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Meet Luiz Rubiao of Radix Engineering and Software in Memorial

Today we’d like to introduce you to Luiz Rubiao.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Luiz. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I studied Chemical Engineering at the Military Institute of Engineering, in Rio de Janeiro (from 1983 to 1987). In 1986, I worked as an intern in an engineering design company in Rio de Janeiro. A year later, I interned for Exxon in Brazil. After graduating in 1987, I decided to further my studies for my master’s degree at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In the meantime, I started working as a free agent for a recently founded engineering company.

When I was concluding my dissertation, I decided to start a new engineering company (Chemtech – 1989) with two colleagues. We faced a very tough decade (the 90’s), but we were able to grow and draw attention from some multinational companies. After a few months of negotiation, in 2001, Siemens acquired 51% of the company and I kept working for Chemtech. First (from 2001 to 2008), as a Siemens partner. In 2008, Siemens bought the rest of the shares and, simultaneously, some organizational changes took place. After two years with the new organization, I started to feel somewhat not aligned with the new bosses and decided to leave Siemens and start a new company.

Radix was founded in March 2010. The plan was to take advantage of a combination between software and engineering. Radix means root in Latin. The idea was exactly this: to return to the portfolio we developed with Chemtech during the 90’s, combining software and engineering. And we are doing this right now with all the challenges brought to the table by the Digital Revolution and by Industry 4.0.

In 2013, we decided to explore the American market. We opened Radix US in 2014 and inaugurated our office in Houston in 2015. In parallel, we developed a relationship with the University of Houston and Texas A&M in order to attract some engineering talents to our company. Our main customers in the US are ExxonMobil, Nalco Champion, Georgia Pacific, and Kinder Morgan.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely not. During the last 30 years, we faced a sequence of crisis in the Brazilian market. We learned how to survive, but it’s never been easy. We started working primarily for the Oil & Gas market. The Oil industry has always been a leader in terms of the use of computational tools. However, some other verticals have quickly developed new tools and concepts and challenged the Oil industry status. Nowadays, the Oil & Gas industry is discussing what will be the new face of their computational systems.

The biggest challenge for us was to reinvent Radix and move from a company with two different types of business and two different teams (software and engineering) into a Digital Revolution company with a fully integrated work involving both the software and the engineering teams.

Another important challenge was to develop a full HR strategy to attract engineering and software talents the same way we always did in the Brazilian market.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Radix Engineering and Software story. Tell us more about the business.
Our company has over 500 people in the organization with offices in the United States, Brazil, and Canada. We serve various industry segments and try to combine multidisciplinary teams in order to solve our customers’ problems. We have been awarded as the Best Company to Work for in Rio de Janeiro (according to the Great Place to Work Institute methodology) four times in the last seven years. And our plan is to grow the company in Houston and have the same recognition from our American employees.

We came to Houston a few years ago and we’ve always felt welcomed and a part of this community. We are anxious to get more business, to grow, and to become even more a part of this family.

Right now, all of us are facing this dramatic situation related to the unprecedented weather conditions. We are all suffering and trying to think about ways to help Houston get back on track ASAP.

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