Nelson Silva is a senior project manager in Concrete Systems at Sika in Zurich, where he is responsible for the development of new products and technologies. He grew up in Porto, Portugal. His passion for concrete technology began while pursuing his PhD at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. He joined Sika in 2019.
He grew up in Porto, Portugal, an architecturally rich coastal city with 1.7 million people. Growing up in a culture which valued resourcefulness so highly had a big influence on Silva’s career choices, along with his father, who worked at a refinery in Porto. "I had the chance to visit his worksite several times, which I believe contributed to my general interest in chemistry."
His passion for concrete technology began while pursuing his PhD at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. After six years as a scientist at Cement Betong Institutet (CBI), he joined Sika Sweden in 2019 as R&D Manager.
"I have always had highly supportive colleagues across the whole Sika Group.”"
Asked about his best experiences during his time so far at Sika, he says emphatically: "The collaboration opportunities!" Silva has worked with many different company functions such as procurement, operations, sales teams, and more. “This has enabled me to gain valuable insight into the world of Sika and the complexity of our company. This knowledge is extremely useful for my daily work as a project manager.”
"Sika offers countless career opportunities in a multicultural environment. My goal is to develop products for easy application that enable the design of more sustainable and durable concrete."
He has also served in customer-facing roles, which posed interesting challenges for him, not only technically but also from a communications perspective. “Luckily, I have always had highly supportive colleagues across the whole Sika Group.”
Collaboration is naturally core to the famous Sika Spirit, whose meaning changes depending on who you ask, but Silva defines it as “the freedom to create responsibly! This means working ethically, striving to satisfy the needs of our customers without ever compromising the environment or each other, and always promoting a culture of open dialogue.”
As for the future, retiring on the beach with a glass of Douro and coal-grilled sardines is a long way off. The 40-something sees himself continuing to learn inside the company, not only professionally, but also personally.
He added, “I want to keep creating long-lasting innovative technologies and products that have less impact on our environment and greater impact in our society. Essentially, to do more with less!” They say you are what you eat, and Silva’s aim of doing more with less is the perfect work and life philosophy for someone raised as a “Triperio.”