HS2 employee stories
Hear from our employees
As a Chartered Engineer, Christina knows a thing or two about creating huge infrastructure projects. But it’s her demolition knowledge that makes her such a unique part of the HS2 team. As the Senior Project Manager for the Birmingham Spur section of the route, Christina is tasked with managing design and construction for the HS2 route where it runs beside existing railway lines and highways with numerous crossings and viaducts leading to Curzon Street Station.
“My role is incredibly varied, and I have responsibility for the remediation and land preparation of our depot at Washwood Heath, 1.5 kilometres of major viaducts plus a river realignment at Park Hall Nature Reserve and Bromford Tunnel. The chance to ensure the HS2 route sits collaboratively within its surroundings is a fantastic challenge.”
Having previously enjoyed a varied career that has extended from major bridge construction to mineshaft filling works, Christina has worked in a wide variety of organisations including major consultants, Local Authorities and contractors, including a stint as a freelance technical writer while caring for her young family. So why join the HS2 project?
“The opportunity to join Europe’s largest infrastructure project seemed like a natural next step in my career. It’s opened up amazing opportunities.”
“We work collaboratively, and the entire team comes from incredibly varied backgrounds, so there is real scope for people to apply the skills they’ve learned in other sectors to a project that will ultimately transform the way we travel.”
Despite having worked in civil engineering for nearly 20 years, Project Manager Sharon had never worked in the rail industry before. “It was completely different to what I had done previously, but I knew that I had picked up many transferable skills along the way.”
This attitude is something that HS2 are proud to champion. Many of our skilled employees come from backgrounds varying from construction and engineering to environmental issues, but all share a common goal to create a world-class high speed rail network that will open up opportunity for millions of people across Britain.
On a daily basis, Sharon and her team work in a co-location with the contractor, delivering environmental and civil engineering works that allow the main works to proceed. These projects might be as diverse as creating environmental mitigation sites, to identifying archaeological sites or diverting highways, all within an agreed timescale.
“No 2 days are ever the same. As a Project Manager, I lead the project team to deliver the objectives, but as HS2 are doing something that hasn’t been done before, that often means defining new process and then leading the team through them to deliver results. It requires creative and lateral thinking to achieve results, which keeps me on my toes.”
So would Sharon encourage others who are contemplating joining HS2? “Absolutely! The scale of HS2 is immense, requiring a vast, diverse skills base. There’s all sorts of opportunities for people, and not just in engineering. We need tech people, business people, design people, comms people and many more – get involved!”
From planning and integration, to controls and reporting, the challenges for programme and project managers will be career-defining.
We work collaboratively and the team has a diverse and varied skill set from all different backgrounds.
This is advanced project and programme management. We use the most progressive PM techniques and thinking to ensure we deliver on our promises and build the pioneering railway the country needs.
The ability to address complex project planning and management needs is crucial. If you have the right skills, there is no need to have experience in infrastructure, construction or transport. We work collaboratively and the team has a diverse and varied skill set from all different backgrounds.