I was born in Edinburgh 1962 and have always lived in Scotland.
I was educated at the local Grammar School and left in 1978 when I was 16 with seven “O” levels, average qualifications at the time.
I started work on the railways as a mechanical apprentice at the Craigentinny Maintenance Depot in Edinburgh in 1978. This four year apprenticeship was intensive, broad based and included college studies in Mechanical and Production Engineering to HNC level.
I have worked on all aspects of Rolling Stock maintenance on the depot as a fitter, was further trained to carry out electrical work. I progressed through the supervisory grades to Senior Shift Supervisor. Through this I developed an in depth knowledge of safety critical systems. I have also had specialist training in Non-Destructive testing, and have gained an in-depth knowledge of wheels bogies and running gear.
I have had 14 years experience as a Rolling Stock Inspector carrying out in-service inspection, fault diagnosis and repairs on high speed diesel and electric trains.
I have an extensive knowledge of the environment that Rolling Stock has to operate and how it performs in reality at speeds in service up to 125 mph. This included understanding what makes them reliable and what can be done to still operate when parts of systems are defective or have been badly damaged or isolated.
Due to time limitations, rapid decision making was necessary and it was also necessary to work within what limited resources were available in isolated locations such as tools, and materials.
I have undertaken further academic education in addition to normal work through the Open University and gained a BSc (Hons) degree and Diplomas in Systems Practice, Pollution Control and Professional Management. I am also an Incorporated Engineer IEng, a member of the IET and Associate Member of the IMechE.
I was the project engineer for life extension work and reliability improvements to the East Coast Inter-City 125 High Speed Train fleet. This included ; Re-painting in, complete new vehicle interiors, laminated glass, MTU engines, new cooling systems, upgraded electronic control, reliability modifications, production of enhanced component overhaul specifications for rotating machines and bogies.
I am currently responsible for Assurance and Engineering Standards including the production and control of Maintenance, Quality and Policy documentation relating to the London North Eastern 225 Electric fleet and Assurance of the new Hitachi Class 800 fleet. I am an IRCA registered Lead auditor for both ISO9001 and ISO14001. I represent London North Eastern Railway on various Rail Industry forums through both the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and Rail Delivery Group (RDG). These include; fire, vehicle maintenance, pantographs, energy, wheelsets, axle bearings and standards. I am chair of the BSI RAE3/-/2 committee for Roller Bearings and Lubricants.
I am passionate about the Assurance, safe design, reliability, cost effective maintenance, effective management of Engineering change, vehicle configuration and operation of trains.
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