Transcontinental Odyssey

Rodrigo Grau arrived in Finland from Chile for the first time in 1998, due to his studies in chemical engineering.

Grau first came for a year-long student exchange along with other students but liked Finland so much that he decided to stay. He returned to Chile to continue his studies in 2001, after completing his Master’s degree first in Finland. In 2002, it was time for a comeback, this time to work on his doctoral dissertation in Finland. The dissertation was completed in 2006, at which point Grau moved to Pori to work at the current Metso Research Center.

Today, Grau works as a Vice President at the Metso Research Center. The work at the research center is diverse and forward-looking. With a workforce of around two hundred people, the research center is a unique hub of expertise in testing, process development and simulation serving the mining and metal refining industry. The center carries out
flowsheet development and technology validation in laboratory and pilot environments.

Integration into local life has been greatly facilitated by Grau’s wife, who is from Pori, and their three children.

“Satakunta, and especially Pori, in my opinion, is an ideal place for families. Distances between home, work, and recreational as well as cultural opportunities are short. Pori is just the right size”, Grau says.

Rodrigo Grau. Image: Jussi Partanen

Rodrigo Grau

The most important things in leadership:
Presence and mutual trust.

The most significant step in career:
When Grau moved to Porito join the Research Center. It has been a great journey that continues.

Carpe Diem.

Leadership is About Trust, Inclusion, Innovation and Honesty

Grau shares Finnish values when it comes to leadership. Leadership is direct, flat-hierarchical, and honest. It’s easy to work here because schedules and promises are always kept.

As a development area in Finnish leadership, Grau particularly sees the giving of feedback. Positive feedback increases motivation and also indicates being on the right track.

Presence and the ability to listen are the most important qualities of a leader. These build trust between people, which Grau sees as a continuously evolving process.

“During my time here, I’ve learned about leadership, including the importance of allowing room for innovation in an expert organization. Professionals are given certain boundaries, within which they can freely determine the direction of their steps. Freedom fosters creativity, and this is greatly appreciated elsewhere in the world as well”, Grau concludes.

Satakunta Chamber of Commerce magazine 2/2024 Management Philosophy