RVA spotlight – meet Chris Long

Chris Long RVA Group

Name and role:

Senior project manager

How long have you been with RVA Group?

Eight years

Describe your career journey before that?

After completing a modern apprenticeship – alongside an Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) and Higher National Certificate (HNC) – I began my career working for a mining company as a qualified mechanical technician.

Here, I studied part time for a degree in mechanical engineering, which led me into management roles looking after critical underground mine infrastructure. As I worked my way up the ranks, I was responsible for completing large scale schemes which also exposed me to the world of project management and the CDM frameworks – having to fulfil CDM coordinator and client duty holder roles.

From that point, I ventured into the world of decommissioning and demolition, with RVA.

What did you want to be, when you were younger?

An RAF fighter pilot.

And what do you think is the key skill you need to be a successful senior project manager?

Be realistic and respectful.

What’s your biggest RVA achievement to date?

My recent completion of a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

And the most memorable thing you’ve learnt during your career?

I have learnt many things in my career. For example, technical information is useful and very much context specific, while people present the hardest information to manage as they come with a variety of contexts and a range of bias. I have found that being a good listener – as well as being able to gauge the context and understand the pressures people are under – yields the most rewarding results.

Describe your dream project:

One where all stakeholder objectives are in alignment.

RVA Group is celebrating 30 years in business, with a truly global reputation for decommissioning excellence. Why do you think the company has earned such a stand-out position in industry?

As we’ve grown, we’ve continued to ensure people and the environment are the number one priority within all our operations. This creates high standards and execution plans that are realistic.

Of all the sectors RVA operates in, which is the most exciting right now? Carbon heavy industries. With the world focusing on sustainability and decarbonisation, it brings opportunities for new technologies to emerge and replace existing facilities. This brings many challenges for clients, with safety and costs being some of the harder things to manage. However, this is exactly where RVA excels.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give to an organisation preparing for a decommissioning project?

Know your assets and the capabilities of your supply chain to serve the needs of the project. The earlier this is known, the more options there are with any asset retirement project.

What makes you tick outside of work?

Challenges that are physically and/or mentally tasking.

If you could be given a plane ticket for anywhere, where would you choose?


Which one word would you hope colleagues would use to describe you?