Gerardo Trujillo: The presidency of COPIMAN does not reside in one person but in a group of minds with the hope of leaving a legacy behind

Persistence, dedication, effort and vocation are some of the words that define the new president of the Pan American Committee of Maintenance Engineering (COPIMAN), Mexican engineer Gerardo Trujillo, who will be conducting this important organization for the next five years, which has become in a reference within the worldwide maintenance field due to the great role he has in spreading knowledge, tendencies, techniques and successful cases that offer value to the professional development of Maintenance Engineer lovers.

In order to have a better idea about this important institution, Predictiva21 has the pleasure to have this tenacious engineer with us once more. Despite being a Lubrication specialist, he has been seduced by Maintenance, and here we have some of his thoughts on this new stage of professional service.

The biggest challenge for me is the study of the Pan American Maintenance Indicators as a comparative ground that the industry requires for identifying its actual status and to develop projects for its improvement

Gerardo Trujillo

During 5 years, Mexico will host the Pan American Committee of Maintenance Engineering (COPIMAN)

Among the projects in Trujillo’s agenda, there is the activation of a free membership in order to build the Pan American data of all the profiles involved in maintenance, including subspecialties, experiences, and needs. With the idea of digitalizing all this learning in webinars and continue encouraging growth among his peers, he calls on all the community to participate and integrate under this idea.

1. How did you receive the news of your nomination as President of the Pan American Committee of Engineering and Maintenance (COPIMAN)?

With great enthusiasm. Ever since 2015, at the World Maintenance Congress in Colombia, when I was notified about the decision. But then, as the date of changing COPIMAN from Costa Rica to Mexico, it got more intense. I have to admit I am not very good at hiding my emotions, so during my speech I had to stop to breathe, regain my voice and my self-control. What I feel for having the privilege of serving our community from this position is indescribable.

2. What are the new challenges that you will face as president of COPIMAN, and how will you captivate the new generations of engineers so they can participate actively in the activities from this organization?

I think COPIMAN has achieved many things since its foundation. From the 15 UPADI technical committees, COPIMAN is the most active of them all. During the year, a number of 375 activities were held or supported by COPIMAN. The challenge to keep up with that is remarkable by itself. Thus, the first thing is to keep that rhythm going. Personally, I think that an organization like COPIMAN can and must contribute much more to the Pan American engineering and to our countries to make them more competitive and safe.

For starters, we have to build an organization where anyone can participate and contribute, also promptly develop activities in which we can share our experiences, knowledge, opening the door to research and new projects.

Indeed, they are called to incorporate as the new generations. At UPADI, there is a committee of young professionals with a renewed vision which we have to take in consideration, and that we so much need. By the way, I received a message from my mentor Lourival Tavares, who makes a series of contributions related to the incorporation of the most dynamic Universities and Post-graduate studies to COPIMAN.

One of the biggest challenges that COPIMAN has is the lack of resources. As an organization without legal responsibility, it has no resources, not even a checkbook. Everything COPIMAN does must be done with volunteer work and occasional donations.

3. Which is the new vision you want to give COPIMAN within this new leadership?

We want everyone to participate. Best results are achieved when those who belong to an organization have the possibility of contributing and sharing their knowledge and skills. Imagine the amount of knowledge there is among the thousands of maintenance engineer practitioners. So much experience, so many successfully solved cases and so many things to share! So, in order to get advantage of all this, we will open the COPIMAN memberships to all professionals, teachers and students. A membership at no cost that will allow building a Pan American database sustained on the profiles developed by people, including subspecialties, experience and needs. Memberships enable the second stage of this project, which consists on having webinars. The plan includes 52 webinars per year (one per week). After only a week of launching the idea to the COPIMAN delegates and talking to some of the colleagues, we already have proposals for 30 weeks.

Gerardo Trujillo
Gerardo Trujillo

This is the period when a more significant growth in the number of activities has been achieved. I want to share COPIMAN’S vision and mission:

Mission – To promote the advance of technology, the spread of knowledge, strategies and development of professionals within the asset management, reliability and maintenance engineering in the American continent, through a human approach and a respectful attitude towards the environment.

Vision – To be the leading institution for asset management professionals and a link between the industry and universities to improve competitiveness in the region.

4. As president and active member of the committee, could you make a brief summary of the advances of COPIMAN since its foundation?

In 2016, COPIMAN arrived to 30 years of service as Technical Committee of UPADI. Lourival Tavares (Brasil) is acknowledged as the person who really gave life and impulse to this activity. It was him who invited me several times to contribute to COPIMAN, sharing his love for volunteer work. Santiago Sotuyo (Uruguay) assumed the presidency to continue with the legacy of Lourival Tavares and managed not only to sustain its growth but also increase the spreading of COPIMAN’s mission and vision. The last venue corresponded to Costa Rica under the lead of Julio Carvajal.

5. Which are the next activities planned by COPIMAN?

We have a formal calendar of activities. In August, congresses in Colombia; for September, in Mexico; for October, in Peru; Uruguay and Puerto Rico in November. Additionally, we hope to start with the webinars soon.

6. Which atributes should a maintenance engineer have to become president of COPIMAN?

A love for volunteer work and a vocation for service. It sounds easy, but few people in our profession have a lot of free time. I don’t have much free time myself, but I program my activities in order to assign time to my various volunteer activities. Besides COPIMAN, I have responsibilities with ISO, SMRP, ICML, AMGA and UMAI. I also have a family, Friends and a professional life. To be in COPIMAN, you don’t have to be an expert in maintenance and reliability, but you do have to understand the extension of this discipline. I am an expert in lubrication analysis and that is not a limitation. I think empathy, leadership, and being surrounded by people with your same dreams and ideas will help, too. The presidency of COPIMAN does not reside in one person, but in a group of minds with the hope of leaving a legacy behind.

7. What projects do you wish to organize as President of COPIMAN?

The biggest project I want to assume from this position is the Pan American maintenance indicators. I believe that COPIMAN is the ideal place from which to retake this idea that has been going on since the time of Lourival Tavares but unfortunately hasn’t been achieved. This is the comparison ground that the industry requires to identify its current status and develop improvement projects. Additionally, we want to continue with the work of integrating masters, diplomates and specialties throughout the universities of the continent.

8. What do you think is the perception of the maintenance professionals on what COPIMAN represents for their community?

I guess few of them know about its extension, vision and mission, but they do understand COPIMAN is a Pan American engineering organization. It is our job to communicate with them better and achieve the Mission through the activities we have previously planned.

9. What are the topics that COPIMAN will cover for the next events?

We need to keep reinforcing those elements that support our societies and, from there, build the technical competence required for our profession. For this, we have to stand for the message in favor of ethics and values, respect for intellectual property, eradication of corruption, environmental awareness and fulfillment of our social responsibilities. Within the professional field, we have to work with the energy saving contribution (ISO 50001), improvement of safety related to maintenance, the Internet Of Things (IOT) applied to maintenance, the data analysis to manage machines (Big Data), incorporation of maintenance in the asset management (ISO 55000) and, of course, the certification of technical competence of people.

10. Finally, what would be the message for the maintenance community and the new generations incorporating in the work field?

Keep studying. With the technology and systems in constant evolution, knowledge becomes obsolete very fast. Form groups, participate in congresses, integrate for better learning, take advantage of the community experience and build a more and more prepared association. Dedicate time to volunteer activities: you can’t imagine how gratifying it can be. There is no greater satisfaction but to see how much you can contribute to the growth of our profession.

To know more about engineer Gerardo Trujillo’s work, follow him on the social network as:

Text: Maite Aguirrezabala / Predictiva21
Photos: Courtesy
Translation: Richard Skinner

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