Anna is an experienced consultant, working with customers to provide strategic advice which ensures high quality programme delivery and subsequent operations. In a rich career spanning consulting and construction, Anna has worked on high profile projects in aviation, light rail and rail, giving her the opportunity to draw on best practice from across transportation.
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Programme management, constructability and logistics
As Principal Consultant for Integrated Transport, Anna combines extensive technical insights with the ability to develop strong customer relationships, based on trust. This approach enables her to successfully lead teams which transform the performance of our transportation infrastructure and the experience of the travelling public. Career highlights include leading the design of Stansted Airport’s Public Address and Voice Alarm System, working on the Bakerloo Line Upgrade and Extension as a construction and logistics consultant, and as a senior engineer on London Bridge Station Redevelopment. In 2020, Anna won the Female Consultant of the Year Award at the European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards.
Anna on her role
I have worked at Costain for nearly 14 years, starting as a graduate site engineer on the Farringdon Station Upgrade project for the Thameslink programme. I moved into a consultancy role about six years ago. I told myself it was a two-year break before returning to site, but the interesting and varied work sucked me in and here I still am!
What led Anna to her career
I didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk. I wanted to be out and about doing something practical and working as part of a team with all the social and professional interaction that comes with it. I loved the idea of helping create something that is there for generations that you can tell your grandkids about.
What's the most common misunderstanding of Anna's role?
That I ‘do’ the design work. We have a team of highly experienced and qualified in-house designers in disciplines from civil and structural engineering through to industrial cooling and digital. My role is managing our end-to-end service to ensure that it meets our customer’s objectives. I endeavour to develop strong relationships with the customer and streamline the process wherever possible, building in efficiencies and fundamentally ensuring that what is designed in the early stages of a project’s lifecycle is safe to construct, maintain and eventually decommission.
Anna on how her role contributes to improving people's lives
I have always worked within transportation infrastructure; on new routes, stations and improving existing assets. We have all used our transport network and have experienced the difference between something well thought out, designed and constructed, and enjoyable to be in, and something that is difficult to navigate, unpleasant to experience and stressful to use. I want to help make the former everyone’s standard experience. More recently, I have managed the design of safety critical systems which is intrinsic to safe, reliable journeys.
Anna's typical day at work
Moving into consultancy, one of the biggest things I didn’t miss was the long site days! I now work part time which fits in with my family life; I start at about 8am and finish in time for the nursery run! My days have become ‘outcome based’ which I am grateful to my managers for – as long as my work is done, if I have to leave work a bit early one day, no one is going to haul me over the coals!
Anna's biggest professional achievement and why?
I still feel incredibly proud to have been a part of the London Bridge Station Redevelopment team. It was high pressure and hard work, but it forged a strong team and one I was proud to be a part of. The final push before we opened the first section of the station is still one of the most intense work periods of my life but looking back at what the LBSR team achieved from the other side of those deadlines is rather marvellous and the station really is a jewel in Network Rail’s crown.
What Anna wants to professionally achieve in the next five years
I have a foot in both our aviation and Transport for London accounts at the moment. They are very different and bring their own challenges and interests. Professionally, I would like to get more involved with both accounts and develop strong relationships to really understand what it is the customer needs, and then work with our excellent in-house teams to ensure we deliver.
Anna's top tip on successful programme management
The ability to work well as a team, collaborate and build strong relationship is intrinsic to working well in a role like mine. Be open, honest and not afraid to ask for help; whether you’re overwhelmed or stumped, it is far easier to ask advice than have to change course later.
Connect with Anna on LinkedIn or alternatively send her an email.