EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Ricardo Silva
In many ways, you can trace Ricardo Silva’s current career back to his love of racing.
“I liked Formula 1 racing a lot. That’s one of the things that got me into the field of Mechanical Engineering,” recalls Ricardo, who made a hobby of repairing car engines as a young man. As a student at Mauá Engineering School in Brazil, he indulged his love of racing in competitions sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), where teams of students would design, build and race small, formula-style vehicles.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Ricardo put his career on the fast track with an MBA from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Brazil and a Master of Project Management from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.
In the years that followed, Ricardo took a deep dive into the oil and gas industry. In the Gulf of Mexico, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland, he worked on deep-sea projects to install subsea equipment. Along with his unique experience in offshore technology, over the years Ricardo gained international experience in operations, sales and business development, engineering, manufacturing and factory automation. He served as Executive General Manager for Hitachi Power Systems in the Energy Sector before joining Industrial Inspection & Analysis (IIA) in 2018 as General Manager for its Canadian Services division.
Ricardo’s unique blend of leadership skills and technical expertise quickly earned him a promotion to Vice President of Asset & Infrastructure Inspection Services. In this role, he oversees IIA’s Canadian operations and Lift Services across North America, covering from the East Coast to the West Coast, and the Gulf Coast to the Arctic.
“We offer inspections and engineering services of the highest quality to ensure that our customers’ employees and the public at large are safe,” he says. “We help ensure ground support equipment is safe for airlines and that fire equipment is reliable in critical situations; and our crane inspections help protect construction workers.”
As Ricardo climbed the corporate ladder, his job duties required more time in the office and less in the field. But he still savors the occasional opportunity to go to a job site for some hands-on work in mechanical engineering. In 2021, he particularly enjoyed assisting with major retrofit/replacement projects at the Cameron Falls and Pine Portage hydropower plants in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
“These were historic hydropower plants that required a full structural assessment of overhead cranes used to install large equipment such as hydro generators. It was the first time a full assessment of the overhead cranes had been done since the facilities were built 100 years ago,” he says. “I like that we face different challenges every single day at IIA. You’re not just sitting behind a desk.”
His personal interests are eclectic as well, ranging from playing guitar to refereeing high-level competitive soccer. At work and at play, Ricardo is a ‘people person’ through and through — a quality that carries through to his management style.
“I’m an ‘open-door’ kind of person. I enjoy people, and I like to help them grow and succeed, so we will always have the best working at IIA,” says Ricardo, whose love of racing led to a career that makes the world safer. “It’s awesome to work in a company that provides services that help save lives.”
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