Nihal K. de Mel
Littleton, CO 80127
I am a highly successful and experienced Project Engineering Manager delivering quality results, exceeding expectations for schedules and budgets. I am known for my outstanding engineering background, building multidisciplinary teams, monitoring and optimizing programs, and leveraging design/re-design considerations to complete projects.
I transform business plans into successfully completed projects bringing in increased revenues and opportunities for expansions.
RECENT PROJECT EXPERIENCE
Sabajo Project, Suriname, South America
I worked as the Project Engineering Manager for the design of a haul road, 30km long, to transport ore from Sabajo open pit to the existing processing facility at Merian, through the Amazon rain forest. Triangle Brick Company, Henrietta, Texas
I worked as the engineering manager for a design project for a brick manufacturing plant comprising of primary crushing, screening, extruding and material conveying. ChEMK, Russia
I worked as the engineering manager for a design project, for making BREX, in a steel manufacturing plant in Russia. This was a brownfield project to re-use Manganese dust produced in steel making. Mazarron, Spain
I was the engineering manager for a design project for re-designing and constructing a new and modern tunnel kiln in an existing tile producing plant in Spain. This was another brownfield project where modernization and efficiency were sought.
Molycorp Minerals, Inc., Project Phoenix, Mountain Pass, CA Project Manager for completing a detail design and engineering for Rare Earth processing plant to include crushing, screening, milling, flotation, filtering and tailings, and processing, involving engineering in all disciplines. Oracle Ridge Mining, Tucson, AZ
Assisted Project Manager in checking P&IDs and General plant layout and design for a gravity flow tailings line. Minefinders - Dolores Project, Mexico
I was the Project Manager for a detailed design & engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) project for a 1,500 m3/hr. Merrill-Crowe plant in Chihuahua, Mexico. PROFESSIONAL HISTORY
Newmont Mining Corporation, CO Sept. 2016 – July 6, 2018 I worked as Project Engineering Manager III to develop an Execution Plan guideline for use when executing projects company-wide. I also developed a database for lessons learned during past projects in North America, Africa, Australia, Indonesia, and South America, as an invaluable reference, for use in future projects. I reviewed and revised Project Management standards for engineering disciplines for use in future projects. I served as the Project Engineering Manager for designing a haul road to transport ore from a remote open pit in Sabajo to an existing processing facility at Merian, 30km long, through the Amazon rain forest, in Suriname. I also worked as the Project Engineering Manager for expanding the Newmont Metallurgical services laboratory located in Denver. I surveyed the existing facilities and prepared AutoCAD drawing layout options and a Scope of Work for contracting the work. In between other work, I also carried out on-site project execution reviews for the projects carried out in different regions.
Direxa Engineering LLC, CO Dec. 2014 – Sept. 2016 I worked as the Director of Engineering in building a team and managing a team of engineers, designers and drafters in completing engineering contracts in brownfield and greenfield projects. In addition to completing detail engineering design, construction supervision, commissioning and plant startup assistance is provided. The projects are international with overseas offices in Australia and Brazil. Corporate office in Lakewood, Colorado provides engineering support to all operations.
Lyntek, Inc., Denver, CO Aug. 2011 – Dec. 2014 Varied Positions: Project Engineer, Project manager, and Director of Engineering Lead a team of multi-discipline engineers and designers, a procurement group, and a scheduling and document control team with hands on daily interaction.
At Lyntek, project scopes range from preliminary economic assessments (PEA) to detail design and engineering, including procurement or procurement assistance and at times construction management or construction support and startup and commissioning assistance.
Depending on the degree of detailing required, design work is done in either 2-D AutoCAD or 3-D modeling. CadWorx software was traditionally used at Lyntek. I implemented the Autodesk based 3-D software system which includes intelligent P&IDs linked with the 3-D model and when used in conjunction with Navisworks proved to be a very powerful tool and most beneficial.
Lyntek has a full complement of engineers in all disciplines reporting to me. The engineering team typically produces Process Flow Diagrams (PFD), Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID), General Arrangement Drawings (GA) and Sectional drawings, piping orthographic and isometric drawings, Civil, Structural, Concrete, Architectural, Electrical, Instrumentation and Control designs. I also designed and instituted a QA/QC system in the company. This included designing and writing a company quality manual and a procedures manual.
Konkola Copper Mines, Konkola, Zambia (KCM) April 2008 – June 2011 Senior Project Manager (Expatriate Status)
I implemented all capital projects in underground mines and surface processing plants in Konkola Copper Mines
Designed, constructed, and commissioned a new compressed air column for the KCM underground mine shaft #1, providing compressed air distribution headers at different underground mining levels. I completed tie-ins to existing equipment. Pipe diameter 600mm. The operating pressure 10 bars.
Designed, installed and commissioned a mud pumping system to pump mud from underground water settlers to the surface at approx. 1.0 km above the lowest underground operating level. Carbon steel high pressure sch120 and sch.80 pipes were used with raised face high pressure flanges in the design. Custom designed pipe anchors used to support the pipe columns inside the underground shafts and at potential critical locations to counter water hammer forces.
Installed and commissioned plunger type positive displacement mud pumps and saved the company millions of dollars in terms of drastically reducing maintenance costs of Sulzer water pumps, used for pumping water to the surface, without which the underground mines would flood within hours.
Designed and constructed a series of underground workshops and buffer stores (for critical equipment parts) to service the underground equipment and issue specialized tools for the mechanics working in mine shafts
#1 & #3.
Designed, constructed and commissioned a system to clean underground water drain drives in KCM shaft #1, stretching over 10 km. This project was on-going at the time I left KCM.
A feasibility study was undertaken to seal seepage of water pumped from underground (approximately 300,000 m3/day) to the Kakosa stream on the surface back to underground, causing extremely unsafe conditions in underground mining operations and incurring extremely high pumping costs.
Report prepared on causes of underground power failures causing production loss and possible flooding of mine. Implementation of recommendations made in this report would safe guard the mine from future disasters.
Lyntek, Inc., Denver, CO Feb. 2006 – April 2008 Varied Positions: Project Engineer to Project Manager Managed a $7.0M project, in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, to design and construct a Silver/Gold, Merrill-Crowe extraction plant for Compañia Dolores Minera. This was a detail design & engineering, procurement and construction (EPCM) project for a 1,500 m3/hr. Merrill-Crowe gold/silver recovery plant in which I was the Project Manager. The design included a Merrill Crowe process for the production of gold and silver. Overall contracted cost was $6.0M.
All design was done using 2-D AutoCAD drawings. The project was completed within budget and on time. Encynova International Inc., Broomfield, CO May 2002 – July 2005 Production Manager
Implemented production schedules and procedures to successfully manufacture the company product range of precision metering pumps to minimize re-work or warranty issues. I ordered custom manufactured pump components, executed total quality management, communicated with manufacturers, maintained JIT delivery schedules and processed supplier invoices for payment. I also revised the manufacturing processes based on ISO 9001 guidelines and issued process documentation to validate changes and improved standards of quality in the manufacturing processes. I carried out final testing and calibrating of assembled pumps. I managed the shipping and handling of finished products.
Bateman Equipment Inc., Denver, CO April 1990 – June 2000 Varied Positions: Project Engineer and Manger Engineering Engineering/ Manufacturing:
I designed equipment (skid mounted at times) in AutoCAD 2-D and AutoCAD 3-D modeling software and back checked drawings of subordinate staff for accuracy to minimize expensive re-work. I maintained communication with designers from company’s parent office to bring about adaptability of revised designs to US market. In managing manufacturing, I ensured lean manufacture, and value added engineering in the design process. I interfaced with vendors and contract manufacturers to select best suited materials for the manufacture of pump components. I also, negotiated price and delivery following JIT guidelines. I carried out shop inspections, testing, and maintained detailed records. Submitted periodic status reports to the team and upper management for analysis and corrective action.
Served as the SME for single point of contact in the installation and commissioning of equipment. Designed SOP’s and technical documentation on all equipment manufactured and marketed, and standardized drawing office procedures to maintain ASME Y 14.5M GD&T. I provided technical support to an international customer base to resolve equipment issues expeditiously, including trouble shooting, and maintained excellent customer relationships.
Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines, Chingola, Zambia Sept. 1978 – July 1990 Varied Positions: Senior Assistant Engineer to Engineer Special Projects (Expatriate Status) I executed a $250M project to successfully complete the Tailings Leach Plant (TLP) stage III to economically recover and process tailings from old tailings dams scattered around the processing plants and convert into a revenue stream. TLP stage III was an extension to the existing Tailings Leach plant. Material from the old dams were recovered using low pressure water ring mains on top of dams to soften the material and high pressure water guns directed at the face of the dams to break the dam faces and produce a slurry. There were 12 such high pressure gun stations around the first dam collecting the free flowing slurry in pump boxes. Centrifugal pumps pumped the slurry to a set of vibrating screens to remove trash. The clean slurry was pumped back to the processing plant. The installation also included 26x80m2 horizontal belt filters, the largest single installation, under one roof, in the world at the time.
Once the project was completed, as the Engineering Superintendent at TLP, I provided vital operational services to the plant, by managing a team of 6 engineers and a crew of approximately 180 employees in contributing to reduce the production cost by 15%. Administered procurement of capital and working spares for the new plant and established policies and procedures for safe storage and issuing of spares to minimize unauthorized use and waste of scarce foreign exchange.
Bachelor of Science of Engineering (Mechanical), University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka Master of Science studies in Machine Design, University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka (graduation not completed) Industrial Engineering, Institute of Practitioners in Work Study, Organization and Methods (UK) Total Quality Management, Arapahoe Community College, Colorado Associate degree in Computer Aided Drafting, Denver Technical College, Denver, Colorado Associate degree in Applied Science, Denver Technical College, Denver, Colorado Cisco Certified Network Associate, US
Microsoft Certified Professional, US
Full Member – American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Full Member – Engineers Registration Board, Zambia