Throughout February, the world has been captivated by extraordinary displays of athleticism, dedication, and heart at the Winter Games in South Korea. As Oracle Construction and Engineering roots on these incredible Olympians from around the globe, we are also thrilled to highlight another impressive Olympic feat at this year’s Oracle Industry Connect: the transformation of Los Angeles in preparation for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which manages the second-largest public transportation system in the US, is planning $160 billion in transportation upgrades as it readies the city to host the 2028 Olympics. Julie Owen, deputy executive officer, program management for Los Angeles Metro, will join us at Oracle Industry Connect this April in New York City to explore how her agency is leveraging technology to promote innovation and enhance the delivery of those and other projects. Key to such efforts is enterprise scheduling that provides project, portfolio, and program-level performance information for executives and constituents. In addition, the agency’s centralized solution enables tracking of transit project risks, while capital project lifecycle management solutions integrate with corporate financials and executive dashboard analytics to ensure project delivery on time and within budget.
Julie is no stranger to extraordinary and inspiring projects, as you will soon see. We recently sat down with her to discuss her career path and background.
What path led you to your current role?
JO: Throughout my whole career, with the exception of the time I spent at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), I have been in the construction industry. I’ve worked in so many different capacities in the industry — I’ve been an owner’s representative, an owner, a construction contractor, and a claims consultant. Wearing all of these different hats has really helped me get to where I am because I learned how to view projects broadly. I like to think of it as being able to speak different languages when it comes to project management. In my current role, there’s a lot of collaboration with different departments when it comes to planning, staffing, and project delivery. Without the range of skills I developed early in my career, I would not be equipped to take on the kind of work that I’m doing now.
Other than your current work, what’s the most interesting initiative or project you’ve worked on?
JO: That’s an easy one. Hands down, the most interesting project I had the opportunity to work on was the Curiosity rover program at JPL, which I worked on for six years. In my role there, I was responsible for scheduling all of the mechanical systems on the Mars rover (Ed Note: Wow!). I worked with 70 different managers as they designed, delivered, and tested flight hardware before the launch. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling when I finally saw the rover land on Mars. Everything went exactly like clockwork through the whole process— exactly how it was designed and planned.
What’s the best advice—personal or professional—you’ve ever received?
JO: Work on your credentials. In this industry, you should get experience as both a contractor and an owner. As an owner, it’s easy to oversee the people who are doing the work, but when you flip those roles, it’s a whole different world. That has forever changed my philosophy.
If you were to ask me the best advice I would give, I would say: “Follow your passion in your pursuits and be the example you want others to emulate.”
Many other innovators and big thinkers will join Julie at Oracle Industry Connect to share their stories of successful business transformation. Visit the event site to learn more about our full program and to register to attend.
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