Quest is an international transfer program which connects Arcadians from all over the world. The Quest program is sponsored by the Lovinklaan Foundation. Every week we are highlighting one of the stories of our employees who went on an exchange. In this blogpost we cover the Quest story of Julio Vilar who traveled from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Portland, US.
Why did I apply for a Quest
My name is Julio Vilar, Geologist from Site Evaluation and Restoration departament at Arcadis Brazil (São Paulo). I’ve decided to apply for the Quest program to acquire more knowledge about Characterization in Fractured bedrock because I saw that in Brazil there is a lack of professionals that know about this topic. The importance to acquire expertise on this theme is also because the migration of groundwater, dissolved-phase plumes and nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) is often more rapid and more complex in bedrock formations than in porous media. In addition, my motivation reinforced because since 2017, the Sao Paulo State Environmental Agency (CETESB), which tends to be a reference for other agencies in Brazil and Latin America, began to be more rigid with the laws regarding contamination at bedrock. Due to this I thought it would be necessary to gain new knowledge in this area to complement and improve the projects in Brazil. So, this encouraged me to do a Quest with the Portland-ME team, which has great global specialists in fractured aquifers characterization and remediation.
“My Quest was a fantastic journey where I was able to acquire knowledge in a collaborative way with my friends in US and now I can share this with my team in Brazil!”
Highlight of my Quest experience
In my Quest experience I started my journey in Portland-ME where I was very well received by the team at the small office located there. In Portland my host took me to some geological outcrops around the city where I was able to learn about local rocks characteristics and fractured aquifers, such as fractured patterns behaviors, matrix porosity and their influence on the preferred pathway of contaminants. It was an excellent field trip.
The days I spent at the office were of intense learning and collaboration. I learned more about characterization and remediation of fractured aquifers with colleagues who know a lot about this topic. I participated in presentations and discussions that showed the details, strategies, new approaches and challenges for a well-done investigation in bedrock as well as the good practices in the building of Conceptual Site Models (CSM) in this media. It was very good to acquire the knowledge in Rock Coring, Whole Core Sampling, Flute and Fact liner technology, Packer Tests, and the importance of Geophysical Logging. I could also get more insights about remediation alternatives, NAPL delineation and mobility in bedrock.
Moreover, I was able to meet some guys of a company that offers bedrock drilling services. I learned about several tools and ways to conduct drillings in the fractured aquifer which deepened my knowledge in this area that I already liked.
After Portland my Quest continued in Irvine – CA, where I could increase my knowledge in PFAs (Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances) – the emergent contaminants. I met different Arcadis clients and exchanged project experiences between Arcadis Brasil and Arcadis US, mainly involving the application of Smart Characterization and Best Practices for injection and distribution of Amendments.
My Quest in one word
Learnings and experiences
During this trip, I was able to learn how to best assist our clients who have problems with contamination in the fractured bedrock aquifers. In addition, I could build on closer relations between Arcadis US and Arcadis Brazil employees to improve the projects in this specific topic. I also learned that although we are in different countries our problems and challenges are similar. With this Quest I saw Arcadis in another way, I realized that together we can be one company. I have been able to find different and incredible Arcadians who can collaborate for the growth of the company as they are engaged and willing to learn and share what they know. Of course, I should not forget to mention that I enjoyed myself and learned about the culture and people from both American states that I visited. It was very good for instance to try the famous Maine lobster and visit the geological park Joshua Tree in California.
To my mind, Quest is definitely the Lovinklaan program that will broaden your professional network, culture and technical knowledge. As a recommendation, firstly I would say that it is very important that you feel part of the team you are visiting, trying to interact with them and exchange experiences with as many colleagues as possible. Therefore, collaboration between different offices can happen more efficiently. Second, I think it is very useful to get in touch with people from your Quest destination through Yammer or Skype Business. This is an easy and fast way to get in contact with Arcadians around the world. Third, do not forget to share your experiences with your local team, only then can we offer better results for our clients.
Thanks Lovinklaan and my hosts for this incredible experience!
The international transfer program Quest, which connects Arcadians from all over the world, is sponsored by the Lovinklaan Foundation.