We have hand picked some of the leading figures within the industry to judge this year's awards. Find out a bit more about each of our judges below.
Andrew Boagey is a railway engineering consultant who has worked in the industry for more than 30 years. He has contributed to many interesting railway projects, in the UK and abroad, leading teams of British and French railway engineers on the Chanel Tunnel Rail Link, Crossrail, High Speed 2 and Crossrail 2.
He is currently Chair of the Railway Engineers’ Forum, which brings together the voices of all the railway professional institutions: their primary message being the importance of strong professional training for young people.
Andrew is also Vice Chair of the Railway Civil Engineer’s Association, which he describes as an excellent way to remain in contact with a network of past and present colleagues, as well as to be involved with the management of professional training. Andrew also serves on the Institution of Civil Engineer’s Transport Expert Panel.
Bill Reeve is Commercial Director at Transport Scotland, leading major commercial projects and transactions, with a current focus on the Smart and Integrated Ticketing programme across all public transport.
He has more than thirty years of experience of the passenger and freight transport industry, working in British Rail, the privatised rail industry, and as Director of Project Sponsorship at the Strategic Rail Authority prior to joining Transport Scotland to establish its new rail team, following the devolution of rail powers to the Scottish Parliament in 2005. Bill recently led the successful procurement of the Caledonian Sleeper and ScotRail franchises.
His career has included front line production management; rail freight business development; policy and strategy development; management of franchise contracts; and major rail project sponsorship including new railways, rolling stock and service developments.
Bill has recently been appointed as Independent Chairman of the new Rail North Partnership Board, a part time secondment alongside his Transport Scotland role. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and recently served as Chairman of its Railway Division.
Chris Fenton is chairman of the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) following a career that has spanned transport, infrastructure and technical services with a particular emphasis on working at the private-public sector interface and in safety critical industries.
His experience in rail also covers his role as chief executive of RSSB, as a director of the Tube Lines board and at Amey, the major infrastructure contractor and consultant. Previous roles include BSI, after an early career in chemicals at Courtaulds. He was also a non-executive director with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
The common themes across his career have been driving change, developing new technology in traditional sectors and managing in complex environments. He graduated from Cambridge in Natural Sciences and has an MBA from Manchester Business School.
David Clarke, as Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), focuses on representing members interests in the important areas of safety, technical standards, technical strategy, research and innovation.
David is a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers with over 30 years rail industry experience. Prior to joining RIA he was the Innovation Director at RSSB where he was responsible for the cross-industry Future Railway Programme, which is helping to deliver the industry Rail Technical Strategy and supported a number of switch and crossing innovations.
His earlier career includes being Deputy Director, Rail Technical at the Department for Transport, prior to which he was a Director for two of the major rail infrastructure contractors having started his career with British Rail. He has been responsible for large operational and project delivery teams, securing major contracts, corporate strategy and business development and, more recently for technical strategy and innovation. As an Engineer he has been responsible for structures and permanent way design, installation and maintenance, he has managed all railway engineering disciplines including command and control, electrification and the technical specification of rolling stock. He was heavily involved in the development of the UK Rail Technical Strategy.
Farha Sheikh heads up the Department for Transport’s Rail’s digital team – leading on the delivery of projects such as mobile connectivity, as well as acting as sponsor for Network Rail’s digital railway programme.
A chartered electrical engineer, Farha has spent her career within the railways. Training as a rolling stock engineer, she has worked for Adtranz (now Bombardier), Railtrack, HMRI, and ORR. She also had a four-year spell with the European Commission developing rail legislation.
Farha has been with the Department for Transport for several years, firstly leading the technical policy development and implementation for signalling and communications, driving forwards the Department’s strategy on ERTMS including on major projects such as Intercity Express rolling stock and Thameslink.
Taking that involvement one step further, Farha now leads the rail digital team within the Department’s Network Services Directorate.
Francis How is the Chief Executive of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, which works worldwide to support the professional development of train control and communications engineers, and thereby help to ensure the safety and efficiency of railways. Francis is responsible for directing and managing the IRSE’s resources so as to meet its objectives, and to provide the Institution with leadership for the implementation of its policies and strategies.
Formerly, Francis was Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association, a role which included overseeing and managing RIA’s involvement in technical matters of relevance to suppliers, including participation in the development of the long-term technical strategy for the mainline rail network in Great Britain. As a result, Francis is a member of many cross-industry rail committees and groups, including membership of the UK’s ERTMS Programme Control Board and ERTMS Systems Body.
Francis also works on a various cross-industry groups, such as the ERTMS Expert Systems Group and Routes into Rail, and he chaired the Steering Group for the first international Stephenson Conference on rail research in 2015.
Ian Prosser is the Chief Inspector of Railways and also Director, Railway Safety at the Office of Rail Regulation. He is responsible for the work of the Railway Safety Directorate, which strives to ensure duty-holders in the railway industry manage health and safety risks effectively and thus comply with their statutory duties. The Secretary of State appointed him to the Board of ORR with effect from 26 September 2008.
Ian was educated at Imperial College where he attained a first class honours degree in chemical engineering, followed by a Master of Philosophy in control engineering and operations research at Cambridge University. He has worked in safety critical industries for more than 34 years: originally in the chemical pharmaceutical and automotive industries, where the roles performed spanned a wide spectrum from works/production management to project and technology management, delivering improvements in safety and quality.
Prior to joining ORR, Ian spent eight years in the rail industry, working for Amey Rail and Amey Operations, as both technical director and QuEnSH (Quality, Environmental and Safety & Health) director, and then Metronet Rail, where he had the leading role in safety management.
Jon Hesmley has worked in the rail industry for over 25 years, joining British Rail as an Engineering Management Trainee . He moved to Network SouthEast as an Electrical Engineer in 1991, specialising in train control and protection.
Since then, his career has covered many aspects of the industry including rail vehicle engineering, signalling control and power equipment, culminating in his current position as Head of Fleet Project Engineering (UK) for Bombardier. Jon currently has responsibility for all engineering aspects of Bombardier’s in-service train fleets.
Jon is Chairman of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Railway Executive Committee and is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET. He is responsible for the IET elements of the Bombardier graduate training scheme.
Richard East works within the Transport Systems organisation of Atkins and has spent a number of years working in Denmark on both ERTMS and new vehicle projects. He was also part of the successful Inter City Express Programme team, which has resulted in orders for over 1,100 new InterCity vehicles (bi-mode and electric) for services on Great Western, East Coast and Trans Pennine Express franchises.
Richard joined the rail industry in 1977 and was sponsored through University by British Rail. He gained experience in the regional maintenance organisation in Scotland after graduation as well as specialist engineering expertise in Derby.
He also gained project management experience with new dual voltage electric multiple units and station refurbishment for London Underground.
He has always promoted the railway industry throughout his career and has taken an active role in the Railway Division in various roles for almost 30 years. He recognises the challenges confronting a growing industry and the fundamental role engineers have in delivering new technology.
Richard Parry-Jones was appointed chairman of Network Rail in 2012. During his three years in office, he led the funding submission to Government for CP5 that led to an agreement for £38 billion over five years. He also launched a Safety Culture change, reducing train accident, public and workforce risks by 10% in 2014, and increased investment in R&D by over 50% from historically unsustainable levels.
Before that, as Group Vice President, Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer for the Ford Motor Company, Richard was a senior member of the motor manufacturer’s worldwide Executive Board of Management.
Today, Richard is a member of the Governing Council of Bangor University and a visiting professor in the department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering at Loughborough University. He is also non-executive chairman of Yorkshire Water.
Sabrina graduated from the University of Lancaster in 2013 with a Masters Degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering, having previously obtained a Masters Degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from the French Engineering School Arts & Metiers ParisTech.
Sabrina started her career as a Graduate Engineer at Bombardier Transportation in Derby and is now a Signalling System Engineer.
Sabrina became involved in the creation of the Young Rail Professionals East Midlands committee in March 2014 and was appointed regional chairman. She was then the elected National ViceChair before being elected National Chair and CEO of the Young Rail Professionals Ltd in March 2016.
In October 2013, she won the award for the Young Achiever of the year at the National Management and Leadership Awards, in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute CMI.
Simon Iwnicki is Professor of Railway Engineering at the University of Huddersfield where he is Director of the Institute of Railway Research (IRR). The IRR has an international reputation for excellent research and support to industry in the core area of railway vehicle dynamics modelling, wheel-rail interface engineering and vehicle-track interaction.
Professor Iwnicki’s main research activities are in the field of wheel-rail contact and computer modelling of railway vehicle suspensions, a small and highly specialised area which has a major influence on the design of railway vehicles and track. He has been working in this area for over 25 years and has built up a substantial reputation for this work, providing not only valuable practical solutions to specific problems in the industry, but making significant contributions to the understanding of some of the fundamental mechanisms of the wheel-rail interaction on which the safe and economical operation of railways depends.
From 2010 to 2014 Professor Iwnicki was the academic co-chair of RRUKA (the Rail Research UK Association) and from 2014 to 2015 he was Chair of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He is Editor in Chief of Part F of the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (the ‘Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit’) and Editor (responsible for railway matters) of the journal ‘Vehicle System Dynamics’. He has over 100 publications including the ‘Handbook of Railway Vehicle Dynamics’ which includes contributions from many of the leading experts is the established text in this field.