At Mainmark, one of our biggest strengths is our incredible team of experienced professionals. We pride ourselves on recognising staff potential and promoting from within where possible. Victor Chirilas, one of the directors of our UK division, is a great example of this.
Victor joined Mainmark as a Technician in Australia 11 years ago, during the great Sydney sandstorm and has been delivering our solutions around the world ever since. having delivered our TeretekÒ geopolymer resin injection solution in Australia for a couple of years, Victor then spent just over four years working in New Zealand, split between the roles of Site Supervisor and Project Supervisor/Manager leading our JOG Computer-Controlled Grouting capability in the field, before heading to the UK in late 2016. When the Mainmark business in the UK began to expand, Victor was among the first on-board as Operations Manager. Last year, he took on the role as a Director at Mainmark UK, along with his colleague Robbie Blanchfield, and is now helping to lead the team toward a bright future.
We recently sat down with Victor to find out more about him, his work, and his vision for the future.
Tell us a bit more about your background and your role at Mainmark?
I have always been a mechanically minded and process-driven person but with my background in technical and media studies, I also have a keen eye for visual imagery. This really suits my role at Mainmark as am comfortable both on and off the tools.
I was born in Romania and grew up in Sweden before moving to Australia in 2009 where I started my journey with Mainmark, as part of the delivery team on site. I worked on many Teretek resin projects across Australia before moving to join the Mainmark team in New Zealand, gaining more experience on a range of significant projects.
I have enjoyed working on larger residential properties and commercial buildings, and a particular highlight for me was working on the remediation of the Christchurch Art Gallery which was badly shaken by the earthquakes that hit New Zealand’s South Island in 2010 and 2011. As the foundation ground suffered quite severe liquefaction, the 33,000 tonne building lost ground support. The Art Gallery’s footings sank unevenly across the 6,500m2 footprint of the building. Subsidence was as great as 182mm in some places.
We were able to re-support and re-level the structure all while staff continued to occupy the building. You can read about the project in full here.
Can you tell us what a typical day looks like for you in your current role?
I am always focussing on the bigger picture and the ambitious growth plans we have for our UK division. This involves developing the people we have, our processes and procedures, to create an environment where people can thrive and deliver excellent results for our clients.
No two days are the same which makes it interesting, exciting and challenging all at the same time. My day-to-day tasks range from, sales and project support, equipment R&D, HR and marketing support. I juggle this while developing new and existing client relationships and always looking ahead at the bigger picture to meet our targets and focus on business development. From my early morning cup of coffee and brisk afternoon walks, to late catch ups with our overseas colleagues, it all helps to keep the focus that is needed to reach our goals.
What would you like Mainmark to do more of as a business in the UK?
We’re always looking to build on our portfolio in the commercial sector and grow our influence in the wider construction sector as a whole.
In the B2C residential space we know that we have a competitive solution for general subsidence problems that occur, and one of our aims is to become a household name when it comes to subsidence repairs.
Because our techniques can be applied in all sectors and are scalable to meet the demands of almost any project it makes it very exciting to be part of leading this organisation into the future.
How does the UK work differ to the projects you have been involved in Australia and New Zealand?
Oh, the lack of parking! In all seriousness, the work we do in the UK is often located in densely populated areas where space is limited. This means logistically we need to be more agile and re-think how we deliver our services. Mainmark’s solutions already take a very modular approach, but we’ve had to take this a step further. For example, in the UK we had to develop a way to make our solutions even more mobile by delivering our Teretek resin injection solution from smaller bespoke vehicles.
What do you hope to achieve in the next few years as one of the recently appointed Directors at Mainmark UK?
My main goal as one of the UK Directors is to focus on sustainable growth in markets that are ready for the services we provide. I would like us to continue to develop into different markets where we can share our global expertise, for instance in the infrastructure sector. Aside from furthering our core offerings to a wider audience, we also have several more technologies yet to be deployed. This brings great excitement to what the future will hold for the UK team.
With this said a key goal for the business and for me personally, is to continue investing in our people to develop the talent we have, as well as providing opportunities to grow and to bring more people into the Mainmark family.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of the role?
We’re all really passionate about what we do here, so seeing people around me develop and become effective within their roles and establishing great careers within Mainmark, is definitely the most rewarding aspect for me. Together we can achieve great things.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a range of interests outside of work, I am a keen photographer, I enjoy podcasts with a coffee in hand and naturally with an engineering mindset, I also like building things and working with cars – there’s usually a ‘project’ on the driveway or in the garage!
I also like to travel but due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation that’s been put on hold for the time being. I’m really looking forward to being able to get back out again soon, but until then a cold beer with some rock music on the garage stereo keeps me happy while I work away.
Victor is one of the Directors at Mainmark UK, with over 10 years’ experience in project management and construction management. Having joined Mainmark in 2009, he has managed projects in Australia, the UK and New Zealand including the remediation of the Christchurch Art Gallery which was shaken by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that hit New Zealand’s South Island, the old Bank of New Zealand building in Kaiapoi and Ultima Furniture’s warehouse in the UK.