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High Speed Two (HS2 Ltd)

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High Speed Two (HS2 Ltd)

High Speed Two (HS2 Ltd)

High Speed Two (HS2) is the biggest and most ambitious infrastructure project Britain has seen for decades. HS2 will be a Y-shaped rail network providing direct, high capacity, high speed rail links between London and Birmingham and on to Manchester and Leeds.
The arrival of HS2 will play a vital role in boosting jobs, skills and regeneration across the country and getting the right people with the right skills and experience is vital to HS2’s success. HS2 will launch thousands of careers- maybe even yours.
Come along to our stand and see how we can help you find your future with high speed rail.

Case Study 1

Route Engineer – Andrew Wood

Tell us about your job...
Andrew WoodI work for High Speed Two Ltd as a Senior Route Engineer. Specifically, I coordinate the design of a new railway between Birmingham and Leeds and onwards. So it’s my job to propose where the line, stations and depots should be, and explain why I think that’s the best choice.
In my role, you have to remember what the new railway is supposed to do, which is to link major cities in the UK. But you also have to consider the effect on people and the environment, and make sure that HS2 is value for money.
What 3 top skills or qualities are important?
  1. It's really important to communicate a technical message in a way that audiences can relate to. You need to explain the pluses and minuses for different routes, so the Government knows the facts and can choose. And you have to know how to communicate with the wider public. 
  2. You need a logical mind: before you make a decision, you need to work out the effect it will have. In major projects like HS2, decisions can have a knock-on impact on lots of other technical areas. It’s just the nature of railways – everything is integrated.
  3. It helps to understand how structures work, and what’s going on under the earth’s surface.  As an engineer you learn to understand the forces at work: how buildings affect the geology below them, and the other way round.

Case Study 2

Senior Area Engineer – Joanne Chau

Tell us about your job...
I am a Senior Area Engineer, working as part of the HS2 Phase One team. I am proud to be part of the team that’s working hard to deliver a challenging and much talked-about project, something that’s of national importance.
Here are some things I do in a typical day:
I meet local residents, landowners and business owners to listen to their views. It’s important to understand how the railway could affect them, and to explain to them thedesign of the project.
I review the technical designs that our consultants create for us. This could be the design of a bridge or a railway station, for example.
I work alongside lawyers to prepare for the Select Committee sessions in Parliament. The committee is a group of MPs who are reviewing our plans. We need Parliament’s permission to build the railway, and we need to gather a huge amount of information in order to get that.
I was not born in the UK, so English is not my first language. But I’ve worked on different projects, and it is common to see engineers from different parts of the world working together. You see engineers from Spain, Poland, Italy, Malaysia, Australia, all working on the same project. This makes me feel at ease and it just shows the exciting global opportunities that engineers have.
What 3 top skills or qualities are important?
If I had to pick three things, the first would be communication skills. We have to explain the details of the engineering design, to make it really clear to communities and other teams we work with, to make sure things go smoothly.
The second would be teamwork – you can’t deliver a project of this size without great interpersonal skills, to work with all those people I talked about.
Lastly, you need to be flexible. Sometimes, evening and weekends are the best time to meet local communities and attend events. And once we really start building the railway, engineers will be working with contractors at remote construction sites.

Case Study 3

Ground Investigation Engineer – Javier Escandon

Tell us about your job...
I am a Ground Investigation Engineer for the High Speed Two railway.
To design and build the railway’s tunnels and bridges, HS2’s engineers need all kinds of information about the ground they’re building on – or through! My job is to get that information. Ground Investigation (GI) has to do with geotechnics – in other words, how engineering and the ground affect each other. It helps us make the design safe and efficient – it’s an investment in understanding what we’re building on.
As part of our work, we take samples from the ground where we are planning to build the railway – our drills can go 120m down. Then we test the samples in our lab, and the results tell us about the condition of the soil or rock below. At the moment, we’re in the office most of the time, but that will change as the project grows, and I’ll be spending more time on site supervising the work. 
What 3 top skills or qualities are important?
  1. Communication skills are really important, because we work so much with different teams and companies. 
  2. This kind of leads into teamwork – we check information with others and work together to check for consistency. 
  3. And I couldn’t do without my technical knowledge of civil engineering and geotechnics – my understanding of the way structures interact with the ground underneath and around them.


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