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Update from David Packer, CEO - New Section, successful seminar and Young Achiever award

David Godley, Professional Head of Track - Network Rail, delivers the keynote address
Posted by: David Packer, CEO | Last modified on 20/04/2016


The first good news story of the year is the re-emergence of the South Wales Section. The new Section Secretary, Andrew Wilson, and the committee have put together a programme of late afternoon meetings.  They will take place on the second Monday of the month at 17.15. It is a great way to keep up to date with the latest technical developments without eating into your evening. The first meeting was held on March 14th and their next meeting is on April 11th at the Network Rail offices, 5th Floor, Callaghan Square, Cardiff, CF10 5BT. If you’re in the area, go along, support the local group and make useful contacts.

A highly-skilled team has recently completed delivery of four days of training for Network Rail’s 2015 graduate intake. It is one of the ways in which the PWI’s senior members are able to make their knowledge and expertise available to the industry. Their strength lies in being able to discuss engineering and its application to railways, wherever the conversations with the course delegates lead.

The North West seminar on 25th February was a resounding success. The topic ‘Modernising the Railway Network’ drew a capacity audience and provided great technical input and unmatched networking opportunities. We were also delighted to present the Young Achiever’s award to Carlos de la Morena of WSP. There were 17 applications for the Award of a very high quality. The papers will be published in our quarterly Journal over the next 3 parts and will also be available on the Technical Hub in April.

North West Technical seminar


At the seminar we presented the Journal Awards for the best papers from The Journal in 2015. We benefit from very high quality technical papers that are published as articles in The Journal which is received by every member. Our panel of four experienced engineers independently assesses every paper on the criteria which include originality, quality of technical content and applicability in our industry. It’s never an easy task for our panel, given the high quality of the The Journal’s content, but here are the winners;

President’s award

TAMP (trackbed Analysis & Modelling Platform by S. Middleton, P. Sharpe, D. Kite and A. Nelson – The Journal, October 2015

Gold award

Smart Steel selection for Reliable Rail by D. Pyke – The Journal, October 2015

Silver award

A CESuRa in the Track by A. Foan and T. Cooper – The Journal, January 2015

Arthur Maber Award

Marlborough Road Micro-piling Site Embankment Stabilisation by P. Musgrave and M. Wehbi – The Journal, October 2015

If you didn’t read these articles when your Journal first arrived, then read them now – they really are excellent examples of industry- leading thought.

PWI Awards Collage NW Seminar 2016

It’s also the time of year when we prepare the Institution’s accounts for 2015 in anticipation of the AGM in June. There will be a full report in the April Journal, but I’m pleased to say that the PWI’s finances are in the black for the second year running and are set to remain so. A good financial outcome is the result of doing the right things and doing them well. Every member that takes part in Institution activities has a share in the credit for the Institution’s success.

There’s a lot to look forward to in the next few months; our stand at Infrarail, the London half-day seminar ‘On Track for Tomorrow’, our excellent programme of section events and, of course, more successful professional registrations for PWI members. Keep an eye on the website and social media for all the latest news.

David Packer, CEO