News & Events

Discussing the Value of Asset Management in Engineering

June 7, 2021
UBC MEL MHLP - Guest Speaker 2021 - Chris Lombard

On May 25, Chris Lombard, Asset Management Leader for Americas Water, presented on Asset Management and its value for future stakeholders to MEL students. Joining Lombard were Dr. Devin Sauer, Senior Asset Management Consultant at AECOM, and URSY 2017 alumna Kimberly Bueckert, Asset Management Consultant at AECOM.

Chris Lombard specializes in asset management policy, strategy and planning. He has successfully directed and supported large and multi-disciplinary asset management assignments for clients on four continents. He has experience covering major asset types such as transit, highways, bridges, ports, airports, facilities, health care and nuclear. As Asset Management Technical Practice Group Leader, he is responsible for curating the organization’s institutional memory and executing knowledge transfer, methodologies, and standards.

Dr. Devin Sauer is a Senior Asset Management Consultant with a background in bridge engineering. Dr. Sauer has advised municipal clients across Canada to advance policies, strategies, and tactical plans that optimize their services, minimize their risk exposure, and maximize the value delivered to customers.

In addition to his daily consulting assignments, Dr. Sauer manages AECOM’s renowned and longstanding Water, Wastewater, Stormwater, and Transportation Benchmarking Initiatives and is one of AECOM’s designated Technical Quality Reviewer for Asset Management in Western Canada.

Kimberly Bueckert has extensive strategic experience working with municipalities across the Lower Mainland and BC in developing AM Policies, AM Strategies, AM Plans, and Level of Service Frameworks. Having worked on a wide range of projects, Kimberly has technical and project management experience.

In the presentation, Lombard highlighted some of the essential elements of Asset Management.

Lombard defined Asset Management as the systematic and coordinated activities and practices of an organization to optimally and sustainably deliver on its objectives through the cost-effective lifecycle management of assets.

Lombard then highlighted AECOM’s practices when it comes to Asset Management planning. These included:

  1. What is the current state of the assets?
  2. What is the required level of service?
  3. Which assets are critical to sustain performance?
  4. What is the likelihood of failure?
  5. What are the best operation, maintenance, and capital improvement strategies?
  6. What are the life cycle costs?

The goal of these practices is to achieve value for clients through working towards sustainable, durable, and resilient assets. Reviewing and analyzing these areas strives to help clients make more informed, sustainable and data driven decisions.

The Canadian Infrastructure Benchmarking Initiative helps others to gain actionable insights that will help organizations optimize their performance. Devin Sauer examined in detail how AECOM utilizes the National Benchmarking site. The goal for AECOM when using this site is to improve their deliverables and for services for AECOM’s clients AECOM’s connection with this initiative enables companies to compare their organization with peers around the world, which helps them make more informed and transparent decisions about the future of their infrastructure priorities.

Openness, resource sharing, and collaboration are a strength in sustainability decisions and are reflected in the practices Lombard highlighted for MEL students.

Furthermore, Kimberly Bueckert shared insight into her role as an Asset Management Consultant at AECOM. Her role includes assisting with the facilitation of workshops and coordinating communication with key stakeholders.

As such, through her professional experience and her MEL in Urban Systems education, Bueckert shared with the MEL cohort her diverse understanding of urban infrastructure covering transportation, water, wastewater, stormwater, facilities, and natural assets.

Kimberly’s insight into her Asset Management role was of great interest to a number of Urban Systems students as asset management is a possible career path for many URSY graduates. Having firsthand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges of an Asset Management Consultant at AECOM will enable to URSY graduates to better plan their future careers.

The MEL cohort was able to hear from three asset management specialists at AECOM. This session was of particular interest to Urban Systems students, as URSY 550: Infrastructure Asset Management explores the roles of asset management.

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