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Top 100 : 2012
Santo Rizzuto Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, SKM, Brisbane Electrical Engineer, University of Sydney SANTO RIZZUTO was appointed chief executive and manag- ing director of strategic consulting, engineering and project delivery firm Sinclair Knight Merz in October 2011. Rizzuto was promoted from within the ranks, having joined in 1997 and led SKM s entry into the South American market, culminating in the acquisition of Minmetal in Chile. In 2006, he became SKM s global client manager for BHP Billiton and was later appointed general manager of SKM s Mining & Metals busi- ness. SKM s total revenues for 2010/11 were more than A$1.2 billion. SKM recently completed several important strategic mergers: with transport planning consultancy Colin Buchanan & Partners; architectural and engineering firm S2F; water en- gineering consultancy IRH; and acquisition of rail engineering assets from Mouchel. Rizzuto said influential engineers need a combination of three broad skill sets -- technical skills, people skills and busi- ness skills, which vary in importance over a career. He said: "As engineers we are predisposed to the technical, and as our education systems reinforce that predisposition, we tend to pay less attention to the development of the non-technical skills that are vital to an influencing role." Rizzuto argues that people skills are more important than the others. These are the hardest to "learn" because human interactions are by their nature varied and complex -- there is no manual or set formula that can deal with all possibilities. However, he said: "There is no way you are going to be able to influence others without first having a good hard look at yourself. Self-awareness is the key to being influential. Under- standing how your own strengths and weaknesses impact on a particular situation and then being prepared to adapt your approach accordingly is a good start." 40 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2012 (l-r) John Grill, Guy Templeton, Santo Rizzuto, Peter Bailey and John Douglas.