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AACE Conference & Expo 2023: A Dialogue with Cleopatra Experts

The Annual AACE Conference & Expo is set to occur between June 11 – 13, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois, The US. The event will continue the tradition of creating an environment for project controls experts to blend in and connect and knowledge-share on industry-leading conversations.

Cleopatra Enterprise will join the AACE event just like in the last years, with a bigger and passionate team. As the event date gets closer, we would like to get insights from the team and hear about their expectations.

Read the interview below with Richard van Tricht (Director of Business Development and Strategy), Stefan Bakker (Senior Vice President Business) and Babette Schep (Senior Cost Engineer) from the Cleopatra Team.

Personal Ties and Expectations from AACE 2023

Hello all, it is great to see you together here today. You are about to exhibit at the AACE Conference & Expo 2023, and we want to hear about your plans and expectations. What makes the AACE event special for Cleopatra Enterprise and you personally?

Richard van Tricht: Our relationship with the AACE is based on long-term collaboration and a passion for cost engineering. As a member of the Certification body and chairman of the exam committee DACE Certified Cost Engineer Course, I have a strong passion for the profession.

Stefan Bakker: I have been attending the AACE annual meeting for 8 years in a row now. It has always been a great event for meeting industry experts and project controls specialists. I also love catching up with other “regulars”.

Babette Schep: The AACE event is where many cost and project controls experts will meet and share insights and developments. Looking forward to learning from these insights, and also sharing the new updates within Cleopatra Enterprise with people.

The project controls field is majorly known as a male-dominated world, so I look forward to meeting other women in the field to share experiences and learn from each other. It is great to see how AACE also stresses this topic by providing a space for a panel discussion about women in project controls. I’m really interested in going there!

It sounds like everyone has different personal connections to the event. What are your main expectations from this year’s AACE Conference & Expo?

Rvt: Most of our AACE connections know us as an established company for Cost Engineering & Cost Estimating Software, Academy, and Professional Services. Joining this event, we are launching Cleopatra Enterprise as the Project Cost ManagementTotal Turnaround Management Platform. So, I am interested to see how people will receive our launch and connect with us.

SB: I expect that with the COVID restrictions being fully behind us now, this year will witness a lot of interest and participants again. As Cleopatra Enterprise, we are going all-in and are excited to showcase our total project and turnaround management solution!

BS: It will be my first time at the AACE Conference & Expo, so I believe many professionals will share their wisdom and experiences. Therefore, I hope to return to the Netherlands with new insights on developments in the field to execute further improvement steps to Cleopatra’s project lifecycle. Next to this, I expect other experts to get inspired by the latest updates within our project and turnaround management solution.

In addition to the business-related expectations, will it be your first time in Chicago?

SB: I have visited many cities throughout the US over the years, but Chicago will be a first for me. I hear good stories, so looking forward to visiting the city.

BS: It will also be my first time in Chicago. I have heard that the view of the lake and the architecture is great there. I hope also to spend some time in the city and try the famous deep-dish pizza.

RvT: I am looking forward to visiting Chicago, and the US in general, as it will be my first time there. Later on, I will continue my North American journey with Elmer in Canada to exhibit at PetroChem Conference & Expo in Sarnia, 20-21 June.

Technological Developments and Digitalization in Project Controls

Are you looking forward to connecting with people based on emerging topics in the industry? If so, what are they?

SB: Obviously, the energy transition is something that most businesses are involved in one way or another, so that will be an important topic. Besides that, I also expect more focus on maintenance and turnarounds, as these are high-cost, high-risk events that require solid project management. I look forward to connecting with people and discussing how the Cleopatra platform can be used in these areas.

BS: The world around us is changing faster than ever before. Amongst others, technological developments enable efficient, effective, and secure integration between teams. So, I am interested to hear how technological developments are used. Additionally, I am excited to showcase how Cleopatra Enterprise has improved as a platform for effective project management.

RvT: The digitalization journey is speeding up rapidly with integrated tooling, key data requirements for the next generation, and the smart use of AI. Clients and contractors must work together to improve the project & turnaround performance. Hence, integrated tooling is essential for pursuing substantial efficiency gains on cost & schedule goals.

Especially for emerging topics in this challenging economic environment and delivery timelines, everybody is welcome to connect and explore Cleopatra’s solutions.

Why do you think people should visit the Cleopatra booth? How would you relate this to our solutions in Cleopatra?

SB: People should come to say hi to us at Booth #214 & #313 to become aware of the valuable and substantial developments in Cleopatra over the last year. We are introducing a new look & feel of Cleopatra with new modules and expanded coverage of our CESK database. Whether you want to improve your cost estimating, cost control, benchmarking, turnaround management, or all – we are excited to demonstrate Cleopatra’s possibilities. We still see that our approach of combining project controls expertise, education/training, data, and a professional software platform is a winning combination that’s unique in the market.

BS: In today’s world, there is a lot of information and data available. However, it is important to connect the right data with the right people to benefit from the information. Cleopatra offers different modules that make it possible to share the data between departments, as well as additional integration options with other tools that share the right information between teams on time.

RvT: Cleopatra Enterprise is an established, privately owned company with a passion for improving the project performance of our business partners already for more than 25 years. Our ambition is to be a trustful business partner by building and maintaining long-term relationships. With our modular Project & Turnaround Software Platform, Academy, and Professionals, we have all the tools & capabilities in-house to meet and exceed expectations.

Lastly, Elmer and Babette will give a presentation on ‘’Revolutionizing Total Project Management’’. Could you briefly explain what it will be about?

BS: In today’s competitive business environment, effective project management is crucial. We will showcase how Cleopatra Enterprise offers an integrated platform to manage the CAPEX Projects and Shutdowns, Turnarounds & Outages (STOs), providing real-time visibility into project progress, budget, and resource allocation. Our viewers will learn how our software ensures that decisions are made timely with the right information available.

So people should join us to learn more in detail and earn CEUs!

Well, thank you very much for your time. You all seem very well prepared and eager to attend the event. I wish you the best of luck, and of course, have fun!


What is AACE Conference & Expo 2023 about?

About AACE Established in 1956, AACE International is the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering. The premier annual event for total cost management and project controls professionals to gather for educational seminars, networking, technical presentations, and of course, product solution shopping.

Register now to join us!

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