Ankur Saxena of Furrer+Frey won this year’s Project Manager of the Year award.
Ankur was singled out for his dedication and work on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Project (EGIP).
Says managing director of Furrer+Frey GB, Noel Dolphin, ‘Ankur has made a real difference to the EGIP project. He has coordinated with multiple parties, liaising between our design, plant and installation teams and ABC and Systra’s teams.
‘He has helped brief and train the Scottish teams on our overhead line electrification systems and brought a real sense of camaraderie, having spent a long time on site supporting and coordinating with the various parties.
‘We are an SME so only a small part of EGIP, but Ankur has still managed to make a big impact. He has managed to put the contract aside and work to everyone’s mutual advantage that will make the project a success.’
It’s a view widely shared by colleagues.
Comms manager, Carol Elvin, describes Ankur’s crucial role in introducing the Rigid Conductor rail system to the UK for Furrer+Frey.
‘The initial installation on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme is part of a £742 million project that includes three key tunnels: Winchburgh, Falkirk and Queen Street. Ankur faced many challenges, not least the management of all the stakeholders in the alliance and getting relevant information to all parties, including the workforce for whom the rail system is completely new.
‘Communication was key, connecting designers with customers, including tunnel details which are crucial to the design of the anchor fixings.
The major challenge was having to design, validate and supply the system with the much shorter than normal timelines to meet the Winchburgh 44- day blockade.
‘Ankur also organised for the dedicated precision drilling rig to be imported from Switzerland and be ready for action during the 48-hour shift towards the end of the blockade – all of this while managing the tight budget.
For someone new to the UK, just having to find your way to Winchburgh by sat nav has been a challenge in itself.’
Says electrification engineer Rob Daffern, ‘I worked with Ankur on the Stanton Tunnel conductor bar trial installation.
‘I was impressed by both his knowledge of the technology and his enthusiasm to get things done. Nothing phased him and he worked sensibly around obstacles that cropped up
and ensuring a quality end result was delivered. His determination, drive and dynamism have really made the work possible.’
Project Manager of the Year was sponsored by the Network Certification Body (NCB) – a subsidiary of Network Rail which acts as a full- service certification provider to the industry.
Says James Collinson, managing director of NCB, ‘Project manager roles are incredibly intense… but at the same time incredibly rewarding when they’ve delivered something.
‘For me, the project manager’s role is one of those things where you can look back at something and say that’s what I did. And so I think to be able to reward that kind of effort and determination that often goes with that is very much what this is all about.’
The award was collected by Ankur’s colleague Erica Cheuk.
- Lee Berry, Merseyrail
- Robert Hickey, Network Rail