By Isqil Najim
I first met Engr Christopher Egwuatu as a member of Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE. We were three young engineers who were given appointment to see the then chairman Engr Michael Abiodun Awe. Each of us has booked appointment differently, but all met at the Chairman office. We volunteered our time to contribute to the cause of Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Between then and now, I had causes to work with Egwuatu jr. on many assignments. I am therefore not surprised by his rises in Engineering leadership. He is as always been energetic and consistent in serving the profession. A gentle giant who is also very humorous. I have not encountered his anger in all the years I have been relating with him. I see in him a symbol of strength, maturity and consistency.
Engr. Christopher is currently the Deputy National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of facility Management, a Division of Nigerian Society of Engineers.
His 20 years’ experience centered on viz: Codes, Standards and Certifications, Industry Best Practices and Total Quality Management, FPSOs, Topping Plants, Storage Tanks, Marginal Fields, Project Development and Construction Management, Skill Gap Analysis and Capacity Building, Small Scale Enterprise Development and Business Process Management.
He has demonstrated skills in solving multi-disciplinary issues, has an excellent knowledge coverage on own functional area and understands its interfaces as he provides technical expertise, coaching and supports across business value chain. He is a highly resourceful to SPE Section 104 and SPE Nigerian Council having served in multiple capacities across both. He has excellent communication, interpersonal, stakeholders’ management skills and a strong drive for excellence.
He has attended, participated, and led several internal, external and 3rd-party risk-based project quality, occupational health and safety management systems audits within the last two (2) decades in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry of which majority are multi-billion-dollar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts/projects.
Chris is hands-on in creating robust and effective project quality management and continual improvement strategy in alignment with project quality management processes, viz; quality planning, quality assurance and quality control in accordance with statutory and regulatory international standards including ISO 19011:2018, ISO 10006:2017, ISO 10005:2018, ISO 13053-1:2011, ISO 17258:2015, ISO 18404:2015, ISO 9000:2015, ISO 9004:2018, ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 50001:2018 and ISO 45001:2018, etc. for the realisation of flawless projects delivery. He is also certified to ASNT-SNT-TC-1A which qualifies him as a NDT QA/QC Specialist on five (5) methods.
Prior to his current role, he previously served Jolomi Engineering Services Limited, Warri as Process Engineer and doubled as Quality Management Representative, where he was deployed to challenging projects across disciplines at the Chevron Escravos Terminal managing and tracking project quality Key performance indicators (KPIs), developing and overseeing quality assurance deliverables and supervising quality control inspections, and rose through the ranks to the position of Project Quality Manager.
He had managed groups of contractors during construction works, including reviewing and feeding back to them both directly and via their management on their performance. He has mentored site supervisors in the expectations of both himself and his company where their leadership and direction to their team has been lacking, always exhibiting poor leadership commitment – such as when engineers and technologists have required constant input and supervision from him rather than the contractor’s team. He has been regularly liaising with Managing Directors, Project Services Managers and Commercial Directors of contractors to feed back where targets have been achieved, or discuss preventative actions required from major non-conformances.
As the Project Quality Manager between 2014 – 2017 at Chevron Escravos Terminal, his Project Director requested he led a risk assessment process to be carried out on every piece of process equipment before pre-mobilization and document the hazards associated therein. Based on his experience in HAZOP and HAZID, he was tasked with developing a Risk Assessment Matrix (RAM) for the process, as there wasn’t any in place and not all equipment had an assessment history.
The RAM for carrying out process equipment risk assessments was carefully and thoroughly scrutinized before it was implemented as a process procedure. These assessments are currently being carried out on new process equipment by project engineers, at various stages of the project life cycle. He had since left the project early 2017, yet the procedure is still in place and the project engineers he left behind do consult him up till now to provide clarifications whenever the need arises, which he gladly does.
Chris has served as an SPE Ambassadorial Lecturer and took Ambassadorial Lecture Program (ALP) to many higher institutions in Delta State and its environs. He participated in career talks and Energy4me programs to various secondary schools in Warri and Delta State as a whole. He has also participated in several courtesy visits to private firms, government parastatals and institutions of higher learning promoting SPE. He has also mentored young members from different nationalities under the SPE eMentoring Program and the mentees basically undergraduates and YPs have really made wonderful academic/career direction choices.
As part of his Entrepreneurship Motivational Coaching Series and Community Development Campaigns, the Egwuatu teamed up with a group of young, dynamic, like-minds and they floated The Antel Entrepreneurship Club of which he remains the Founder/Promoter. Antel Entrepreneurship Club is a non-governmental organization, a group of young professionals, like-minds, able bodied enterprising young men and women who are creating value and inculcating entrepreneurship best practices on the Nigerian youths and getting them empowered and engaged positively and resourcefully.
A Chemical Engineering graduate of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), in 2001. He had previously earned two (2) master’s degrees in Information Technology with emphasis on intrusion detection systems and Business Administration with major in entrepreneurship and start-ups from National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and Delta State University, Abraka (DELSU) respectively. He completed his M.Eng. Chemical Engineering (Petroleum Processing Engineering option) in 2021 at Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) and currently undertaking Ph.D. Chemical Engineering (Petroleum Processing Engineering option) at Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE).
A COREN Registered Engineer, IRCA Certified QMS ISO 9001 & 450001 Lead Auditor, ASNT Certified NDT Level II Inspector, Chevron Certified Fire Watch, NLNG Certified PTW Holder and AspenTech Certified HYSYS Design Engineer. A Distinguished Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE) respectively. Affiliate Member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and Institution of Chemical Engineers UK (IChemE) respectively and Professional Member Society of Petroleum Engineers International (SPE).
Chris loves travelling and has attended several technical, management and leadership courses. He has a strong flair for multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research, attending workshops and conferences both locally and internationally and making presentations, engaging in peer-to-peer review sessions, developing process improvement and lean implementation strategies across broad endeavours, and playing scrabbles. He is happily married to Debbie.