Speakers at Rail Stations & Property 2021
Speakers are shown in the order they confirmed. Return soon to see the latest additions.
Director, Nicoll Russell Studios
Willie Watt PPRIAS is an architect, masterplanner and a director at the award winning architecture practice Nicoll Russell Studios. He has played a lead role across a number of public buildings and major infrastructure projects including the practice’s recently completed mixed use air-rights regeneration of Dundee Station. Throughout this his role as a masterplanner and urban designer have been a recurring feature of his work delivering development masterplans and supplementary planning guidance related to major housing developments, business/retail developments etc which have promoted places and spaces, a green agenda, modal shift, walking and cycling often centred around existing stations or proposed stations in order to support their development. Ultimately those threads have come together with his role in the delivery of Dundee Station with the completion of multiple mixed use station focussed city centre development masterplans and related station optimisation proposals in both Scotland and England, for a variety of TOCs, Local Authorities and Network Rail. He has presented on the subject of Development Around Stations to the Campaign for Better Transports TRACKS Thought Leadership Group and the Rail Delivery Group’s Stations Summit.
Willie is a Past President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and as a keen cyclist is a qualified volunteer mountainbike coach and mountainbike leader.
Director, Urban Transport Group
Jonathan has been the Director of the Urban Transport Group since 2008. He is also a visiting senior fellow at LSE Cities, a Commissioner on the Commission on Travel Demand and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation.
Jonathan’s career has been about developing progressive policies on transport and advocating effectively for them. This includes changing national policy for the better by being one of the leaders of the network which ended the hegemony of the roads lobby on national transport policy in the nineties through to winning better bus powers for transport authorities in 2017. He has also made the Urban Transport Group the place where the thinking happens on the future of urban transport as well as saved members of the Group millions through finding more cost effective ways for them to work together.
Jonathan writes about new thinking on urban transport in a regular column in Passenger Transport magazine. He is also a Director of Good Journey CIC, a member of the Transport Planning Society and a member of the UITP’s Organising Authorities Committee.
Engineering Director, SLC Rail
Sam will be sharing her advice and best practice guidelines for delivering third party stations.
Sam is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers with over 20 years’ experience leading multidisciplinary engineering projects. Sam specialises in new stations and railway infrastructure and has a wealth of experience in design and project management, as well as strategic rail development roles.
She is experienced in managing all stages of design and delivery and understands how to construct schemes in the complex railway environment. She also has an excellent understanding of the implications of development for the wider environment, anticipating and managing potential frustrations for schemes.
Sam is also a passionate STEM champion, regularly giving talks to inspire younger people into engineering careers.
Strategy Director, SLC Rail
Ian Baxter, Strategy Director at SLC Rail, will share years of experience of instigating and leading change in the railway and provide examples of how rail development can help regions to prosper. Ian’s career has seen him in many high-profile senior railway roles. As the Director and General Manager for Chiltern Railways, he was responsible for stations, on train services and the service offer to customers. He was also a senior sponsor with Network Rail (Western), where he developed and delivered multiple third-party funded infrastructure schemes. Ian is now leading the evolution of rail strategies, supporting regional authorities in making compelling cases for investment in rail infrastructure and services that help deliver economic growth. His comprehensive knowledge of high-level industry strategy, railway operations and markets for rail travel helps clients to understand the commercial, financial and political implications of their proposed schemes and to gain the support of rail industry stakeholders in the key stages of its development, critical to successful outcomes.
Regional Director, Rail – Midlands & North West, Aecom
Andy is a highly experience construction professional with over 25 years’ experience working on high profile projects and implementation programmes within either a design consultancy or client side environment.
Andy has been elected as a Fellow of both of the Institutions of Civil and Structural Engineering which underlines his strong personal beliefs around the importance of development and mentorship. Andy has an inclusive, positive and collaborative leadership style which allows him to build strong and effective project teams. Andy is an alumni of both Cardiff and Leicester Universities from where he respectively gained a Civil Engineering degree and latterly an MBA.
In more recent times Andy was Chiltern Railways Project Director for the successfully completed Project Evergreen 3 Mainline Line Route Upgrade, followed by three successful years as Atkins Project Director on the extremely challenging and complex redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station as part of the ‘Gateway Project’. After completion of ‘Gateway Phase 1’ Andy migrated into the role of HS2 Project Director for both West Midlands Stations – Curzon Street and Interchange – which are currently on schedule to be completed in advance of the wider Phase 1 route opening in 2026.
In his spare time Andy is a keen cricketer, happily married with three children, and lives locally in South Birmingham.
Director of Strategic Advisory, Aecom
Shamit is a dynamic leader with a strategic vision and significant board experience. Lead work on Sectoral Strategy, Growth strategy, policy, change management and commercial outcomes between government and the private sector in a heavily regulated industry. Expertise includes a commercial and sectoral response to future trends and technological change, risk sharing, research development and innovation, sustainability, productivity, consumer behaviour, skills, public procurement and market failures.
Chief Executive, Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce
Paul took over as CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in June 2015, having previously been CEO of Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa. Since taking up his appointment the Chamber has seen significant growth in membership – now representing nearly 3,500 regional businesses – and strengthened its position as the leading independent support and voice for business in the area.
Working closely with local, regional and national stakeholders, the Chamber also provides a range of international related services and support, including launching the Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber in 2017 as the region gears up to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022. In 2018 the Chamber’s growth and development was recognised when it was awarded the British Chambers Award for Excellence in Membership Services.
A history graduate from Cambridge University, Paul began his career at MBNA Bank, completing the Bank’s Graduate Management Scheme and working in a variety of roles across the organisation in both the UK and the US.
Following a period working as a consultant for Michael Page, Paul returned to the US in 2005 working for Brooklyn NY Holdings, a private family office of the Lerner family. In 2006 Paul was an integral part of Randy Lerner’s purchase of Aston Villa, and relocated to Birmingham to work at the club, initially as COO and then as CEO from 2010 to 2014.
Locally, Paul is a Trustee of Birmingham Womens and Children’s Hospital Charity, and Cure Leukaemia. He is also Chairman of Sport Birmingham, and Vice-Chair of Performance Birmingham Limited (PBL) which operates the Town Hall and Symphony Hall in the city. He lives in Sutton Coldfield and is married with two young sons.
Director of Economics & Global Technology Lead, Transport Economics, Jacobs
John Siraut, BSc (Hons) Economics, MSc Economics, Diploma Transport, Director of Economics at Jacobs specialises in the wider economic and social impact of infrastructure, and policy and economic development issues generally.
John has worked across all modes of transport including advice on the impacts of Stansted and Heathrow airports, London Gateway Port, London’s Crossrail, High Speed 2, tram schemes, PRT, bus schemes and road projects including toll issues. He has acted as expert witness at public inquiries on retail, employment and economic issues, and adviser to transport and finance scrutiny committees and examinations in public. John is author of over seventy articles, has given TV and radio interviews on a range of topics and is a regular speaker at conferences.
Lead Architect, HS2 Midlands Stations
Hala’s a qualified and chartered architect with particular experience of MOD, healthcare and Rail projects ranging from small to multi-million pound schemes, some of which have received industry awards for excellence.
Over the past decade she has developed her skills and expertise leading teams working on multi-million pound ,complex transportation infrastructure project such as the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station and Grand Central, Crossrail Farringdon Station and now , the development of the two HS2 Phase 1 Stations in the Midlands.
She took on her current role as Lead Architect for HS2 Phase 1 Stations Midlands in June 2017 and leads as Design Champion for the HS2 Design Vision.
As subject matter expert (SME) for all Architecture and design-related matters, her role is to support the Stations Construction teams working with technical and operational specialists , supply chain and regional stakeholders to fully integrate and coordinate our programmed works .
Senior Project Manager, Interchange Station, HS2
Niki joined HS2 in 2017 and is a Chartered Civil Engineer. She has followed a career in Project Management and in her latest role at HS2 she leads the delivery of Interchange Station and Automated People Mover. She previously led the delivery of the Concourse as part of the redevelopment of Birmingham New St Station and acted as functional lead for design management for the project. Earlier in her career Niki has completed a prestigious retail development in Cardiff, working in Design Management and Delivery, and has also worked on two large PFI Hospital Projects in the UK.
Stakeholder Management, Transport Focus
Geoff works for Transport Focus, the Independent Passenger Watchdog. Based in Birmingham, he is Stakeholder Manager for the West Midlands working with West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern, but also more broadly across all operators in the region.
He is part of the Passenger Delivery Taskforce that sits under the Grand Rail Collaboration umbrella, and in all that he does his role and his passion is representing passenger views and priorities as a collaborative, "critical friend".
Prior to joining Transport Focus Geoff has worked in a number of sectors across a 26 year management career in Telecommunications, Human Resources, Learning and Development, Retail and Steel production. His last role was with British Gymnastics where he developed and delivered their coach education and volunteering development strategies across 3 Olympic cycles.
Director of Development & Delivery, Transport for West Midlands
Sandeep is Director of Development and Delivery at Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and is responsible for a number of key transport programmes including the HS2 Connectivity Package, Sprint Bus Rapid Transit and Cycling and Walking Infrastructure. He is a member of TfWM’s Leadership Board and is also a board director for Colmore Business Improvement District.
With over 20 years’ experience in the transport sector, Sandeep is a passionate and knowledgeable transport professional with skills in strategy, economic appraisal, scheme development, sustainable transport and programme management.
Sandeep has a degree in Town Planning with a specialism in transport and is a chartered member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport.
Partner, Burges Salmon
Philip is a highly experienced real estate lawyer who has particular experience of dealing with major redevelopment and regeneration projects at/around railway stations – the most high-profile being London’s King’s Cross Central. Together with his team at Burges Salmon (which is one of the largest real estate legal teams in the UK), Philip advises both public and private sector landowners and developers on all aspects of such projects from conception through to planning, land-assembly, railway interface, build-out, operation and sale.
Philip is a member of the Development Committee of the British Property Federation and he has been a speaker at and Chair of the UK Rail Stations & Property Summit for many years
Stephen Joseph OBE
Transport Policy Adviser and Consultant
Stephen Joseph is a transport policy consultant, specialising in urban and local issues and in smart transport. He was Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport (formerly Transport 2000) from 1988 to 2018. During that period, he led campaigns to reduce major road building, to increase rail investment including in new/ reopened lines and stations, and to highlight the importance of buses and the impact of cuts in bus services.
Stephen was a member of the Commission for Integrated Transport from 1999-2005, having been one of the panel of external advisers on the Transport White Paper 1997-8, and was a member of the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) during its inquiry on transport and the economy. He was also on the steering group for the Government’s road user charging feasibility study 2003-4 and was a member of challenge panels or advisory groups for Government plans on high-speed rail, eco-towns, transport appraisal and the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
He was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1996 for services to transport and the environment. He was appointed a visiting professor at the University of Hertfordshire in December 2018, having received an honorary doctorate from the University in November 2010.
Senior Partner, aspire CP
Ian is a Chartered Surveyor and urban regeneration specialist with 30 years client-side experience in strategic land assembly and delivering complex, mixed-use property development and land value capture solutions in both the public and commercial sectors. Since 2018, Ian has been a Senior Partner at aspire, advising clients at, for example, HS2, Transport for London, Sydney Metro and Vancouver Skytrain.
Prior to joining aspire, Ian was Property Director at Crossrail 2011-2018, delivering one of the most complex compulsory purchase programmes ever undertaken in the UK and putting in place the planning consents, development deals and infrastructure interface arrangement to capture £500m of land value via 3.5m sq.ft of Over-Site developments at a dozen key London sites.
Prior to Crossrail Ian was Head of Major Developments at Network Rail where he completed the deals to facilitate development of the Shard at London Bridge, Cannon Place at London Cannon St and The Grand Central Shopping centre and John Lewis Department store at Birmingham New Street. He also helped establish Solum Regeneration Ltd, Network Rail’s property development joint venture an served as non-executive Director.
Associate, Integrated City Planning, Arup
Peter is an Architect and Urban Designer and has practiced professionally for more than 10 years in the UK. As an Associate in Arup’s Integrated City Planning team, he leads integrated multidisciplinary teams on large, complex master planning projects within the UK and abroad. Much of his work has focused on the transformative impacts of transport infrastructure on urban regeneration and station related development.
In particular, his work employs a design-led master planning approach to deliver positive spatial, social and economic impacts and sustainable place-making. Past clients on rail related projects include Network Rail, HS2, LCR as well as a number of local authorities. His work has won awards and has been exhibited in Copenhagen, London, Beijing and the Venice Biennale, and has been published in several publications.
Engineering and Programme Director, Urban Growth Company
Danny joined the Urban Growth Company (UGC) in September 2019 as Engineering and Programme Director. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Project Professional, responsible for delivering and controlling the portfolio of projects and programmes across The Hub. He works closely with key stakeholders including HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, Transport for West Midlands and Solihull Council, to ensure technical and schedule needs are defined and enacted to meet the UGC’s vision.
The plans envisage the creation of a unified place, collectively referred to as The Hub, stitching together a new multi-modal transport exchange at Birmingham International Station, the HS2 Interchange Station and adjoining Arden Cross mixed-use residential and commercial development site, Metro and Sprint extensions from central Birmingham, new developments at the NEC and Birmingham Airport and Jaguar Land Rover’s proposals for its plant at Solihull.
Danny has delivered significant infrastructure projects over 30 years in various roles as a client, contractor and advisor, including Tideway, Crossrail and the Jubilee Line Extension project, as well acting as programme manager for an international airport and government advisor for Kings Cross Station redevelopment. He has provided consultancy advice across industries securing efficiencies in delivering major programmes and projects for clients including Transport for London, Network Rail, Cisco, BP, 3M, GSK and Pfizer. Immediately prior to joining the UGC, Danny led a contractor’s bid team to deliver against the principles of Project 13.
His knowledge spans sectors, promoting innovation and best practice, focussed on enrolling stakeholders and colleagues to achieve the UGC’s vision.
Corporate Director, Regeneration and Environment, South Tyneside Council
George is the Corporate Director for Regeneration and Environment at South Tyneside Council. A Metropolitan Unitary Authority in Tyne and Wear. In this role he leads a broad range of front line and strategic services that aim to ensure that South Tyneside continues to be a great place to live, work and invest.
Specifically, George’s responsibilities include Regeneration, Business Investment, Skills, Housing, Strategic Planning and Regulatory Services, as well as Asset Management, Highways and Transport. George leads the corporate emergency planning and resilience function and is the lead Chief Officer for delivering the Council’s Climate Emergency objectives.
George also ensures that South Tyneside plays a strong role in driving the economy of the region, supports the delivery of the North East Strategic Economic Plan and builds strong partnerships to create an environment where businesses and residents thrive.
Policy Advisor, Station Strategy Group, Rail Delivery Group
Lucy currently works in the policy directorate at Rail Delivery Group where she leads on policy development for station strategy and community rail. She holds a master’s degree in International Political Economy (IPE) from Warwick University and is passionate about customer experience, sustainability and community engagement.
Through a number of industry forums, Lucy provides leadership in developing customer-focused, sustainable and inclusive stations. She leads the facilitation of RDG Station Strategy Group, a high-level industry forum that brings together senior stakeholders from passenger owning groups, Network Rail, DfT and HS2 to agree the strategic direction of GB rail stations.
Prior to working in the rail industry, Lucy held a number of customer service roles for luxury high-street fashion brands Kurt Geiger and Dune. Lucy is also an ambassador for Young Rail Professionals (YRP) and a proud member of Women in Rail, where she hopes to develop her own experience and inspire the next generation of young and female professionals to begin a career in the railway.
Re-scheduled: 25 February 2021
Council House, Birmingham