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 (from Transport for London) and Paul Case (YRP’s chairman) to the panel in 2018. 


The YRP judges for 2019 are:

Paul Case
Paul Case, BA, MA, MSc, MAPM … Paul Case is a Project Manager for London Underground, where he joined the Rail Industry four years ago as a trainee Graduate Project Manager. Paul is also the National Chairman of Young Rail Professionals, responsible for leading over 70 volunteers across the UK, servicing over 6,000 members from across the UK Rail Industry.


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
I started my 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. I joined Network Rail in 2015 as a Project Management Graduate where I 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. I was managing the delivery of the piling/foundations scheme of works which gave me a lot of professional development as well as exposure to the fast paced environment of delivery. In September 2016, I started as a Scheme Project Manager with IP Track Development, where I was responsible for a portfolio of track renewals and enhancements across the Anglia route. I am now working 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. I am looking forward to progressing in my career within Rail in what is now a interesting time for our industry.


Zak Shayler
Zak is an Assistant Project Manager working at Transport for London (TfL) as part of London Underground’s Step Free Access (SFA) programme. Having completed the two-year Project Management - scheme Zak transitioned in to his new role in September 2017. The SFA programme will deliver 30 step free stations by 2022, a key component of the Mayor’s transport strategy.


Georgia Ehrmann
I currently live in York where I moved from London in early 2017 to work in the Performance and Planning team at Arriva Rail North.  I am enjoying building my geographical and operational knowledge of the north of England network, where we are transforming the rail offering. My first role in the industry was in Chiltern Railways’ Business Development team.  Beyond focusing on infrastructure and timetable development, I got involved in wider projects including the launch of the new Bicester-Oxford infrastructure and stations.  I also gained experience including in the depot, at stations selling tickets, working FA Cup matches at Wembley, learning how to dispatch trains and even manning the company’s twitter account.  I believe this holistic approach is key to working in the railway, as well as building relationships across the industry. It is fascinating to read about and experience the change that the industry is undergoing, particularly infrastructure and rolling stock.  It is clear that whilst experience is important, younger people should feel confident to challenge and innovate.  Through bodies like the YRP, the industry can go a long way to encourage younger people and promote diversity.  I am delighted to have a place on the judging panel of the NRA, which recognizes and defines industry success, reminding us of what we are here for – delivering benefits to our passengers every day.



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