Tony Kearns, formerly strategy and operations director at WSP, has joined SYSTRA, taking on the dual role of operations director for its Northern Europe region and UK Engineering.
Tony brings more than 25 years of experience to his new role at SYSTRA, which will see him delivering on key projects such as HS2 and Crossrail, Scandinavian light rail transit (LRT) projects and the Danish national electrification programme.
Starting his career at British Rail in 1992, Tony went on to set up his own rail engineering business which he successfully sold after 12 years.
Tony joins SYSTRA from WSP where he worked for almost five years, first as strategy and operations director, Rail, Transit & Aviation with Parsons Brinckerhoff and then, following its acquisition by WSP, as operations director, Rail & Transit.
Prior to this, he was at AECOM for almost three years, first as heavy rail sector director, Transportation, then as deputy rail sector director, Transportation.
“I always enjoyed transport projects and their unique challenges,” said Tony. “But the opportunity at SYSTRA made me specifically think: that’s the position I really want to be in, so that’s my next step. As well as SYSTRA having a fantastic reputation for technical excellence, it has a robust strategy for growth that really appealed to me.”
Tony has spent his first few weeks travelling between SYSTRA’s international offices as he gets to grips with the company’s range of projects and capabilities.
He describes the breadth and depth of expertise that SYSTRA possesses, along with its engineering footprint, technical strength and understanding of resource management as “highly impressive”.
As well as leading a number of areas, including operations, technical and engineering, project controls, project staffing, and health, safety and security, a crucial part of Tony’s role is resource management across the Northern Europe region.
In the UK, his remit will be to grow SYSTRA’s comprehensive engineering capability to support the delivery of its projects and promote knowledge transfer to the UK of new competences in the field of high-speed rail and rail systems.
SYSTRA’s strategic ambition is to accelerate growth in Northern Europe.
Having run and grown his own business, Tony is excited by the challenge in operational delivery that comes with the drive to expand.
“It’s about our people and their expertise,” he said. “I want to develop our technical specialists and make sure our clients reap the benefits of their capabilities.”
Tony is optimistic about the transport sector as a whole. “Governments across Europe are investing in seamless journeys. Getting from A to B typically involves several modes of transport, such as walking, cycling or driving to the train station. It is essential to plan for and provide the type of connected journeys that consumers want. Investment in new transport technology is vital for economic prosperity across and between nations.”