David Brewer

UK & Europe

David joined Atkins' Transportation division as market director for Strategic Rail in April 2016. He leads a diverse rail business which has a unique offering in the UK. Services include: advising government on the structure of the rail industry and franchises; undertaking initial master-planning and feasibility studies; developing business cases and supporting planning and hybrid bill processes to bring schemes forward; and a full range of design and delivery services. The latter spans Signalling and Telecommunications schemes, such as the Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal Programme, to major route upgrades like the Stafford Area Improvement Programme, delivered by working collaboratively alongside partner organisations (in the UK's first formal alliance). David also sits on the board of the Atkins Joint Venture with Sener and CH2M, which provides Engineering Delivery Partner services to High Speed 2 Limited.

Throughout his career David has worked in engineering and construction roles, predominantly in the transport sector. His focus is on roles where engineering, construction and operations come together to deliver a service to passengers.

His early career was with BAA at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. As Development Director for Gatwick, he was responsible for the modernisation of the South Terminal and the expansion of the North Terminal through a £1bn investment programme. This involved working closely with British Airways and easyJet to reconfigure operations at the airport to enable the cost efficient delivery of additional capacity and improved services. He spent three years with the Australian developer, Lendlease, as CEO of their Joint Venture waste business with Amec and was responsible for the sale of their interest in Bluewater shopping centre.

Prior to joining Atkins, David was responsible for the development and maintenance of the UK's strategic road network, as Development Director for Highways England. He oversaw £800m per annum of highways maintenance, the operation of the Highways England telecommunications network and £1bn per annum of investment in improvement schemes. These included the Dartcharge scheme, which replaced the toll booths at Dartford Crossing with online payments and the 'pinch point' programme. This comprised 126 schemes across the country to upgrade junctions at congestion pinch points. He also led for Highways England on Operation Stack, working with ports, police, local and central government, to mitigate the impacts of disruption to cross-channel services on the roads around Kent.

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The Digital Railway programme at Network Rail is charting new territory on many fronts. The work is different to that of traditional projects, and so are the relationships. Leveraging the benefits of the programme requires different relationships between technology developers, infrastructure owners and train operators.

Funding and financing are also likely to necessitate different ways of working. Fundamental change is required from both Network Rail and suppliers and questions of whether we understand the change and can navigate it remain open. The Digital Railway is an industry challenge, not a Network Rail challenge. Are we any closer to understanding what this means for suppliers?

Part of the problem lies in that word - suppliers. Despite efforts by the Digital Railway team to set labels to one side, seeing Network Rail as the client and other organisations as suppliers conditions a certain set of expectations about roles and relationships. It is only when we move past these labels that we will really embrace the sort of industry leadership which is being called for and start to think more clearly about contributions based upon capability..........

Please see here to see read the full article from David Brewer, market director, Strategic Rail at Atkins. This article was first published in Rail Professional's May edition.

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Investing both time and effort in design is key. Better adoption of digital tools to support design development has a role to play and will change the way the organisations involved in the design and construction process work together, challenging traditional boundaries.

This week I witnessed an incredible example of auto-generative design; a computer developed an aircraft tail fin, creating thousands of variants to find the best fit with defined performance parameters. I also witnessed the hand measurement of Pucher charts, used to calculate bridge loading – with around a 10% error associated.

This striking contrast reminded me of the expression; 'the future is already here, it's just very unevenly distributed.' The juxtaposition of old and new characterises the railway, but it does perhaps give us some pointers. As an industry, we need to be more responsive to new ways of working and technologies which enable this.

For the applications of this thinking to rail engineering and for the full article, please see the January edition of Rail Engineer: (Page 7).

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Throughout 2016, we won numerous awards for our work on and collaborative approach to a wide range of rail projects, from the Stafford Area Improvements Programme and the Birmingham Gateway Project to the redevelopment of Rochester station. Our investment in new innovations such as Digital Imaging Correlation technology for the monitoring of bridge structures or the application of fibre-optic surveying technology to the instrumentation of bridges has been recognised by our industry peers.

Notably, we brought our wide-ranging expertise to bear on numerous high-profile programmes. These include East West Rail Phase One, Crossrail 2, Thameslink Traffic Management Programme, High Speed 2 Phase One and the Stafford Area Improvements Programme.

The final stage of the East West Rail Phase One rail network was opened by the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, in December 2016, delivering a step-change in regional connectivity for passengers. The new section of line runs between Oxford and Oxford Parkway, providing a brand new rail link from Oxford to central London.

Atkins' role in the scheme ranged from feasibility studies, through the Transport Works Act and onto the detailed design phase, delivering station upgrades and construction, earthworks, bridges, tunnel works, track and signalling systems for Chiltern Railways, Network Rail and most recently the Carillion - Buckingham Joint Venture.

In July, an Atkins and CH2M team was awarded a £1.5-million contract to deliver the Stage 1 On-Networks Systems programme for Network Rail on the proposed Crossrail 2 project.

The project team is working collaboratively on the development of the upgrade designs for the Network Rail-owned stations, tracks and rail infrastructure on either side of the proposed tunnelled section, which will play a key role in Crossrail 2.

The first stage of the work is to develop the initial proposals to support the revision to the business case and to enable the next public consultation. Subject to acceptance of the business case, this process will culminate in the submission of the Hybrid Bill to Parliament in 2019, as recommended by the National Infrastructure Commission.

The summer also saw Atkins awarded the design and engineering contract for the Thameslink Traffic Management Programme. This sees us support Hitachi Information Control Systems (HICSE) and Hitachi Rail Europe with the delivery of the Tranista® Traffic Management System (TMS) for Network Rail's Thameslink programme.

HICSE appointed Atkins to review its Tranista system to ensure that it meets Network Rail's functional and operational requirements for compatibility with the UK rail network. As such, a multi-disciplinary team from Atkins will provide a variety of detailed design and engineering services through GRIP stages 4 and 5.

In March, Atkins won a contract to become Engineering Delivery Partner (EDP) for High Speed 2, Phase One, as part of a joint venture with CH2M and SENER.

The contract, valued at between £250 million and £350 million, is expected to run for 10 years, extendable through to the commissioning of the railway, and covers the civils, stations, planning and environment, and railway systems aspects of Phase One of the project.

As part of the Staffordshire Alliance, the first collaboration of its kind for the UK rail industry, we successfully completed the Stafford Area Improvements Programme. Passengers are benefiting from a better railway with improved train services through the Stafford area, after a new section of railway was opened at Norton Bridge.

The new railway removes one of the last major bottlenecks on the West Coast main line, helping to create the capacity for more frequent services through the Stafford area, as well as speeding up journeys and improving reliability on one of the busiest rail routes in Europe.

We have also been proud to assume prestigious industry roles, which see us contributing to the development of the world around us. Lawrie Quinn, project director, Transportation at Atkins, was appointed as the new regional chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in London for a two-year term, while Richard East, chief engineer, Transportation at Atkins, is serving in the role of chairman of the Railway division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Atkins played a prominent role in 2016's inaugural Rail Week, showcasing the opportunities for developing new skills in the sector. Atkins is committed to a number of in-house initiatives to increase diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and socio-economic background in the transport sector. As a business, we are proud to have over 500 STEM ambassadors. In the financial year 2015/6, Atkins' people participated in 350+ school-based outreach activities, reaching over 5,000 students. There are currently over 240 apprentices at Atkins and the business takes on 300 new graduates a year.

In 2017 and beyond, we remain committed to working collaboratively, harnessing innovative approaches, implementing digital technology and contributing to vital industry initiatives to help transform our ever-changing world and enrich lives.

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