Interview with Jean Ghislain La Fonta, Executive Vice-President, Sixense Group
“Rounded business-minded leader with a dynamic 30+ years management and innovative career path”
Jean Ghislain La Fonta has Master’s degree in Geology, from the Paris VI University in France. In 1986 he got his Postgraduate diploma in information systems applied to Geoscience from Paris VI University, France
From 1987 – 1996, he worked as Project Engineer in SOLETANCHE Group – France. Design and development of embedded data systems for controlling and processing drilling and grouting works were part of his job.
Example of large grouting and foundation projects: Piedra del Aguila dam (Argentina), Eole and Meteor subway lines (Paris), Cairo underground, Berlin worksites and others.
In 1997 he became the founder and CEO of SOLDATA Group, a company of SOLETANCHE Group
SOLDATA is an international group providing risk mitigation solutions supported by high quality instrumentation and monitoring services. SOLDATA detects, measures and models structural, geotechnical and environmental behavior on civil engineering projects (metro construction, deep excavation, dams, highways, railways, …). Its edge is its ability to transform data into information.
Since 2017 he is Executive Vice President of SIXENSE Group, a company of SOLETANCHE FREYSSINET Group
SIXENSE is an international group with a unique offering in consulting, on-site services and data management for construction and infrastructure projects.
“Our surveillance, diagnosis and modelling capabilities enable to better understand and sustain the performance of physical assets throughout their lifecycle. To enable greater confidence and improve decision making, we are investing heavily in the digitalization of the entire infrastructure lifecycle.”
Read the interview below:
1. In your opinion, what is the state of the Bulgarian infrastructure?
In SIXENSE Group we consider infrastructure as living assets which is dealing with complex environment, stronger constraints while satisfying increasing goals and demands. In Bulgaria, like any other EU state, there are old infrastructure assets with their specific challenges to preserve and prolong their life-cycle as for on-going projects ( new infrastructure) with different one’s (environment and wild life preservation, resilience)
2. Is there much work to be done?
Infrastructure assets are not forever without proper monitoring and maintenance, so there are always work to be done, no matter if we consider new projects or we refer to an existing assets.
3. How does Bulgaria performs itself in terms of its infrastructure compared to other countries in the region?
Well Bulgaria is one of regional champion for accession EU funding related to infrastructure projects. Also on implementing such projects, therefore we are looking forward to facilitate our “know-how” in overcoming challenges for infrastructure projects.
4. Is there an area where the situation of the infrastructure objects is drastically different compared to others?
There are 2 categories of infrastructure: linear and non-linear. Linear infra here we consider transport infrastructure: road and rail and non-linear infra were we have water dams, buildings, functional facilities,etc. Both categories of structures are facing different and complex challenges and in order to optimize their management we have to supervise, diagnose , digital modelling to have a better analysis and undestanding. So yes there are different structures with different challenges.
5. Which is the better option - to remove the defects and to modernize the old infrastructure or to build it from scratch?
It really depends case by case, in Sixense Group we do “holistic approach” meaning that: we observe actual condition, we inspect by collecting different data (e.q: Satellite InSAR, sometimes by taking samples materials) we calculate using our “big data platform” BEYOND and asses the condition of old infrastructure by providing to our clients with right amount of data concerning actual condition and we propose set of solutions.
6. Recently, during the Three Seas Initiative Business Forum, which took place in Ljubljana, it was stated that the Central and Eastern European Countries needed 500 billion euros of investments by 2023 in order to reach the infrastructure level of Western Europe. How would you comment on this and is it really possible such an amount to be invested for such a short period?
Most probably, yes ,with 500 Billion Euro’s the level of infrastructure of CEE and SEE could be increased to reach the level of Western Europe, I will consider 2023 as very optimistic dead-line for such development and will forecast a bit more time.
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