Dave Gagné-Roussel, Project Manager of the Month, on Optimizing Industrial Businesses with Technological Solutions

Tetra Tech CEO Dan Batrack created our Project Manager (PM) of the Month award to honor PMs who demonstrate excellence in supporting our clients and perform projects to the highest standards of quality and fiscal discipline.

“With his positive attitude and focus on practical solutions, Dave is Leading with Science® to find clear solutions in a complex world!”

– Stephane D’Amours, head of our Quebec industrial and modern energy operations

Dave Gagné-Roussel is Tetra Tech’s March 2022 PM of the Month. He uses his mechanical engineering and management expertise to support various industrial clients to safely and efficiently optimize their facilities and operations. Dave has more than 20 years of experience in engineering and industrial plant production, and for the past 12 years, he has excelled in managing complex and critical projects for our clients. His experience includes numerous metallurgy, pulp and paper, and manufacturing projects. He is based in our Saguenay, Quebec, office.

“With his positive attitude and focus on practical solutions, Dave is Leading with Science® to find clear solutions in a complex world!” said Stephane D’Amours, head of our Quebec industrial and modern energy operations.

Dave has a Master of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa along with Project Management Professional (PMP) and Agile methodology certifications from the Project Management Institute. He was part of the inaugural class of Tetra Tech’s Leadership Academy, which prepares PMs to better manage their projects and employees, as well as enhance their leadership skills to better serve their clients.

Dave has led more than 100 projects and collaborates with our engineering and technology teams to provide our clients with best-in-class technological solutions and services. He repeatedly meets or exceeds our clients’ expectations.

“I am grateful to receive this award,” said Dave. “It shows how project management is considered a cornerstone of what we do, and how the company values its individuals and helps them thrive in what they do best and grow professionally. I cannot receive such an award without mentioning the contribution of the people on my team who support our projects year after year, so I share this recognition with them.”

We talked with Dave about how his work helps industrial clients optimize their businesses with more sustainable, innovative technological solutions.

3D imaging technology enabled Tetra Tech engineers to create this 3D representation of equipment for a client.
How does your work benefit your industrial clients?

My work helps industrial plants increase their production capacity. I help them implement the upgrades and technological tools they need to operate their plants more safely, sustainably, and efficiently. For many products that my industrial clients produce, such as aluminum, it can be very costly to halt production to make upgrades and perform necessary modifications to existing equipment. My work enables them to continue production with minimal to no interruptions while upgrades to plant operation and equipment are being made.

What are the keys to managing a successful project team?

Communicating effectively is an important key to a successful team. I wish to see everyone grow and thrive in our work, so I manage my scope of work diligently and regularly provide feedback and effective comments to all team members throughout every phase of a given project. I also believe mentorship is important, so I do not hesitate to invest my time training younger and talented engineers. Many staff members see my hands-on experience as an opportunity to expand their practical knowledge. I am grateful to work with them on these projects.

Recognizing the importance of teamwork also is an essential key to success for everyone involved. I try to spotlight my teammates because they are instrumental in all our successes. We cannot achieve outstanding outcomes on such complex and critical projects without close collaboration.

How do you build and maintain positive stakeholder relationships on complex projects?

Stakeholders are very much a part of our team in each project, so it’s important to communicate with them regularly as I would with my fellow teammates. Throughout all phases of a project—from engineering to procurement to the construction management phase—I work proactively and collaboratively with the different stakeholders involved to refine every detail on health and safety, ensure they receive quality deliverables, and organize the engineering workflow using the best tools available, such as new 3D technologies.

Throughout a project’s duration, I lead weekly meetings with stakeholders to ensure the execution is aligned with the plan, and I constantly realign the team toward a successful collaboration using a mixed approach of Waterfall and Agile project management methodologies. As a result, our clients are consistently satisfied with the work we deliver.