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What do you do?
I work as a senior engineer on international infrastructure projects. In addition to doing design, it is also my job to coordinate with the team at our Danish head office and to lead the project team here in my office.
My passion has always been distributed engineering and that is just what COWI does in India. When you work on international projects, you have to adjust to new working cultures and new local standards all the time. No two projects are alike. That is truly challenging, but I learn so much and that really drives me. Whether I’m working with a customer from the Maldives or Africa, I’m always expected to deliver the highest quality according to local standards and to live up to that particular customer’s expectations.
What is your role?
I often work directly with project stakeholders, which allows me to understand their priorities and issues related to the project. This way, I can take quick actions in the best interest of the project.
When working on distributed engineering, my every delivery matters. Being the connecting link between the specialists in India and the country that owns the project, I’m responsible for ensuring that my Indian team performs well. That is: deliver the expected quality on time. Only if we perform well will we get the next project.
When I was offered the job at COWI, I already knew about COWI’s unique working culture, where all employees are treated equally. So, when I got a call from a job consultant about an opportunity at COWI I had no doubt that I should accept.
COWI really stands out as an equal-opportunity employer. COWI puts so much effort into developing its staff. As an example, everyone can go on an international visit if it benefits the project or his or her personal development. Employees in COWI have a great chance of developing themselves and shaping his or her career.
Can you talk about one of your projects?
My first COWI project was an upgrade of ten roads crossing a rail track in Denmark. I lead a team of six colleagues here in India. My job was to plan and drive the project forward, preparing the delivery schedule in respect of the deadline, while coordinating with experts at COWI’s head office in Denmark. I went to visit the people I worked with in Denmark and that gave our knowledge sharing a huge boost. Building on that visit, I still have a good network among my Danish colleagues.
What did you study?
In 2002, Sumana Biswas graduated as a Bachelor in Civil Engineering from Malviya Regional Engineering College, Jaipur, India (presently known as NIT Jaipur). In 2010, she became a Master of Transportation Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India (known as IIT, Delhi). Sumana works at COWI as a senior engineer on different infrastructure projects like roads and airports, and her expertise lies in geometric design.