I’ve never had a career plan, I just did what I enjoyed says Crossrail 2 chief

Speaking to members at the second Inspiring Engineers event, Michele gave a personal account of her career and what being an engineer means to her.

Dr Michele Dix CBE, Managing Director of Crossrail 2.
Dr Michele Dix CBE, Managing Director of Crossrail 2.

Michele Dix, Managing Director of Crossrail 2 and one of leading civil engineers in the country gave a personal account of her experience in the industry.

Speaking at the second Inspiring Engineers session, a series of intimate talks with industry leaders, she spoke about the highs and lows of her varied and successful career.

Beginning with a job at the Greater London Council, the precursor to the GLA, Michele worked her way up to becoming a Board Director at Halcrow Fox before returning to the public sector as Managing Director of Planning for TfL. In February 2015, she was appointed Managing Director of Crossrail 2, the proposed new rail line intersecting London from the south west to north east.

Michele spoke about achieving a good work/life balance, recalling how she applied to a single job role as a pair with a friend, proposing that they jobshare so that she could continue to have time to see her family. Being direct and not being afraid to ask, she said, were key in making her career possible.

She admitted that she had never had a career plan, and instead just went to jobs that she found interesting or exciting. This held her success, as doing something you are interested in means you will do well at it and will then be offered further career opportunities.

Interestingly, networking was not something Michele had always done, only later in her career realising how valuable it could be. However, at networking events it was important not to only speak to people you have marked out as 'important', but instead to speak to anyone and everyone, she said.

The highlight from her career was the morning of the 7th February 2003, where at 7am the Congestion Charge went live. This was a system that Michele had set up, involving technical traffic management and IT systems, and it was a proud moment to see it start working.

Speaking on the future, she said how exciting it was to be working on Crossrail 2, seeing it not only as an engineering scheme, but as a project that could transform London and the South East. Whilst the idea for Crossrail 2 has been around a number of years, the enjoyment for Michele is actually seeing it progress towards construction.

Inspiring Engineers

Come along to one of the Inspiring Engineers' sessions, where senior industry leaders speak about how they made it in their career. Given in an informal setting, the events will encourage attendees to ask the questions they have always wanted to ask and share their own experiences of the industry.

The next Inspiring Engineers talk is on 5 May 2017 with Isabel Dedring, Global Transport Lead at Arup, who will speak on 'how to shape the world through the role of politics'

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On 2 June 2017, former ICE President and National Infrastructure Commission Deputy Chair Sir John Armitt will speak on 'how to become a President of the ICE'

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And on 7 July Senior Engineer Colin Glen will speak on 'How to engineer one of London's most iconic sites'.

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