Juxtaposing science, art, and technology

Mariano Rodriguez is a science planner, where he designs master plans for pharmaceutical, vaccine, and industrial companies and government institutions.

12/29/2011


Mariano Rodriguez, principal, registered architect, ISPE member, exp Global Inc., Maitland, Fla.Who: Mariano Rodriguez

What: Principal, Registered Architect, ISPE Member

Where: exp Global Inc., Maitland, Fla.

About: Rodriguez is a science planner, where he designs master plans for pharmaceutical, vaccine, and industrial companies and government institutions. As corporate strategist, he develops exp’s global strategy for science and technology. His job takes him around the world frequently.

Q. Describe your job in one or two sentences. What do you do on a regular (daily, weekly, monthly) basis? In what area (building type) do you do the most work?

A. As science planner, I design master plans for pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and industrial companies and government institutions. My role often involves the programming and planning of R+D laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and other facility types. On occasion, I act as project principal or project manager for some of these, traveling to where the projects are located—in recent years primarily China. As corporate strategist, I also develop our global strategy and make recommendations on alliances, mergers, and acquisitions.

Q: Your job description makes you sound like a hostage negotiator. What makes you good at this?

A. What your description lacks in diplomacy, it more than makes up for in accuracy. The global science and technology industry is diverse, complex, and highly regulated. My role is most often to align the expectations of widely divergent groups and individuals, while proposing solutions that are frequently unorthodox and “out of their comfort zone.”  I don’t know that I can respond to being “good” at this, but I can certainly say that I enjoy it—and that the clients bring me back.

Q: When did you become a “grown-up”?

A. On July 13, 1961. At the age of 12, I left my family, my home, and my native Cuba, and boarded a plane for Miami. A month later, I was in Clarksville, Ind., living with a foster family for the next two years. 

Q: What’s surprises you the most when you are working in pharmaceutical or high-tech facilities?

A. A welcome surprise is a truly open mind to new ideas, and I am happy to report that it’s a surprise that is happening with greater frequency.  

Q: What tips would you give to a junior member of your team who wants to become an engineer or architect, or work in high-tech buildings?

A.    Three things:

  1. Embrace the challenge: This is not for the faint of heart.
  2. Keep learning and share your knowledge. Experts have a responsibility to teach.
  3. Operate from vision, not from fear.

Q: What aspect of science intrigues you most?

A. The process; the journey.

Q: What’s the key to balancing your professional and personal life?

A.  “It comes in Pints?”—Pippin (Peregrin Took), J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

The line is a quote from Pippin, a hobbit in Tolkien’s classic. Four hobbits have fled the “Shire” in an effort to avoid the evil “wraiths” sent by the Dark Lord Sauron to find the ring of power. They stop at the Prancing Pony, a Pup and Inn in the very seedy town of Bree. The hobbits are all in fear of their surroundings…except for Pippin, who is taking the whole thing as a great adventure. Pippin delivers the line when a companion appears with a “pint” of beer.  

Q: What or who led you down your career path? Did you have a mentor?

A. My career path was influenced by many people, events, and ideas. One might say that it was an eclectic collection of forces. But if I were to point to a single force, it’s my education. I studied architecture at the University of Miami, Fla. At that time, it was not the prestigious and noteworthy place it is today. It was seeking accreditation and was a department of the MacArthur School of Engineering, barely occupying the fourth floor of that building. I was the fortunate recipient of the efforts of several great individuals who, either by coincidence or design, appeared at just the right moment to affect my thinking.

Salient among them are Bob Anderson and Tom Spain. They embodied as different philosophies as can be produced within the field of architectural problem solving. But embracing the contrast between them became the cornerstone of my career. Later I was fortunate to be involved in complex projects with teams that included world-class architects, engineers, scientists, and specialty consultants. Most importantly, I became a part of teams that dealt with cutting-edge ideas, and the search for strategic solutions at the cutting edge of technology and social change.

Q: If you could speak to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give?

A. Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut.

Q: How would your coworkers or clients describe you?

A. Sardonic, smart, extrovert, energetic, arrogant, fair.

Q: What life adventure is still on your list?

A. Publishing the book that I have been writing for five years.

Q: What one word best describes you?

A. Juxtaposition.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.