An Irish Civil Engineering professional's perspective from Brazil

Posts tagged ‘Rio de Janeiro’

Brazil’s leap into better energy supply

New power plant, to be in place and operational before 2014

Nicknamed “The Marvelous City,” Rio de Janeiro is the gateway to Brazil. And soon over 7-million spectators will arrive for the highly anticipated 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. The world will watch as Rio becomes the first city to host the Olympic games in South America and only the second to ever host both events back to back. There is however growing concern that the Olympic torch will be the only thing illuminating the night sky. That’s because Rio has repeatedly fallen victim to some of the worst power failures in history. So the Brazilian government has launched an ambitious plan to remove the entire city from the nation’s aging power grid and transform Rio into a self-sufficient ‘power island.’ The plan includes re-linking over 160 km of power lines, building the largest nuclear generator in the country, and the lynchpin: the Simplício Hydroelectric Complex.

This is one the of largest construction sites in the world, spanning an incredible 24 km. Crews are racing to divert over 780-billion gallons of water from the Paraiba do Sul River through some of the world’s widest tunnels. Once operational, this hydroelectric facility will help to generate nearly 30% more power for Rio. But with January storms threatening to dump over a foot of rain on their progress, crews must prepare for the messy and dangerous road ahead.

The project is a joint venture between Odebrecht Energy (leader) and Andrade Gutierrez. The project, contracted by Eletrobras (Furnas Centrais Elétricas S.A.), encompasses the towns of Três Rios and Sapucaia (Rio de Janeiro), Além Paraíba and Chiador (Minas Gerais) and includes a concrete dam in Anta, and two energy houses separated by a hydraulic circuit formed by channels, dikes and tunnels. When finished the Complex will have a production capacity of 333.7 MW.

The decision to re-route the river (as opposed to creating a reservoir, by flooding upstream) was in the interest of minimizing the project’s social and environmental impact on the region.

According to Fernando Chein, Contract Director, the construction of the Anta dam with Rolled Compacted Concrete is a major advantage:

“The system presents advantages such as speed in finishing the project and in the reduction, by half, in the use of cement by cubic meter of concrete”.

Seven of the Widest Tunnels in the World
Countless waterfalls and rapids make the Paraiba do Sul one of the wildest rivers in Brazil. To accommodate its torrent, each of the 7 diversion tunnels on the Simplício Hydroelectric Project must measure over 50 m in circumference. But there isn’t a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) on the planet that large. So workers must rely on a far more dangerous method of tunneling — heavy-duty jumbo drills and dynamite.

 

Tunnel no.3 (6km long)

One of the Biggest Construction Sites in the World
The Simplício Hydroelectric Complex spans over 24 km, making it one of the biggest construction sites on Earth. Not only is this project larger than Manhattan Island, it’s also equipped with a city-like infrastructure complete with 5 medical centers, 4 data/voice towers, 6 cafeterias, 3 concrete plants, and a fleet of 70 cars and buses.

Everything in this project is on a grand scale

One of the Largest Earth-Moving Projects in the World
If a dam is constructed directly on the Paraiba do Sul River the reservoir it creates will flood the nearby town of Sapucaia. Rather than displace 130,000 people, engineers are diverting the river for a stretch of 24 km through 7 different mountains and 13 man-made channels. To pull off a job of this size workers must use over 600 different earth-moving vehicles. The contractors are utilising a an innovative construction method for the Civil works called hydroseeding, in order to stabilise the slopes.

Some of the Civil Engineering works in the Simplício complex

Longest Power Transmission Link Ever Built
Approximately 90% of Brazil’s power comes from hydroelectricity. And because most of the country’s water is located in the Amazon rainforest, an extensive power grid is needed to connect remote hydroelectric outposts with major coastal cities like Rio de Janeiro. The latest addition to this grid will extend an unprecedented 2,400 km, making it the longest power transmission link in the world.

3 Giant Turbines
The Francis turbine is the most widely used hydro turbine on the planet. Here at Simplício, 3 of them will be in use, each capable of generating 102 megawatts of power. But the real benefit to the Francis turbine is adaptability. The erratic flow of the Paraiba do Sul creates a major obstacle for this project because drastic changes in water pressure at a hydroelectric plant either hamper energy production or completely destroy the turbines. The Francis turbine however has a revolutionary design that accommodates heads ranging anywhere from 9 m to upwards of 30 m.

Most Powerful Hydroelectric Plant in the World
The Itaipu Dam is Brazil’s greatest source of energy and home to one of the biggest hydroelectric complexes in the world. It is located in the south of Brazil, near the Foz do Iguaçu waterfalls on the border with Argentina and Paraguay. In 2008 the plant generated a record 94.68-billion kilowatt-hours. That’s over 10-billion kilowatt-hours more than Three Gorges Dam! Here, maintenance is paramount since Itaipu supplies 20% of the energy consumed by Brazil and 90% of that consumed by Paraguay.

Itaipu dam (low flow)

Registration of Engineers in Brazil

Introducing the topic

Many of my readers have expressed an interest in this topic. So in this article I will give you an overview of what you must do.

Firstly if you wish to work in Brazil, you must of course have some form of a valid Work Visa.

Then you should look into the exact responsibilities you will have, (based on where you will work) such as;

  • Will you have to sign documentation, as a Professional or Chartered Engineer?
  • What language will you work in primarily? Portuguese or English?

If you are going to work in a company, where other Engineers already have a CREA number, then you should confirm whether or not you really need to become a registered Engineer in Brazil. Since in many cases there will be a system in place in such companies, whereby another Engineer will take the role of supervising, reviewing and signing any such documentation.

Also, if you are going to sign documentation, you will be required to understand such documentation in Portuguese. There are solutions to this, as many foreigners do already work here in Brazil, and the language is not difficult to learn, if you are motivated.

I advise that anyone planning to move to Brazil should be prepared to embrace the Portuguese language. It is important to be able to communicate openly and without any misunderstanding, if your colleague does not speak English. At the same time, many professionals in Brazil do speak very good English. Do not enter into this process, without properly researching and confirming your own details against the requirements beforehand, as it is a substantial undertaking.

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Some background information

If you wish to a work as a registered Engineer in the Federal Republic of Brazil, you apply for this through the regulatory authority called CREA. I will outline the steps required to apply for this.

My information and research is based on actual CREA Federal guidelines in Brazil. 1

CREA is an acronym for Conselho Regional de Engenharia, Arquitetura e Agronomia.  Which means the Regional Council of Engineering, Architecture and Agronomy.

CONFEA is the national authority which oversees all of the regional CREA authorities.

CONFEA is an acronym for Conselho Federal de Engenharia, Arquitetura e Agronomia. Which translates to the Federal Council of Engineering, Architecture and Agronomy.

There is a CREA for each Federal State in Brazil. For example in São Paulo there is CREA-SP, and in Rio de Janeiro there is CREA-RJ. As there are 27 states in Brazil (26 Federal States and 1 Federal District) and since each of these has its own CREA, I will only concentrate on the details of Santa Catarina state as an example. A list of the various CREA authorities, throughout Brazil, can be found here. (via brasilengenharia.com.br)

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Detailed guidelines

1.01 – PROFESSIONAL RECORD

► DESCRIPTION ►

It’s the way professional graduates in the country or from abroad, working in the fields of Engineering, Architecture, Agronomy, Geology, Geography and Meteorology, request their registration in CREA-SC. This procedure is obligatory for the professional who wishes to pursue its activities in the state of Santa Catarina.

►LEGISLATION ►

Law No. 5.194/66 and Resolutions No. 1007/03, 494/06, 504/07 and 1016/06 of CONFEA.

► WHERE TO REGISTER ►

Care Units in CREA-SC or forwarding the documents through the postal service.

► DOCUMENTS REQUIRED ►

Click here to check the necessary documents, which are also available in the Service Units of CREA-SC.

In the case of an Engineer wishing to apply for a temporary CREA registration, the following will be needed.

The documentation must be completed correctly with no mistakes and presented in an original or certified copy to copy. The translation is required for foreign language documents, authenticated by the Brazilian consular authority, must be performed by a sworn translator. Except those issued by Portuguese-speaking countries.

1 – Application for Individual duly completed and signed, as MODEL . When the application is signed by an attorney if the attorney is particular must have notarized.  If it is public (issued by Clerk) no need of notarization.

2 – Diploma or certificate.

3 – School records showing the hours, duly signed, verified that the student is formed. Logs sent via the Internet will only be accepted with the signature of the Institution of Education concerned.

4 – Syllabus of courses taken.

5 – A document indicating the duration of the course taught by the academic institution.

6 – Identification Card (when the applicant is Brazilian).
Can be replaced by another identity document regulated by federal law that has validity throughout the national territory, except for the professional portfolio of CREA. It is noteworthy that the number and issuing agency to be registered on the books of CREA this document will be submitted as an identity.

7 – Ballot identity when foreign visa holder permanent or temporary
The professional foreign visa holder permanent or temporary, must submit an identity card issued under the law, consisting number, issue date and issuing office.
The identity card of a foreigner, being processed, may be replaced by a copy of the authorized act of stay in the country, published in the Official Gazette, together with the Protocol Department of the Federal Police.

8 – Registration for Individuals in Brazil (CPF card), with name and number clearly legible.

9 – Voter Registration (when the applicant is Brazilian).
Can be replaced by the certificate of discharge issued by the electoral Regional Electoral Court (can be found at www.tse.gov.br ).

10 – Proof of discharge from Elections, (when the applicant is Brazilian).
Proof of reasons that the applicant could not participate in election voting, in which case present the certificate of discharge election, issued by the competent organ. The certificate of discharge may be withdrawn at the Electoral Court’s site www.tse.gov.br .

11 – Proof of Military Service discharge (when the applicant is Brazilian).
In accordance with Article 210 of RLSM (Regulation of the Law on Military Service), every citizen who has completed 46 (forty-six years) is under no obligation to submit proof of enlistment.

12 – Translation of qualification (Degree/Diploma), except for documents from Portuguese-speaking countries.

13 – Translation of history, except for documents from Portuguese-speaking countries.

14 – Translation of the syllabus, except for documents from Portuguese-speaking countries.

15 – Translation of the document indicating the duration of the term, except for documents from Portuguese-speaking countries.

16 – A document showing the working relationship between the procuring entity and professional.
A. Employment contract with an entity of public or private;
B. Contract of service without employment, endorsed or registered with the competent body, or
C. Evidence of temporary bond with the Brazilian Government for the provision of service.

17 – Statement by the procuring entity, specifying the activities that will develop in the Brazil.

18 – Statement by the procuring entity, indicating a Brazilian assistant will be retained as an assistant to the foreign professional.

19 – Proof of relationship between the contractor and the Brazilian assistant.

20 – Order of the Ministry of Labor (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego) authorizing work in Brazil.

21 – Two recent photos, front, 3x4cm in size, in colour and with a white background.

22 – Laboratory examination indicating the blood type and RH factor (OPTIONAL): confirmation by specific laboratory tests, portfolio donor or similar proof.

23 – Proof of residence, preferably on behalf of professional (can be acceptable proof of residence in the name of the Father or Mother). In the case of it being in the name of another person, then the declaration stating that the professional lives in owner’s property (this statement need not be submitted in a notarized form).

24 – Proof of fee duly paid (single copy).
To send the tab for the site, return to the home page, enter the CPF / CNPJ  link “BILLET FEE / SERVICE” located on the right side of the page under “Online Services – Issuance of a bill,” and selecting the code rate 101 – 0 – “Registration of Professional Portfolio” and 109-1 “Expedition Professional License / Relisting.

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An Engineer applying for a permanent CREA registration will be required to furnish the following.

The documentation must be completed correctly with no mistakes and presented in an original or certified copy to copy.
The translation is required for foreign language documents, authenticated by the Brazilian consular authority, must be performed by a sworn translator. Except those issued by Portuguese-speaking countries.

1 –Application for Individual duly completed and signed, as MODEL .
When the application is signed by an attorney if the attorney is particular must have notarized.  If it is public (issued by Clerk) no need of notarization.

2 – Diploma or certificate.

3 – School records showing the hours, duly signed, verified that the student is formed. Logs sent via the Internet will only be accepted with the signature of the Institution of Education concerned.

4 – Syllabus of courses taken.

5 – A document indicating the duration of the course taught by the academic institution.

6 – Identification Card (when the applicant is Brazilian).
Can be replaced by another identity document regulated by federal law that has validity throughout the national territory, except for the professional portfolio of CREA. It is noteworthy that the number and issuing agency to be registered on the books of CREA this document will be submitted as an identity.

7 – Ballot identity when foreign permanent visa holder.
The foreign professional permanent visa holder (for final registration), must submit an identity card issued under the law, consisting number, issue date and issuing office.
The identity card of a foreigner, being processed, may be replaced by a copy of the authorized act of stay in the country, published in the Official Gazette, together with the Protocol Department of the Federal Police.

8 – Registration for Individuals in Brazil (CPF card), with name and number clearly legible.9 – Voter Registration (when the applicant is Brazilian). Can be replaced by the certificate of discharge issued by the electoral Regional Electoral Court (can be found at www.tse.gov.br ).

10 – Proof of discharge from Elections, (when the applicant is Brazilian).
Proof of reasons that the applicant could not participate in election voting, in which case present the certificate of discharge election, issued by the competent organ. The certificate of discharge may be withdrawn at the Electoral Court’s site www.tse.gov.br .

11 – Proof of Military Service discharge (when the applicant is Brazilian).
In accordance with Article 210 of RLSM (Regulation of the Law on Military Service), every citizen who has completed 46 (forty-six years) is under no obligation to submit proof of enlistment.

12 – Translation of qualification (Degree/Diploma), except for documents from Portuguese-speaking countries.

13 – Translation of history, except for documents from Portuguese-speaking countries.

14 – Translation of the syllabus, except for documents from Portuguese-speaking countries.

15 – Translation of the document indicating the duration of the term, except for documents from Portuguese-speaking countries.

16 – A document showing the working relationship between the procuring entity and professional.
A. Employment contract with an entity of public or private;
B. Contract of service without employment, endorsed or registered with the competent body, or
C. Evidence of temporary bond with the Brazilian Government for the provision of service.

17 – Statement by the procuring entity, specifying the activities that will develop in the Brazil.

18 – Statement by the procuring entity, indicating a Brazilian assistant will be retained as an assistant to the foreign professional.

19 – Proof of relationship between the contractor and the Brazilian assistant.

20 – Order of the Ministry of Labor (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego) authorizing work in Brazil.

21 – Two recent photos, front, 3x4cm in size, in colour and with a white background.

22 – Laboratory examination indicating the blood type and RH factor (OPTIONAL): confirmation by specific laboratory tests, portfolio donor or similar proof.

23 – Proof of residence, preferably on behalf of professional (can be acceptable proof of residence in the name of the Father or Mother). In the case of it being in the name of another person, then the declaration stating that the professional lives in owner’s property (this statement need not be submitted in a notarized form).

24 – Proof of fee duly paid (single copy).
To send the tab for the site, return to the home page, enter the CPF / CNPJ  link “BILLET FEE / SERVICE” located on the right side of the page under “Online Services – Issuance of a bill,” and selecting the code rate 101 – 0 – “Registration of Professional Portfolio” and 109-1 “Expedition Professional License / Relisting.

► RATES ►

Consult the table of service fees also available at any office of CREA-SC.

• To send the tab for the site, return to the home page, enter the CPF / CNPJ the link “BILLET FEE / SERVICE” located on the right side of the page under “Online Services – Issuance of a bill,” and selecting the code rate 101 – 0 – “Registration of Professional Portfolio” and 109-1 “Expedition Professional License / Relisting”.

► DEADLINE ►

• Professional Registration graduated in Brazil: on average 05 (five) working days for professionals trained in Santa Catarina, whose course has been duly approved by CREA-SC. On average 30 (thirty) days for professionals trained in other states or records formed in Santa Catarina whose courses are not approved.

• Professional Registration qualified overseas, applicant for registration of temporary or permanent, indefinite term.

If in doubt refer to the Frequently Asked Questions on the CREA-SC website, or contact their Customer Service Center by calling 0055 48 3331 2000.

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Useful contact information

CONFEA

Address: Av. W/3 – SEPN 508 – Bloco A. CEP: 70.740-541 – Brasília – DF – Brazil.

Telephone: 0055 61 2105 3700

Web: www.confea.org.br

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CREA-SP (São Paulo state)

Address: Av. Dr. Dante Pazzanese, 120 – Vila Mariana – CEP: 04012-180 – São Paulo – SP – Brazil.

Telephone: 0055 11 3466 9200

E-Mail: Web: www.creasp.org.br

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CREA-RJ (Rio de Janeiro state)

Address: Rua Buenos Aires, 40 – Centro – RJ – CEP: 20070-022 –Brazil

Telephone: 0055 21 2179 2007   &  0055 21 2179 2000

Web www.crea-rj.org.br

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CREA-SC (Santa Catarina state)

Address: Rodovia Admar Gonzaga, 2125 – Itacorubi – Caixa Postal: 125 – CEP: 88034-001 – Florianópolis – SC – Brazil

Telephone: 0055 48 3331 2000    Fax: 0055 48 3331 2009     (Office hours, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm)

E-Mail: crea-sc@crea-sc.org.br    Web: www.crea-sc.org.br

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Revista Engenharia (Magazine of the Institution of Engineering in Brazil)

Address: Rua Alice de Castro, 47 – Vl. Mariana – CEP 04015.040 – São Paulo – SP – Brazil.

Telephone: 0055 (11) 5575 8155    Fax: 0055 (11) 5575 8804    (Office hours, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm)

E-mail: info@brasilengenharia.com.br    Web: www.brasilengenharia.com.br

The tide arrives, for Naval Engineering in Brazil

Some news which may be of interest to those of my readership who are involved in Maritime design. The naval industry (Ship Design, Naval Construction, Naval or Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture, etc) is currently very lucrative in Brazil. As is the whole area of petrochemical extraction and it’s related sub-industries.

Ever since the initial discovery of the oil resources off the coast off the continent, there has been immense anticipation of just how large exactly they were.  Of course, preliminary estimates were tentative. Then the more detailed studies began to sound fantastically optimistic. Such large numbers were suggested by experts, that many saw this as an opportunity for Brazil to leapfrog itself into a prime position in global oil production.

However, now that Petrobras (among others) has started to invest in the infrastructure for its future prospects, it certainly seems to be turning into reality.

Image via Wikipedia

The first 100% Brazilian oil platform...

For example; Petrobras is currently constructing 15 mobile oil processing ships for its current projects. This does not include what Petrobras will construct for its future prospects in the recently discovered oilfields in the Atlantic ocean to the east of Brazil. Such as in the Santos Basin, the Campos Basin (namely Peregrino), the Espirito-Santo Basin, the Jejuitinhonha & Camamu-Almada… all of which are off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Graphic representation of a processing vessel's role

So to put this into context, each one of these 15 ships is valued at $1.3 billion dollars!

Typical example of an extraction vessel for crude oil

Through my recent conversations with senior members of this industry, I have become aware of the growth in this sector. To the extent that being a senior designer in this area, can mean you are at will to name your price ( meaning a more than substantial income), such is the current demand for these skills.

So, if you are thinking of expanding your horizons, and would like to be part of a developing resource… then Brazil is the place for you to go.

Recent offshore Oil and Gas developments in Brazil

Recently, there have been a few tell-tale signs that the Oil & Gas industry in Brazil, is not far from realising its potential.

Firstly,

Hermod completes Peregrino heavy lift.

Statoil has completed a heavy lift of two wellhead platforms on the Peregrino field offshore Brazil using the vessel Hermod. The development is the group’s largest offshore project outside the Norwegian continental shelf.

Hook-up and completion are under way. The company plans to begin 30 horizontal production and seven water injection wells later this year.

The field’s FPSO is scheduled to arrive for hook up and commissioning in the coming months. Maersk is constructing the vessel at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore. The FPSO’s mooring systems are in place following an installation program by the offshore construction vessel Boa Deep earlier this year.

Peregrino is 85 km (53 mi) off the coast of Brazil in a water depth of up to 100 m (328 ft). First oil is anticipated in 2011 and will continue up to 2040, Statoil says.

Sevan Driller arrives in Brazil.

The Sevan Driller arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, March 27, says Sevan Marine. The ultra deepwater drilling unit will undergo custom clearance and acceptance testing by Petrobras before beginning operations under a six-year contract.

Petrobras downgrades project portfolio for 2011-2014.

Petrobras has decreased its project portfolio investment for 2011-2014 from $148 billion to $139 billion.

The company’s board has approved $257 billion worth of projects for after 2014. According to the company, the investments aim to increase oil and natural gas production, taking advantage of success in the post- and pre-salt, and exploratory activities.

The E&P project portfolio includes construction of production platforms and drilling rigs, support vessels, and investments in transportation infrastructure.

Brazil plans High-Speed Rail

As I previously mentioned on this blog, there are plans for a high-speed (circa 350kph) rail service to be in place for the upcoming World events in Brazil (2014 & 2016). Stretching for just over 500km, it will link the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, including stops at their respective international airports. Construction costs are estimated in the area of $19 billion (circa €14 billion, or circa R$34 billion).

high-speed-rail

There is no national rail network in Brazil today, however there was a limited rail route around some major port cities a century ago. This network is now used to a certain amount for freight transport. Now to start a modern rail network is no small feat, without even having a widespread existing (if outdated) national network. Especially considering that Brazil is such a huge country (fifth largest in the world), and has a population of circa 192 million people (also fifth largest in world).

I have to say, I admire the aspirations that Brazil is pursuing. This is an example of how Brazil is affirming itself on the international stage, through it’s forward-looking investment and a determined positive attitude. In my opinion, many countries could learn much from the approach Brazil demonstrates in this respect.

The proposed high-speed train line will be operating in a corridor which contains the most populous areas in the whole country. It is estimated that circa 18.75% of the Brazilian population reside in this future rail corridor. This area of Brazil also accounts for generating a third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The latest industry rumours suggest that it may not reach completion before Brazil hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup. More than likely it will now only be operational by the 2016 Rio Olympics.

First Trip to São Paulo

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.

Adapting to Brazil

Skyscrapers and beach, within metres of each other.

So I’ve arrived in Brazil and seem to be acclimatising fairly well so far. My spoken Portuguese is improving in leaps and bounds. Of course, I understand more of the language than I can speak, as with most languages in the beginning.

Now the real work of blending my own European approach with the mindset of the local industry begins, so as to better comprehend how things work here.

My first impressions were of a country not dissimilar to Ireland not so long ago. Of course, it’s hotter and more tropical too.

I have seen a lot of impressive new buildings already, and many more under construction. My current location isn’t even a major city like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. For example in Balneário Camboriú (a medium sized city by Brazilian standards), I witnessed the impressive high-rise buildings concentrated in an area adjacent to the beach. Most in an Art Deco style of Architecture, with vibrant colours and each one different in some way from the others. This is not something you will see in European cities of this size, it is more similar to major North American cities with the exception of the vivid colour schemes. At the same time, is this the best approach for this particular city to have taken? For a city with the beach (tourism) as it’s major industry, the sun is obscured by the skyscrapers by 2pm in the afternoon. Is this the best situation for the inhabitants, or not?

In my opinion, with the beacon of the World Cup in 2014 & the Rio Olympics in 2016, there is a tangible sense of optimism in the words of the Engineering professionals  I have spoken to so far. Brasil sees itself making great strides in the next decade and I agree with this sentiment. This is a time of opportunity for those involved in Brazil’s development. There is a vitality and inventiveness in the approach people have here. Couple this with the opportunity to further advance the infrastructure, and you have a unique recipe for possibly the most dynamic economy of the forthcoming decade.

As a footnote, the salaries of Steel fixers (on-site Rebar workers) in São Paulo, has risen by 4,72% in the last 12 months. Could this be the first signs of the rise in construction in Brazil? Only time will tell.

Of course, it’s not just Civil Engineering I am optimistic about in Brazil… all disciplines will be important in the development of Brazil’s future. Many multi-national companies (IT, Mineral, Oil & Gas etc) have already realised the prospect of Brazil’s potential.

More industry news to follow soon, as I am travelling to São Paulo in February.

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