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Transport for London offers structured training and a wide variety of career opportunities for engineers at all levels

Transport for London (TfL) employs civil engineers across three business areas – streets, underground and overground rail, as well as on major projects. It can be involved in design or project delivery, and liaise closely with external consultants and contractors on a wide variety of projects, including tracks, buildings, highways and structures.

Alison Coffey
"I feel very fortunate to work for an employer than can offer such diverse opportunities and support to the development of both team and individual"
Alison Coffey joined TfL in March 2005 as an area engineer in the contracts development team, having previously worked for Surrey County Council and the Roads Service in Northern Ireland.

Since arriving, she says, "the opportunities and experiences have been a whirlwind tour" that have seen her play key roles from the procurement phase through to contract development, award and mobilisation.

Coffey is now senior commercial manager within TfL’s Streets business, where she advises on contract and commercial management of highway maintenance works contracts, manages risk and opportunities, resolves contractual issues and ensures best value is achieved through the contractual arrangements. TfL manages 600km of strategic road network, and spends up to £60M on improvement and renewal schemes each year, ranging from carriageway and footway resurfacing to major projects, such as the A40 bridge renewals and the refurbishment of Westminster Bridge. "My team contributes to projects but we do not deliver the whole project," Coffey explains. "My goal is to continually improve the engineers’ understanding and practice of risk management, contract and cost management when commissioning their projects. This helps to minimise the commercial issues later."

Since being at TfL, Coffey has taken leadership modules provided by Henley College and Warwick University for the organisation, and says she has been able to adopt many of the tools in developing her leadership style and approach. "I feel very fortunate to work for an employer than can offer such diverse opportunities and support to the development of both team and individual, whilst maintaining a high quality and innovative service," she says.

Sherif Narouz
"I really enjoy what I’m doing now because you get to see the whole of a project through its lifecycle."
Sherif Narouz has been with TfL since January 2007. He spent his first six months in the organisation’s major projects business before moving to London Underground to work on the Stratford Station upgrade.

Six months ago he joined the team that is responsible for upgrading the Underground’s operational accommodation, such as train crew facilities, station managers’ offices and revenue control accommodation. These can involve anything from refurbishing an existing office to brand new buildings, and can be located anywhere on the Underground network.

Currently, Narouz has 24 projects in his portfolio, each of which has its own project manager reporting to him. He describes his role as programme and resource management, offering technical expertise to support his project managers, and "rolling up your sleeves and doing whatever’s needed". He also works closely with his equivalent on the design side of the LU team. "During the design I and my project managers feed in construction input, and then when issues on design come up during construction, the design manager jumps in to help with technical queries," he explains.

Narouz has worked his way up from assistant project manager to senior project manager in less than two years, and says that the company has been "brilliant" in terms of personal development.

TfL has structured training to help staff become members of the Association of Project Managers, as well as ICE membership. Prior to joining TfL, Narouz spent 10 years working for both contractors and client organisations – including a stint on Heathrow’s Terminal 5. "I’ve worked on major projects my entire career," he says, "but I really enjoy what I’m doing now because you get to see the whole of a project through its lifecycle. On major projects you can be isolated in your section and you don’t see the bigger picture. The job I have now allows me to see things through right to the end."

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