London — Bentley Systems, Incorporated presented J.P. (Peter) Blake, director, Project Delivery Group for Hatch Chile, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Blake was recognized for his exceptional vision, numerous career achievements, leadership, and effectiveness as a change agent, having tirelessly advocated throughout his career for improving infrastructure workflows through the better application of advanced technologies. Equally important, he was honored as a great friend and mentor to the infrastructure community at large.
Blake has served Hatch for more than four decades, playing a key role in its initial forays into CAD implementation and then 3D modeling, as well as managing assignments in equipment design, project engineering, and project management. Hatch is an employee-owned professional services firm that provides consulting, information technology, engineering, process development, and project and construction management to the mining, metallurgical, energy, and infrastructure sectors. Hatch has six decades of project experience in more than 150 countries, 10,000 people in 65 offices, and currently manages over $35 billion in projects.
Randy McMeekin, Hatch’s managing director of Engineering, said, “Peter is one of the most visionary and innovative people that we’ve had in the company. To me, he’s been a trusted advisor and a great mentor to this day.”
In recalling their work together in the late ’90s on a project for Stillwater Mining, McMeekin remarked, “He had the vision that to achieve schedule, we could go with a very lean engineering approach – that is, we would not make any paper deliverables. Against a lot of resistance from the project team, he drove us to the point where we actually built an entire smelter from a 3D model. That was true innovation.”
McMeekin continued, “I think many of the visionary thoughts that Peter had 30 years ago are now standard in the industry. Peter saw it a long time ago, that the world needed data and a 3D environment, that software was always getting better and bandwidth was always going to get better.”
Commenting on his long business relationship with Blake, Bentley Systems Senior Vice President Rob Whitesell said, “Peter is always thinking about what is the next big idea, how we can apply technologies from different areas to answer an engineering problem. He breaks that down in a way that is really easy for us to understand and is a great partner to work with. Moreover, he is a very warm individual, very personable. Peter is the kind of person who will take you into his home for dinner – definitely a relationship person. It’s always been a big part of doing business with him.”
Fiatech Director Ray Topping said about Blake’s many contributions to Fiatech and its work transforming the world’s infrastructure delivery and operations, “Peter has been active on the Fiatech board of directors for many years, dating back to before I became the director five years ago and served with Peter on the board. In 2012 and 2013, Peter led the Fiatech organization as board chairman, and during that time we developed and published our three-year strategic plan, delivered many industry advancements in our Fiatech projects, and had strong membership growth. His inspirational leadership and inclusive approach brings companies together, even competitors, for the greater good of the capital projects industry, for which he has tremendous passion.”
In presenting the award, Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley said, “Through his steadfast confidence in advanced technology to drive significant improvement in work processes, and with remarkable vision that has kept him one step ahead of the crowd, Peter Blake has been an effective change agent for our industry as a whole. But even more than that, he has been instrumental in influencing technology companies – including Bentley Systems – to further improve our offerings, patiently guiding us and helping us understand how we could improve product features and functionality. More importantly, he taught us why we should do it, emphasizing all the while that more advanced technology was needed ‘yesterday!’ For this, and for all Peter Blake has done through his important contributions to improving quality of life through infrastructure, he well deserves our Lifetime Achievement Award. Thank you, Peter Blake.”
Peter Blake said, “I am honored to have been selected as the recipient of this award, and am deeply humbled by all of the kind words expressed about me. What hasn’t been said is that my work seeking opportunities to drive improvements in an industry whose future is perennially made brighter thanks to advances in technology has been an exciting journey for me. I particularly enjoyed working with technology companies like Bentley that were willing to listen to industry needs and actively seek creative solutions to filling them. My thanks go to all who have stood with me as we forged ahead with change for the better.”
During his more than 40 years with Hatch, Peter Blake has been instrumental in championing and guiding the firm’s transition to CAD and later 3D modeling on a global basis. He also has had managing assignments in equipment design, project engineering, and project management. His career experience includes projects in a broad range of areas, from feed systems, power trains, refractories, and off-gas systems to hot metal and slag handling systems for high power electric smelting furnaces, and the design and installation of hydrometallurgical works. Blake served as chairman of Fiatech for two years beginning in May of 2012, advising its board of advisors in all aspects of the organization, including strategic planning and project selection and funding. Blake holds a degree in engineering from the University of Waterloo.