Go directly to the content of the page Go to main navigation Go to research

A series of portraits of VINCI Energies employees. They hail from a whole range of backgrounds and personal career paths, and work around the world in one of the multiple business activities that allow VINCI Energies to prosper.

With VINCI Energies, Nicolas Bacos has the opportunity to pursue an international career and to take on the responsibilities to which he aspired. At 27, he is HVAC project manager at VINCI Facilities in Germany.

As a secondary school student, Nicolas Bacos could easily imagine becoming an automotive engineer. Several family members on his mother’s side, from Germany, work for Porsche and Mercedes in Stuttgart. That was before he joined the Institut national des sciences appliquées (INSA) engineering school in Strasbourg. “During my first year at INSA, I discovered power engineering,” he says. “It was of more interest to me due to the variety of jobs and the option to work anywhere in the world.”

During a specific INSA-VINCI Energies partnership event, he met the HR manager for VINCI Energies Europe, whom he contacted several months later regarding his final-year internship. This led to him joining VINCI Facilities in Mannheim, south-western Germany, in 2019. “My role was to work on optimising building energy efficiency by developing data mining tools.”

“I like teamwork involving all trades; you can see the tangible impact of it at the end.”

Before the end of his internship, Nicolas Bacos was sent to various worksites to help colleagues. “Some were construction projects, others were in the operation phase. I enjoyed the experience, and it reassured me about the choices I had made during my studies,” recalls the young engineer, now 27. In September 2019, VINCI Energies offered him a job as HVAC assistant project manager for the construction of a large school complex in Cologne.

From client to subcontractor

“That was my first time on a worksite in a position of responsibility,” he explains. “I learnt a lot about the world of work, about what a worker does on site. I also learnt how to manage subcontractors and design offices and of course how to handle the financial aspects of a project. I was never left to my own devices. My boss, the building services manager, was always there to support me. That helped boost my confidence.” 

After two years, just as a new role in northern Germany was appearing on the horizon, Nicolas Bacos asked to return to Mannheim and take up a more sedentary position. He was offered the role of HVAC project manager at Lagrange, a business unit specialising in the installation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

“I found myself on the subcontractor side, responsible for the ventilation aspects of a large industrial project for Mercedes, specifically the ventilation systems of a paint shop. I was managing a team of two back-office staff and 10 to 15 fitters. There was a lot of pressure both in terms of completion times and quality, but it was a very formative experience.”


When a new opportunity arose in March 2023 as HVAC project manager within a VINCI Facilities project development team, Nicolas Bacos seized it. “It’s the role I was aiming for. Together with 12 or so other people, including engineers, electricians, automation technicians, architects, and specialists in static equilibrium in buildings, in operation and maintenance, and in costing and project financing, I work on public-private partnership (PPP) contracts covering the construction and operation of schools, fire stations, media libraries, etc. I like this kind of teamwork involving all trades; you can see the tangible impact of it at the end,” highlights the young engineer.

His current project is “a mixed-use building for which we recommended a heating system based on reversible heat pumps with radiant floor heating and cooling. The overall carbon impact of the solution, coupled with a solar PV panel system, is much lower than a gas or district heating system.”

Optimisation and energy performance is central to the work Nicolas Bacos and his colleagues do. Since PPPs include 20 to 30-year operation contracts, VINCI Facilities teams need to choose quality materials and equipment so as to reduce maintenance costs throughout the product’s life-cycle. “I value this long-term vision as it gives our work meaning,” he notes.

Nicolas Bacos also appreciates the career-long training and support provided: “In August 2023, I will be completing a training programme to become an HVAC auditor in buildings. I’m also an international representative for the Building Solutions network, which aims to share the construction and maintenance knowhow of many VINCI Energies entities in Europe.”  He expects to continue his career within VINCI Energies, “in Germany or elsewhere; that’s the advantage of big international groups.”


Find out more