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Infectious enthusiasm

ICE news

Enthusiasm and, just as importantly, his ability to impart that enthusiasm to others was the key to Russell Jackson's success in the competition, say the judges.

It was particularly important in this role because as regional civils manager (western) for consultant Atkins Rail, he was establishing a virtually new business for the Atkins group.

When he arrived there was a small team of just four people to work with and his mission was to expand this into a larger unit 'and successfully acquire more and larger projects', he says.

His achievement - bringing the team from just four to over twenty in two years - certainly impressed the judges.

'He also dealt with a good variety of different projects, ' says CEMYA judge Ginny Clarke, chief highway engineer at the Highways Agency Safety Standards & Research Directorate. One of the most exciting of these is the £24M ($42) renovation of the Grade Two listed Earls Court Tube station for Metronet, which includes work on the 100 year old train shed roof.

Jackson was keen to give his team experience on large projects such as this he says, particularly as he had carefully recruited a young team, including new graduates and modern apprentices alongside chartered engineers and more seasoned technicians. His own experience included larger schemes and he was keen to communicate that.

A young team is dynamic and keen to innovate, he says 'but this must be tempered by experience'. A good way to do this was to encourage liaison with people from other parts of Atkins, 'introducing staff to, and working with, experienced colleagues from other offices, ' he says.

That also helped tap into the extensive resources of a large organisation, something that could be missed in a small team away from the main centres of the company.

Clarke says that his presentations showed imagination as well as enthusiasm and she felt he would use that to deal sensitively and carefully with people in his own team, and in his relationships with clients and contractors.

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