Ken Windsor - Hebron Project Procurement Manager

CurioCity Careers
17 November 2017

Ken Windsor

Hebron Project Procurement Manager

I was born/grew up in: St. John’s, NL

I now live in: St. John’s, NL

I completed my training/education at: BEng in shipbuilding at Memorial University

Describe what you do at work.

I provide the oversight of the day to day contracting of services and materials. I make sure that there is a consistency of practice between the team members. I use a lot of STEM skills but not specific information. For example, my engineering background and knowledge helps me understand what the engineers in the field need and when they ask for something I have a better understanding of what it is they are looking for. The main problem that I have to solve is figuring out how we get goods and services to the work site efficiently, at the right price, and on time. In my job the biggest decisions are around the awarding of the various contracts to our contractors or suppliers. Other members of the organization provide specifications, details, etc. of what is required. My team uses this to make decisions on who to purchase from. We have a formal bid process to help us identify and select potential contractors and suppliers. We have to make sure they are qualified to operate in our sector. My team prepares the bid documents detailing what is required and after the bids have been submitted from the potential contractors and suppliers we review and make recommendations on who should get the contract. Once the contract is awarded we oversee the administration of the contract. All this work is done as part of a team.

When I was a student I enjoyed:

How does your job affect people’s lives?

Our Projects typically follow an EPC format where E stands for engineering, P is procurement and C is construction. Once engineering is complete, construction can’t build anything until procurement gets them the services and materials that they require. Because we are a key part of the process, the project will run a lot smoother when we do our job right, and that is a positive for everyone.

What motivates you in your career?

As I said above, procurement is involved with all aspects of a project. On the engineering and construction side we have experts in various parts of the project (e.g., safety, environmental, piping, instrumentation, fabrication etc.). They specialize in their areas of expertise. Because we interface with all these groups we see all aspects of the project. We are not experts in these areas but are involved with all these different parts. Our role in helping the other parts of the project succeed is very motivational.

When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:

Describe your career path to this career.

Did I expect to be doing this job? Absolutely not! When I started out I really didn’t know much about procurement. As I did my BEng in shipbuilding at Memorial I did several work terms as part of coop program. When I graduated I worked as an Engineer in St. John’s with a very small company for about a year and then got an opportunity to move to Norway and work on an oil project there. When I arrived in Norway I was asked to take on a procurement role on a major construction site. I told them I really didn’t know what that was. They suggested I work with the guy who was responsible for procurement on that site for a couple of weeks to see if I liked it. That was 30 years ago and I’ve been in a procurement-related role ever since. It was a really good decision and fit for me. So you could say that I fell into this role as I did not even know it existed in my early days. There are constant challenges on projects. If you have a group or team of conscientious and talented individuals you can overcome all challenges. If everyone is working in the same direction with common goals you will succeed.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I’m an avid golfer in summer. I like to hike with my wife and our dog. In winter I like to snowshoe and cross country ski and go to the gym several times a week. During the winter months and especially in bad weather I’ve been known to play a few video games.

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

Be passionate about what you do. Learn everything about the job or role you are going into. And then be as good as you can be. People who are the best at what they do are always in demand. Never stop learning!

CurioCity Careers

We hope you enjoyed learning about this great STEM career! The information in this career profile was provided by this individual especially for CurioCity. We hope it helped give you a sense of what this type of job is really like.

Let’s Talk Science is pleased to provide you with this information as you explore future career options. Many careers require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Even jobs that don’t use specific STEM concepts on a day-to-day basis benefit from the skills gained through a study of STEM. People with a STEM background are very much in demand by employers across all career sectors. If you would like to learn about more careers that have a STEM connection, visit

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