- The key to every professional success lies in intellectual “depth” of the man, and I would add that my job also requires courage. I do not fear life, the things I do or any defeat, because I believe that that can not happen to me. I always describe myself as unrealistic optimist. Even when FC Zvezda loses 2:0 five minutes before the final whistle, I truly believe that it can win 3:2. On the other hand, sometimes I can be childish, but I love that feature of mine because I realized that all my creativity, which is also the case with all imaginative people, comes from that characteristic. The only difference between me now and me as a child is that now I do not “play” for the sake of playing, but to win and be the best – says Dragan Buđevac, the Chief Executive of “Delta Invest“ and professor at Faculty of Civil Engineering in Belgrade, who created more than 5,000 engineers, wrote 22 books, over 200 science and expert works, drew plans for at least 250 facilities (exclusive of small ones) and had another 500 built in the country and all over the world during his 30-year career.
The CV of professor Dragan Buđevac, former dance instructor and great lover of art, who was included in the list of the 50 greatest builders by Italian magazine “Materija“ in 2006, is written in short on some 50 pages. He is not arrogant, on the contrary, he is very funny and relaxed, but he admits that he likes to point finger at “his facility” and boast in front of his friends.
- It is not real boasting, I only like to share my joy with others and, just like a kid, I love when I am loved. But, for the time being, I am only sure that I am loved by my mother, daughter and friends – he says that with the smile and adds that “evaluations” are always desirable and needed, “if for no other reason, then for the sake of self-confirmation”.
His business and creative work is very rich. Long is the list of facilities that he drew plans for and whose construction he coordinated, but some of the most important are: Business-Sports Center in Tuzla (16,000 square meters), the building of RO ”Medifarm“, production hall RO ”Radulaška“, the buildings of “Zepter“ in Belgrade, Warsaw and Athens, New Opera building in Moscow, sports complex in Soči (Russia), TC ”Milenijum“ in Belgrade, automobile showrooms “FIAT“, ”HONDA“ and ”BMW“ in Belgrade, large number of “MAXI“ supermarkets in Belgrade, ”HVB“ bank in Belgrade, the building of PINK television in Belgrade, business buildings of “Delta Holding“ and ”Delta Sport“ in Belgrade, wooden complex in Novokuznjeck, water factory ”MIONI“, large number of antenna poles (...), but, as he points out, the crown of his career is “DeltaCity“ in Belgrade and construction of the University Village in Block 67 in New Belgrade, which is underway. Even the building of Yugoslav Drama Theater in Belgrade is the product of his creativity – the gift to the city in which he educated and where he lives, since he elaborated the steel structure project for free.
He is laureate of numerous certificates and awards, and certainly the most precious is “BPB International Trophy“, which he got in 2006, as CEO of ”Delta Invest“, for the world’s best interior with technical innovations for the business building of “Delta Sport“ in Belgrade. He was declared the manager of the year in field of civil engineering in 2007. This charismatic “creative guy” also got awards from his students – he won the title of the best assistant and professor at Faculty of Civil Engineering in Belgrade on several occasions.
- My profession is an inseparable part of me. When I was younger, the records were what motivated me. Therefore, I was always trying hard to make everything I do a record. Then I realized that records are not adequate guides, because there will always be someone who will draw plans for bigger and more beautiful buildings and have them built quicker. Nowadays, my students are my greatest motive and they feel and respect that. I am not a mild professor. On the contrary! But, I do not keep my knowledge for myself, but share it with them and that is why the students love me. Every lecture of mine ends with slides with the facilities that fell down for various reasons and, every time, we discuss the causes of the fall. Later, when I meet them somewhere, it is interesting that they remember that part of my stories the best. I do my best to teach them the profession, but they also get the life lessons from me. I am the advocate of logics, and I tell them that they should never look only at one direction. In order for a man to become a good civil engineer, much more than graduation diploma is needed. He must know architecture excellently, as well as installations and many other things. Everybody learns something, all the time, and I upgrade my knowledge all the time. I am constantly searching for the missing part in my puzzle. And I can see that these missing parts are best to be found through practice –Buđevac explains and adds that his good mood significantly contributes to that mutual love.
His average mark at post-graduate studies was 10. He became the head of the department when he was only 35. When former Yugoslavia disintegrated, he was the only PhD in field of metal structures in the country, so that it held lectures at several schools. Until recently, he had been teaching 8 subjects at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Belgrade.
- My father was a well-known person in the world of civil engineering. However, in order not to be in his shade, I took the opposite direction – metal structures. I did not want to be a son of the famous father and, therefore, I turned to something that has nothing to do with the construction of roads. Thus, accidentally, one successful career was born. My father was my great support in everything I did and I had some very difficult time when he passed away, although, when he died, I was already a mature man – says Buđevac and points out that he grew up on the building sites, so that he likes to work, sit and hang out with the “construction workers” even today.
He loves freedom, treats the excess positive energy as his favorite characteristic. It is very difficult to see him in “down” phase. He is hyperactive and he always craves for “bonus hour”.
- I love life and I remember only the good things. I am not the man who always works. I always read 3 books at the same time. One of them is a psychological, the second is some thriller, while the third is usually a historical novel. I go in for sports, I hang out with my friend, but there is not enough time for me to do everything that I would love to. I travelled all around the world and I would like to do that one more time. It seems to me that my time is about to come, I currently write 3 books, but I have no time to finish them – says professor and adds that he is a great lover of music and that he loves to visit good city parties.
He has never managed to live in disharmony with himself.
- I am a romantic person and an idealist, so that I am not the kind of person for huge compromises in life. I love the feeling of freedom. I am the advocate of freedom of thought, decision, behavior... I am very independent in what I do, I do not work under pressure, but it should not be forgotten than we “civil engineers” are always the “service shop” for the architects. Therefore, I am very sorry that I am not a bit younger so that I could study architecture. I would like, as world-famous architect Kalatrava, to have diplomas from both faculties and then let myself to my imagination “to the fullest”. By merging these two profession, Kalatrava created such facilities that the man can only wonder how and where they stand.
– professor explains and points out that his next aim is to have a “green building“, that is, an ecological building that uses renewable energy sources, built in Serbia.
Many people admire him, but he admires some people too. Leonardo da Vinci is his favorite person.
- I have always admired the artists and loved to hang out with them. I read much, but sometimes I am fascinated with the people, disregarding their profession, who made some incredible qualitative and intellectual leaps and, in that way, changed the world. I see such people as God’s gifts to the mankind. I do not think much what will happen after I am gone, but I admit that I would love to be remembered as one of them, of course, at the local level – says professor and adds that he would gladly exchanged the role in a legend for “the love of his life” since, as he explains, he can not find it ever since he divorced more than one decade ago.
Profesor Buđevac is also a great dad. He has a daughter who he, as he says, simply adores.