Revolution, robots & resilience, Birmingham

22 October, 2015 | 18:00 - 20:30

Simon and Jane will talk about how innovation is improving the railways.
Simon and Jane will talk about how innovation is improving the railways.

About this event

From enabling technologies developed by the Digital Railway to practical applications of wider industry approaches; Jane and Simon will describe how technology and innovation are improving safety and resilience across the rail network.

Jane Simpson, Chief Engineer, Network Rail

Jane was appointed Chief Engineer at Network Rail in January 2015. Jane sits on the Network Rail Group Investment Panel; Network Rail's Strategic Leadership Group; she chairs the Industry Standards Coordination Committee and is a member of the Industry Technology Strategic Leadership Group.

Jane joined British Rail as a graduate entrant in 1996, the year of its privatisation. She joined one of the infrastructure maintenance companies and became the first female Overhead Line Engineer. Jane then worked for six years delivering a range of projects at Marconi Communications before returning to Network Rail in 2004.

In 2011 Jane was appointed as the Engineering Director for London North Western Route with responsibility for 200+ engineering specialists; accountable for over 550 stations and 4,500 miles of railway infrastructure on the West Coast Main Line - Europe's busiest rail corridor. Jane was responsible for the production of the route's five year strategic business plan, with a budget in excess of £5bn.

As Chief Engineer, Jane is responsible for the industry engineering policies, technical strategy, engineering competence and technical safety of Network Rail's assets, as well as colleagues, partner-contractors and the travelling public.

Jane graduated with a first class honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Coventry University and then attained an MPhil at Birmingham University, followed by a post graduate placement at Cambridge University. Jane strives to increase the number of women within rail engineering and supports many initiatives within Network Rail as well as externally. In 2015 she was appointed a Trustee to the Scout Association.

Simon Abbott , Head of Geotechnics, Network Rail

Chartered Geologist with over 10 years of experience in Engineering, Geology and Geotechnical Asset Management. Joined Network Rail in 2006 from a consultancy background that specialised in rock slope engineering. Worked across a number of Network Rail Routes for near to 8 years in a variety of geotechnical roles. This included the management of the asset base across Kent during the wettest winter on record (2013/14) which caused in excess of 50 earthwork failures.

Simon joined the central Safety, Technical and Engineering (STE) directorate in early 2014 to lead the HQ capability group in geotechnical asset management. Recently appointed to Head of Geotechnics with overall accountability for strategic direction of the policy and the standards framework.

Event materials

The following materials are available for download:

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