Meet Trailblazer Chris Zaccazan, General Manager Engineering
Tell us a bit about your role and responsibilities as the General Manager of Engineering.
As the General Manager of Engineering for the Construction and Engineering team (C&E), I’m responsible for ensuring our team develops, and provides governance, compliance and best practices for all BINGO’s capital works projects, whilst pushing the boundaries for innovation and exploring technologies to ensure BINGO remains a market leader in recycling.
What made you join BINGO?
I was drawn to the vision of BINGO’s Ecology Park in Eastern Creek, the construction of Material Processing Centre 2 (MPC2), and I was excited to be part of a company that was growing at a rapid pace. Secondly, the opportunity to build a world class engineering team for BINGO from the ground up was incentive enough for me.
What was your role when you first joined BINGO?
I joined BINGO in 2021 to lead the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of the Outfeed Conveyors for MPC2 at Eastern Creek. I was also tasked with building BINGO’s inaugural Engineering team (Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Automation Engineers, CAD/Draughtsperson). The team formed part of the MPC2 Engineering team to commission and deliver the plant with all the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).
Prior to BINGO, I had spent 25 years leading world class engineering teams with BHP, OneSteel and SONY. I have been very fortunate to lead teams on projects throughout the world, in the USA, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands and specialised expatriate engineering teams in Austria.
I also hold an Advanced Diploma in Industrial Engineering combined with an Electrical Trade and more recently, completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).
What are some of the challenges and opportunities in your role?
A challenge can be working in an extremely fast paced environment and having short timelines, needing to pivot efficiently when objectives are altered on projects. The C&E team is very fortunate to have a variety of projects to be working on at any given time - not just in Sydney Metro but also in QLD and VIC. That makes for an exciting and challenging day – every day!
Our C&E team is growing year on year and it creates amazing opportunities for the group. We are proud to have onboarded our first Intern Graduate Engineer in 2023 and built pathways to develop and grow our engineers in house.
Tell us more about the team you lead, and some of their achievements.
Our C&E Team is made up of talented Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Automation specialists, Civil Engineers, and experienced Project Managers.
I could not be prouder of C&E for what we have achieved in the last two years together. We might be a small team but they are punching well above their weight and are extremely talented and versatile in tackling any project or task assigned to them. BINGO used to outsource most of their engineering and project management but with our in-house capability, we have been able to develop a very strong team which now includes talented and committed graduate interns for Civil and Electrical and will soon expand into Mechanical Interns.
Some of our major milestones as a team would be the construction and delivery of MPC2, Australia’s most advanced Building & Demolition and Commercial & Industrial waste recycling plant which uses the latest technology for sorting and optimisation, and the Landfill Gas Collection System project combined with the permanent flares now in operation, and several plant upgrades at our Paton’s Lane facility.
What are you most excited about at BINGO and our industry?
The past 12 months, I have been leading our Landfill Gas Collection System and the Permanent Flares Project at our Eastern Creek Ecology Park. And now, I’m working with the Growth and Innovation team on a renewable energy project where the captured landfill gas will be used as a complete gas offtake or transformed to electricity via gas engines combined with generators. So it’s a very exciting space to be involved with.
What kind of a leader are you?
I am often described as a democratic leader, combined with a coaching influence that focuses on bringing the best out of teams and individuals. I get great satisfaction in watching teams grow and develop.
What is the most important attribute that you think people should bring to their job?
Without doubt integrity sits at the top of the ladder for me. Having integrity front and centre of everything you do builds a solid framework for you as a person and those who you connect with.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I restore USA Vintage Muscle Cars (Corvette Stingrays). These old cars are now over 50 years old and require a lot of love and care, but there’s nothing more rewarding than bringing them back to life. I also spend time on the family farm which is fully off the grid in the Central West near Orange. It’s 100% powered by solar energy and built with recycled materials from the ground up. After six years of part-time building as an owner builder, it’s getting closer to completion.
What’s your funniest moment with BINGO?
Being on a Teams call with four Chris’s on the call CJ, CZ, CG, CP.
Do you have a personal mantra? If so, what is it?
I don’t live by just one personal mantra, but two:
1. Work hard, play hard, and love even harder (I am a real softy at heart)
2. Always show up with a smile 😊
Any other career advice you’d like to share?
You’re never too young or old to have mentors. I lean on my mentors often for guidance and direction. And some advice from my mentors – ‘Always pay it forward’ and ‘Never stop driving to learn new things’.