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Meet Binh Nguyen, OCTG Project Manager

Empowering Innovation and Women in Engineering
12/15/2023
Careers

As part of our series on Women@Vallourec, meet Binh Nguyen.

An accomplished OCTG Project Manager at Vallourec, Binh brings a wealth of expertise from her background in OFS Drilling & Measurement at SLB.

She champions innovation in the energy sector, advocates for women in engineering, and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

What is your role at Vallourec?

As the Project Manager for Rover, an OCTG service project, I oversee the development of this innovative solution. Rover utilizes small robots inside pipes to gather crucial data. While I am the sole full-time person dedicated to this project, collaboration is key, and I work closely with a diverse team dispersed across locations, including product owners in R&D in Aulnoye, regional service teams, and technical sales managers to ensure seamless project execution.


Rover’s focus is on delivering vital information to our oil & gas customers, and is applicable in drilling oil wells or managing stockpiles in yards. What makes my role special is its alignment with Vallourec’s core business as a pipe supplier. It enables us to provide onsite services for any pipe, especially non-Vallourec pipes, which enhances our value proposition for clients.


Services are becoming an increasingly important part of Vallourec’s business and have always been an integral part of the company’s offering. The Vallourec® Services comprehensive portfolio meets our customers’ needs for efficient pipe performance from material selection through to final use, and even repurposing solutions for unused and pulled pipes.

What made you want to join Vallourec?

I have a background in petrochemical engineering from Hanoi University of Technology in Vietnam and a Master’s in Petroleum Economics and Management from IFP – Institut français du pétrole. I joined Vallourec after working for over six years as a field engineer for SLB, including over two years in China. My decision was influenced by Vallourec’s global scale and emphasis on management, offering a shift from my previous technical expert role. Starting as an intern in 2019 and transitioning to a permanent position in 2020, I appreciate Vallourec’s

stellar reputation in France and globally, which I had already heard about back home in Vietnam.

 

The challenge of contributing to Vallourec’s evolution from a manufacturing-centric approach to a more diversified service-oriented model motivated me. Working with a diverse team spanning Europe, West Africa, North & South America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, I value the opportunity to learn and collaborate. The reliability, hard work ethic, and strategic vision of Vallourec’s people, alongside a strong commitment to quality and safety, solidified my decision to join and stay with the company.

What do you love about your job?

What I find fulfilling in my role is the company’s expertise in manufacturing pipes, renowned for their exceptional materials and connections. While the focus has traditionally been on the components of the pipe, my enthusiasm lies in unlocking the potential of our outstanding Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) team. It is currently housed in R&D and the mill, but I see the opportunity to bring these competencies directly to the operators in the field.

 

My primary responsibility involves developing the business by leveraging the strengths of Vallourec’s talented workforce and bridging the gap between the mill and the field. With my background as a field engineer, I recognize Vallourec as one of the market leaders with a rare and exceptional skill set. This endeavor brings me satisfaction, and I am genuinely confident in its success.

What skills have helped you succeed in your job?

Navigating the intricacies of my role demands a versatile skill set.

What I find crucial is to have a strategic vision for steering innovation projects in the right direction. New Vallourec’s strategy ”Value over Volume” provides a clear path for this. Effective management skills and open-mindedness are essential as I coordinate with teams worldwide, managing cultural diversity and time zone challenges.


Communication skills facilitate collaboration, particularly when we sometimes must deliver projects at a “good enough” level to confirm market potential, then go agilely to the market. It is important to know how to explain this approach to early adopter clients, set a track record, and monitor progress before scaling up.


Being a woman in a male-dominated field adds an extra layer of challenges, requiring thorough preparation, knowledge of safety rules, and collaboration with reliable colleagues. Despite these challenges, Vallourec’s support ensures that women can leverage their competencies effectively and have a work-life balance.

What advice would you give to other women in your field?

For women aspiring to enter the engineering domain, my advice is to pursue their dreams with confidence. I firmly believe that seizing opportunities in engineering is essential. While I don’t advocate for strict equality quotas, recognizing one’s talent and daring to try is crucial, given the existing opportunities in the world.


Additionally, maintaining a work-life balance is vital. Outside of my professional life, I strive to connect to nature. I take walks in the forest near my home, and I engage in activities like yoga and meditation. I find solace in these pursuits. I believe balancing a fulfilling personal life with a successful career contributes to one’s overall well-being, fostering a holistic and sustainable approach to professional and personal success.

 

For women aspiring to enter the engineering domain, my advice is to pursue their dreams with confidence

Binh Nguyen
OCTG Project Manager at Vallourec