‘Fast Five’ with Dino Raftopulos, Project Manager

Dino is a highly proficient project manager with a significant breadth of experience in the property and construction industry. Having worked for a tier 1 contractor in Leighton Contractors (CPB) and also corporate real estate consultancy ‘JLL Corporate Solutions, Dino can confidently deliver technical projects from business case development, through to completion. His attention to detail is complemented by his background in architecture and design which forms the foundation for his awareness of the broad nature of stakeholders in each project.

What disruptive technology are you most excited about and why?

Advancements to BIM (Building Information Modelling) in Australia will substantially impact the delivery of new building projects, retro-fit outs and general building and infrastructure facilities maintenance. I am excited to see how this integrated technology will stream line building processes and reduce running costs of building and infrastructure projects in the future.

Why did you choose your profession?

 I have always been fascinated by the built environment. I enjoyed drawing and design and technology in high school which prompted me to study a Bachelor of Design in Architecture at University of Sydney. This degree was the gateway for my career development in the construction and property industry. Following on from this degree I worked in a small construction company overseeing the design and construction of residential jetties, wharfs, pontoons and boathouses. I immediately became interested in the delivery aspect of construction, which encouraged me to commence a Masters in Construction Project Management at University of New South Wales.  As a result of this career shift from design to construction and development management I have been fortunate to have worked for some incredible companies; Lend Lease, Leighton Contractors (CPB), JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle) and now MacroPlan Dimasi. The construction industry is a dynamic ever evolving beast, that requires a collaborative and communicative work ethic to ensure projects achieve their best outcomes.

In a snapshot, can you explain the day in the life of a project manager at MacroPlan involves?

Firstly, I start with a strong coffee… which is shortly followed by an overview of the status of my projects. As a Development Project Manager at MacroPlan I currently oversee various project types; childcare centres, multi-dwelling residential developments and large scale urban sub-divisions and master-planning. In each project, I manage various stakeholders; design consultants (architects, engineers, certifiers, environmentalists, ecologist, traffic) collaborate with property economists, town planners, local councils, and various government authorities. The variety and scale of the projects require a thorough understanding of various development methodologies in addition to core supplier, contract management and safety regulations. As a Project Manager you are forever wearing all kinds of industry ‘hats’ to ensure project delivery and key milestone are achieved.

What major project that is currently underway in Sydney do you think will have the most impact on the city?

Sydney is fortunate to be experiencing the construction of multiple mega projects that will carry an equal impact to the growth of the city.  The Sydney Metro (North West Rail Link), will allow for rapid transit for Sydney’s growing north west region, whilst WestConnex will provide a bypass loop to reduce congestion in the inner city suburbs, connecting the M4 to the M5 East. These two projects are vital pieces of infrastructure that will  contribute to the transit demands that Sydney is forecasted to encounter over the next two decades. Finally, the Sydney Light Rail Project (Circular Quay to Randwick) will provide Sydney with an activated social infrastructure corridor that will foster the growth of inner city connectivity. The light rail project will provide the CBD and inner eastern suburbs with a gentrified transit corridor that will seek to invigorate the once ‘bus heavy’ streets with a dynamic mode of transport that will connect the city to the entertainment precincts of Moore Park and Randwick Race Course in addition to providing students (UNSW) and city workers with an efficient and direct line of public transport.

If you could travel in time, would you go to the past or the future? Why?

Travelling to the future would be terrific. To be able to see how society had evolved through advances in technology would be a true spectacle. I would be interested to see the impact of change in travel speed (domestic and international), and the way this had affected regional and metropolitan Australia.

You can get in touch with Dino to discuss your property project management requirements via email or call 02 9221 5211.

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