Select Page


Evolution of the Owner’s Role in Program Management – Activity: Engineering (#11 in the series Evolution of the Owner’s Role in Program Management)
By Robert Prieto

Traditional Owner Role:

Engineering management and leadership of study and initial scoping activities; packaging of engineering work packages for execution by others; review of intermediate design products and direction on specific design features.

Owner Role Under Program Management:

Engineering management and leadership of study and initial scoping activities with extensive involvement of Program Manager’s functional team. Review and acceptance of programmatic engineering design standards and concurrence on third party engineering design resources above threshold levels. Quality assurance reviews of Program Manager’s design processes, procedures and standards to assure agreed to engineering design standards are being employed and defined scope being comprehensively addressed.

Program Manager’s Role Under Program Management:

Increased input of standardization, consolidated procurement and constructability considerations into definitional and trade-off studies conducted under the Owner’s leadership but employing enhanced sets of planning tools.
Packaging, procurement and management of engineering work packages to be provided by third parties in addition to work performed directly by the Program Manager.

Third party engineering procurements above a threshold level require Owner concurrence. Program Manager provides consolidated resource management in constrained situations, design processes, standards and procedures to be utilized across all projects comprising the program. Interface management takes on increased importance as does assurance of comprehensive implementation of programmatic engineering standards.

Robert Prieto, Senior Vice President

Robert Prieto is senior vice president for Fluor, where he leads strategy for Fluor’s Industrial and Infrastructure group. Mr. Prieto focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide.

Prior to joining Fluor, Bob served as chairman of Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. As head of PB’s board of directors, he was responsible for overseeing management performance, establishing top-level policies, and ensuring the firm’s continued long term success.

He is a member of the executive committee of the National Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a member of the board of directors of the Business Council on International Understanding, a member of the board of the Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation, and co-founder and member of the board of the Disaster Resource Network. He currently serves on the National Research Council’s committee framing the challenges on Critical Infrastructure Systems. Until 2006 he served as one of three U.S. presidential appointees to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and served as chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of The World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the board of trustees of Polytechnic University of New York, and was previously selected as alumni of the year by its New York Chapter.

He has had an executive sponsorship role in the World Trade Center Transportation Hub; West Coast Rail Modernization; Train Protection and Warning System; Level 3 Communications Long Haul Network and Superconducting Super Collider.

Prieto holds a master of science in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of New York and a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from New York University.

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) provides services on a global basis in the fields of engineering, procurement, construction, operations, maintenance and project management. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor is a FORTUNE 500 company with revenues of $14.1 billion in 2006. For more information, visit

Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App