Continuing a focus on helping owners improve the productivity of their existing asset bases, global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon has appointed John Searls as Resources and Manufacturing Leader for South-East Queensland. He brings more than 20 years of experience leading transformational change across asset management and capital projects.
Previously, the General Manager/Programme Director – Asset Management at Rio Tinto, Searls delivered improved productivity and cost management combined with a cultural change from maintenance to asset management.
“After a long period of business growth driven by capital investment, owners in the resources and manufacturing sectors are transitioning into an age of asset exploitation and optimisation to remain competitive in challenging markets,” says Neil Barr, Regional Director for South-East Queensland, welcoming Searls and his expertise to the Aurecon team. “John challenges the status quo, and has the ability to drive fundamental changes for clients with asset intensive operations and large complex initiatives.”
“There is a growing client demand for holistic asset management strategies that drive productivity, optimise maintenance and enable smarter capital expenditure decisions,” comments Searls. “I believe Aurecon is in a unique position to help, having either designed and/or built most types of assets. This in-depth understanding of the asset is key in establishing appropriate asset management strategies. For example, take predictive asset maintenance. While you may have analytical platforms capable of providing predictions on asset condition, you also need sound engineering knowledge to link the ‘symptomatic’ data to recommended actions.”
Passionate about diversity and inclusion, Searls was a founding member of Rio Tinto’s internal Male Champion of Change group after following Aurecon’s CEO (then with Deloitte) Giam Swiegers’ progress as one of the inaugural eight CEOs and Non-Executive Directors that formed the Male Champions of Change group established by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.
“I am excited to be in the Aurecon culture of innovation with its focus on digital – such as leveraging disruptive technologies like automation and sensors and big data management and analytics,” adds Searls. It enables us to create real advantages for clients looking to drive productivity or to extend the life of their assets.”