Following the success of the Young Rail Professionals joining the NRA judging panel in 2017/18, we are delighted to continue this programme for 2019. For the 2019 judging season, the National Rail Awards welcomed five YRP members to join the judging panel. We are in the process of holding a competition to appoint the final sixth member, who will contribute with the current five YRPs to the whole judging process. As a consequence, they have also widened their network within the industry and gained valuable experience to help them in their careers in rail. Two of the original five stepped down, Lynsey Marhsall, at the end of the 2017 season and Michael Clapham, at the end of the 2018 season. We have welcomed Katherine Howatson and Paul Case to the panel in 2018 and this year for 2019 we welcome Rita Williams. 


The YRP judges for 2019 are:

Paul Case

Paul Case, BA (Hon), MA, MSc. Paul is a Project Management specialist for CPC Project Services LLP, currently working as a Senior Testing and Commissioning Coordinator for Cross rail’s Stations, Shafts and Portals (SSP) Programme. Prior this this, Paul completed the Transport for London Project Management Graduate. Paul has also been a key force in the development and evolution of Young Rail Professionals (YRP) over the past five years, having served as National Chair of the organisation between 2017/18. Paul is passionate about promoting careers in rail and advancing the development needs of young professionals within the industry. Paul is also co-founder of Young Rail Tours (YRT), a collaborative programme between YRP and the Institutions of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Engineering and Technology (IET) and Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) to deliver Domestic, European and International study tours that are accessible, affordable and relevant to the needs of young professionals. 


Katherine Howatson
Katherine joined the Transport for London (TfL) graduate scheme in 2015 following a degree in Geography at the University of Sheffield. Since then she has worked across TfL and undertaken a secondment with a transport research agency.


Fjolle Bunjaku
Fjolle started her career in the railways on the Project Management Graduate Scheme with Network Rail in 2015 after graduating from the University of Leicester with a degree in English and History. Joining Network Rail in 2015 as a Project Management Graduate, she worked on the Old Oak Common project for High Speed 2 as part of a 6 month placement and thereafter on the High Output Plant System – as part of the Great Western Electrification project. In September 2016, Fjolle started as a Scheme Project Manager with IP Track Development, where she was responsible for a portfolio of track renewals and enhancements across the Anglia route. She now works on the Crossrail Programme as a Scheme Project Manager under the core Engineering function, managing contracts and commercial alongside project management activities for a large Engineering organisation.


Zak Shayler 

Zak is a Project Manager working at Transport for London (TfL) as part of London Underground’s Four Lines Modernisation Programme (4LM). Having joined as a graduate in 2015, Zak completed the programme before moving in to an Assistant Project Manager role and more recently, a Project Management position. The 4LM programme will upgrade the signalling on the sub-surface lines on London Underground – the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City Lines. The upgrade will enable more trains to run per hour, increasing the overall capacity of the network. During Zak’s time in TfL he has worked across a variety of projects in all areas of the business and across all stages of the project lifecycle.


Georgia Ehrmann

Georgia joined the railway in 2014 following a degree in Geography at Cambridge University.  After her first role at Chiltern Railways focusing on Network Development, Georgia moved to York in early 2017 to work in the Performance and Planning team for Arriva sister company Northern.  Currently at Virgin Trains managing commercial aspects of the timetable and fleet plan, Georgia is passionate about rail.  She continues to build a holistic understanding of the industry though proactively gaining experience of different areas.  


Rita Williams

Rita is a Project Manager at TfL working in signalling and construction on the Four Lines Modernisation Programme. Having graduated with a 1st Class Honours in BSc Politics and International Relations, Rita started her career in rail 5 years ago. She excelled in managing a variety of influential projects including; commercial developments, depot area refurbishment, critical bridge refurb and track works, the Tour De France, Prudential Ride London and award-winning projects, to bring cooling and improved ventilation to the network. During her time on the graduate scheme she was seconded to Hong Kong MTR,  engaging in knowledge exchange to assist the UK rail industry. She is an active mentor and member of Staff Network Groups, coaching and engaging other young people in rail. Rita recently graduated with a Distinction in MSc Project Management; she has just been published and is making an impact in railway, by implementing innovations that bring meaningful sustainable change to the industry.


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