that I contributed to solving these issues.
If you could have worked on any major project from history, what would it have been?
NASA – Apollo Program. I have always been fascinated by space exploration, so working on this project would have been incredible. It was an impossible challenge with the technology of that time, but it showed us that we can do unimaginable things when we all have a common clear goal and the necessary resources.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Basically, anything outdoor activity. Activities such as cycling, swimming, spending a day on the beach, tracking, camping, and stargazing.
What projects excite you for 2022 and beyond?
Brisbane City has several major projects in the pipeline in the following years to improve city life. As my wife and I live in the inner city, being able to participate and help our community would make me very proud.
What is the one piece of advice you would pass on to a project team to give their project the best chance of success?
There is no secret to success in any project. You must embrace/accept reality.
You must know what you want, what your team can and cannot do, and provide the necessary resources to make it happen. Projects fail when people ignore all those steps or when they believe that putting pressure will solve all the problems.
What do you enjoy about working at Lidiar Group?
There are two main reasons I enjoy working at Lidiar Group, it is good to be part of a supportive group and be able to work on different types of projects. You never know what is coming next!