Principal/Lead Tunnel Engineer
Joined us in 2002
Qualifications: Civil Engineering with Postgrad Degrees in Soil/Structure Interaction and Structural Dynamics
“Very few engineering companies design and build using multi-disciplinary in-house teams. Tube Lines is one of them – and it makes the work here even more interesting.”
“For me, the chance to get involved with a wider area of civil engineering works was another big reason for joining. I’ve now tackled a number of complex, multi-disciplinary projects where I’ve needed to take on board a range of different viewpoints.
“Currently I’m responsible for all the technical aspects of tunnels on specific lines. Many of those tunnels are old, so it’s fortunate that we work at the cutting edge of technology. We have state-of-the-art remote monitoring sensors deep inside the tunnels. These record real-time movements that we view on special PCs in the office. And recently we bought powerful 3D Finite Element software to carry out engineering modelling and analysis of tunnel openings – essential because of the changes in the ground in London over the last few years. We also use 3D laser-scanning survey and data processing, and most of our Tunnel Engineers use Excel spreadsheet at advanced level. On top of that, the team produced a technical paper that’s been published in a well-known scientific journal.
“I generally cycle the 12 miles to work each day to beat the traffic, shower and am at my desk by 9.00am. After a quick review of my emails and voicemails, I check the real-time monitoring data. If the status is red or amber I call a meeting of our Engineering Review Panel to discuss actions. If it’s green, I start reviewing design and construction documents from consultants and contractors. After lunch I might meet with Project Managers and Planners about how major tunnel works are progressing or look at soil structure analysis. Then there could well be informal meetings with my team about engineering issues, such as what analytical or design approach to use. And often I take part in meetings at London Underground.
“So far my biggest achievement has been delivering the design of 16 Signal Equipment room for the Northern Line by developing a multi-disciplinary team of in-house design engineers. That, and cycling from London to Brighton in four hours for charity.
“You interact constantly with highly professional people here. You’re always recognised and rewarded for a job well done. And there’s a really sociable atmosphere. So life’s never dull. I’m looking forward to taking my next step up in management, maybe becoming Engineering Manager for Projects or Operations.”