An Irish Civil Engineering professional's perspective from Brazil

Despite the 43 days of torrential rain that had hindered the planning of my trip to São Paulo, I got there without encountering a flood even once. It was quite an adaption to be in such an enormous metropolis. São Paulo (SP as it is known) has a population of 11.04 million people (and rising) and covers an area of 1,522,986 km²… therefore there is a population density of approximately 7,200 inhabitants/km².  The city boasts an impressive and efficient Metro system, I was more than happy to use it whenever necessary. However, in my opinion it could be better if it served a larger amount of the city. As it is, the Metro only covers the needs of the central areas. This being said, there is of course an extensive Public Transport system in the form of Bus routes to any place you require. Adjacent to the Tietê River (in North Central SP) is the Tietê Bus Terminal… apparently the second biggest bus terminal in the world. There is no national rail network in Brazil at the moment, however I have been informed that there are plans to link Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo with a high-speed inter-city train in the future. So, that’s SP in a nutshell… I could continue describing the city at length, but I think I’ll leave that for another Post.

My main motivation in travelling to SP was to gain an insight into the atmosphere and opinions which exist there, as there are many large Engineering firms operating out of SP. Not to mention the numerous multi-nationals which have made the city their base for South America also.

While there, I held a meeting with Instituto de Engenharia do Brasil (Institute of Engineers of Brazil). I received a friendly & enthusiastic welcome from the Institution, and I am taking this opportunity to thank the Senior Management of Instituto de Engenharia for the commendable manner in which they hosted me. In my opinion this was a very productive meeting, as we found many areas of mutual interest. Notably the further development of communication and co-operation between Instituto de Engenharia and Engineers Ireland. I believe this is a beneficial relationship for both professional bodies… and thus to both organisations’ members as a whole.

We also discussed the process of registration for Engineers in Brazil. There is a Government Department called CREA, which is responsible for this function (as well the registration of non-Brazilian Engineers of course). The process can apparently take from 6 months to 1 year, before you are issued with a Licence to practise Engineering in Brazil. I will research this in more detail, and post updates accordingly in the future.

Parallel to this, I had discussions with various Engineering professionals,who informed me of their opinions on the industry in SP and their own views on the future for Brazilian Engineering in general. The foremost theme of these discussions was the development which would be generated by the World Cup (2014) and the Rio Olympics (2016). As well as the unique position Brazil now holds in terms of foreign investment opportunities, and the resulting effect this will have on the economy. The mood amongst those I talked to was primarily of optimism and innovation for the future in Brazil. I have to say, I have noticed on many occasions the ingenious way in which Brazilians can form solutions to whatever they encounter… so apply this rare trait to an opportuniy such as Brazil has, and the results could be spectacular.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my trip to São Paulo and I plan to return there soon to follow-up on my activity so far. As well as meeting individuals who have since expressed an interest in discussing  the Brazilian Engineering industry with myself.

Please visit the websites of the various organisations to familiarise yourself more…

PS: If you ever visit São Paulo on business, try to avoid wearing a dark suit, as it can be very hot in the midday sun.

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