Cooperative (Coop) Education Program
1984 to 1986
The Coop program is an Internship program where participants rotate full time work with full time education. In other words, attend a semester at university full time while working full time the following semester. Through this program, Mr. Ajam worked for four semesters (roughly 2 years) with Houston Lighting and Power Company in their high voltage transmission department – foundation design. For his work, performance and graduating with honor, he earned the University of Houston Coop Excellence Award in 1986.
1987 - 1989
California / Various Locations
After obtaining a bachelor degree, Mr. Ajam moved to California to work with a geotechnical and environmental consultancy performing various roles from ground water remediation to quality control on major projects. He left his employer to go back to college and seek a Master of Science.
1990 to 1998
With a Master of Science in Engineering and Construction Management, Mr. Ajam was recruited by Exxon Chemical Company and joining them in Baytown, Texas in their Basic Chemical Technology Strategic Business Unit and later their global Central Project Management Division. While with Exxon, Mr. Ajam advanced rapidly through various roles starting with cost estimating engineer, leader of a cost estimating team, project engineer, cost control engineer, project control manager, and integrated project services manager.
1998 to 2000
In 1998, Mr. Ajam left Exxon to launch his own consultancy in Project Management and Control and immediately landed an opportunity to work on a mega petrochemical project that was being developed by an international Joint Venture in Texas. Mr. Ajam joined the project team responsible for this project.
Saudi Arabia Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)
2000 to 2005
At the end of 2000 Mr. Ajam joined Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, a step that brought him back to his native region although not his homeland. In Saudi Aramco he started in the business group for a cogeneration power project but then was shortly moved into other role, mostly working on special projects reporting for a major Project Management department. His primary roles were leading a Project Management human resource professional development team and a continuous excellence team. In addition to these roles, he was an advocate for professional Project Management and launched various training programs, most of them are still run at Saudi Aramco.
2005 - Present
Co-founder / CEO
In 2005, Mr. Ajam left Saudi Aramco and joined SUKAD as Chief Executive Officer. SUKAD is a company he co-founded with a group of friends. In less than 3 years, SUKAD has grown its reputation across the region and is currently recognized as a leader in Project Management in the Middle East with a client list including the top names in the UAE and the GCC.
Special Skills and Expertise
From the various jobs and assignments over his career, Mr. Ajam has developed special skills and areas of expertise and has been exposed to innovative and best practices in Project Management. Some of these are:
- Significant expertise with joint venture (worked on at least 3 major projects)
- Significant expertise in reimbursable cost (cost plus) projects and contracting
- A few years working on alliance type (partnering) contract
- Established a Project Support Office (similar to PMO) when the term was not even popular in the industry.
- Worked on managing multiple small projects
- Significant experience with at least three mega – world class – projects
- Unique exposure to a mega project with major modularization component
- Participated in the application of various best practices, such scope management and control, constructability, value management, and benchmarking