Our superintendent in the field
“It feels very fulfilling to deliver a job well done to our customer – when they get their installation back fully functional and reliable,” says Alfonso Morales as he describes how much he enjoys his work with engine overhauls.
Back in 1990s, when Alfonso was still working as a ship mechanic, he happened to meet someone who was working at Wärtsilä. After some conversations with the fellow, Alfonso’s curiosity towards Wärtsilä had been raised. Consequently, Alfonso joined the company early 1998 – first as a Service Technician and then working as a Service Engineer. Currently, Alfonso works as a Superintendent mainly at power plants in Latin America and Caribbean – a role, where Alfonso is in charge of major commissioning works and overhauls, leading his team in the jobs they attend.
As Alfonso’s career has been coloured by constant professional growth, his team members feel they’re in trustworthy hands. “Many of my colleagues come to me for advice which is a big responsibility and an honour to me,” Alfonso shares thankfully. “I enjoy this mentor role that I have as I like to share best practices and solutions. I think my colleagues have also noticed that sometimes I can be brutally honest – and they appreciate that too.”
After all, being honest and transparent is often the best course of action – even at times when the information is potentially not that pleasant. “Normally at our work, speaking out is the best solution especially when there are issues that might affect also my team mates’ safety. As we work hard, I like to work in a well-organised clean environment with clear responsibilities and I expect the same from my crew with each job. Not just because I enjoy an organised work setup but since it guarantees we’re safe,” Alfonso further explains his work principles. “In addition to that, I’m also eagerly following the innovations. As Wärtsilä is concentrating on clean energy for both marine and energy sectors, safety is playing a key role in our technology evolution,” he adds.
For his career development, Alfonso feels gratitude towards one particularly tough job where the customer trusted on Alfonso’s decision, and as a result the situation ended happily. “All jobs are of course challenging, each of them having their own special requirements, and all tough decisions are always made together with the customer. I remember in 2006, we got to do a first-of-its-kind gig fixing a crankshaft of Wärtsilä 46 engine. It was a true test for me as we needed to machine 10mm undersize,” Alfonso tells. With the customer backing Alfonso’s decision, the job was conducted successfully.
From that gig, Alfonso gained more confidence and their team has replicated this well-functioning procedure elsewhere ever since. “It was after the crankshaft case when I started to rely on my expertise more and felt the respect from my team and the customer. I humbly name this ‘victory’ as a point in my career that guided me towards bigger responsibilities and more complex jobs.”
Alfonso says that he really loves his work and how it takes him constantly on the road. It makes him both enjoy to the fullest all the moments he gets to spend with his loved ones back home and cherish the fellowship the mobile way of working has built between the team mates. ”When I’m at home, I give my everything to our family. At the same time, it’s only natural that our team shares this feeling of brotherhood – we spend so much time together. We live on an island and when we go to our customers, we need to travel abroad for a longer time. It has been great to see these close friends and colleagues maturing into professionals who care about their job and want to do better every time,” Alfonso describes.
With a fellowship like that it is no wonder if Alfonso continues enjoying his everyday work, and all the funny incidents the team encounters as they travel around, for many years to come.