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Construction Manager

Construction Manager

Name: Deon Cuza
Company: Aker Solutions

  • Diploma of Technology – Marine Engineering Systems Design,Marine Institute
  • Diploma of Industrial Engineering Technology,College of the North Atlantic 

Location: Onshore – Office Building
Hometown: Point May, NL
Currently Living In: St. John’s, NL

Education and Personal Background 

Deon Cuza completed two post-secondary diplomas and both have helped grow his career. He started working in oil and gas after completing Industrial Engineering Technology at College of the North Atlantic. He later attended Marine Institute to study Marine Engineering Systems Design. Courses in advanced math, physics and chemistry in high school gave him a strong foundation heading into these programs.

“My college program allowed me to complete work terms in three different industries. Since oil and gas was the one I preferred, that’s the direction I pursued.”

Deon was able to obtain an engineering license from the Professional Engineers and Geologists of Newfoundland and Labrador because he completed both programs and had years of experience.

In addition to his college diplomas, Deon has done Basic Survival Training, which is required to travel to offshore oil platforms.  

Duties and Work Environment 

Deon’s work days run Monday to Friday and start at 8:00 a.m. He works in St. John’s and communicates with crews both onshore and offshore.

Deon’s job requires strong organizational, communication and problem-solving skills. As a construction manager, he is involved in planning activities to make sure work is completed on schedule, and that offshore employees have the materials they need to complete their work. He also monitors how project costs compare with the expected costs, so his company can keep on budget.

Every morning, Deon reviews reports from offshore, including timesheets for workers, reports on work progress, and most importantly, a health and safety report. After this, Deon has a conference call with offshore representatives and they discuss work progress, health and safety issues, and any other concerns. The remainder of his day he is going to meetings and reviewing documents related to what-ever projects he is working on. 

Questions and Answers 

What is the best career advice you’ve received? 

The best career advice I’ve received has been to be a people person, to be easy to get along with, and to show respect to others.”

What kinds of problems do you solve at work? 

There are a number of types of issues to address in my position. In particular, there are:

  • Construction issues, such as the steps involved to safely install a piece of equipment;
  • Offshore planning issues, such as the limited number of beds available;
  • Onshore planning issues, such as numbers of workers needed to meet client expectations;
  • And there are budgetary issues, such as identifying why a project might be trending over the approved cost

What has surprised you about working in oil and gas? 

I’ve been surprised by the number of traveling opportunities I have been given. I’ve traveled outside the country during dry-docking maintenance, including 12 weeks in Rotterdam, Netherlands and another eight weeks in Belfast, Northern Ireland.