Our judging panel is made up of a selection of industry experts.
Judges for RailStaff Awards 2019 will be announced soon.
Ajmal has long exemplified a level of commitment to the railway, his career in the railway started back in 1989 when he began his railway apprenticeship.
Ajmal’s influential leadership has helped the railway in many positive ways. His courage to change, vision and ability led to many accomplishments such as Rail Staff Award Winner –Depot Team of the Year (2014), Mobile Technology Award Winner– UKRIA (2015), Rail Person of the year - Highly commended - Rail staff awards (2016).
After spending 18 years at Old Oak Common Depot, Ajmal left GWR in December 2018 and joined PTM Design in January 2019 as Head of Business Development.
Carolyn has worked in the rail sector throughout her career and continues to do so.
She is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Fellow of the Royal Academy. She has worked on mainline railways as a depot technician, supervisor and manager, as Senior Maintenance Engineer on Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit establishing and managing the organisation’s rail vehicle maintenance capability; on light rail as Engineering Director, of the then new South Yorkshire Supertram where she was responsible for setting up and managing the maintenance arrangements for of all aspects of the infrastructure and rail vehicles.
She was Engineering Director of for the Rail Regulator during privatisation of the UK’s railways before moving into the private sector herself to, in Sweden, oversee the development of new rail traction equipment for the UK’s market. She was then promoted to take up a new role as Senior Vice President at the corporate headquarters in Berlin of a leading rail vehicle and signalling equipment manufacturer.
Her last full time role was to establish and then lead the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, UK (RAIB) reporting directly to the Secretary of State for Transport. By the time she left the RAIB it was ranked by its peers as a world class organisation and was one of the top performing organisations in the Civil Service in terms of team work and motivation. Under her management the RAIB conducted over 250 full investigations and 95% of the recommendations arising from those were accepted and implemented - creating real positive change in the industry. She went on to become the President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, completing her term in May 2018.
She is a former chair of the Institution’s Railway Division and a current member of the Institution’s Council. She is a Non-Executive Director of Irish Rail, Board Member of the Engineering Council and chair of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, Rail Working Group. She is an External Examiner for the University of Birmingham. She has previously been a Governor of Imperial College, London and has been awarded an honorary Doctorate by Cranfield University for her services to the rail industry. She currently spends her limited free time renovating a 17th Century cottage in Somerset, engaging in visual arts and travelling.
Glynis Appelbe joined the G&W UK/Europe region in March 2016 as HR Director – UK/Europe/Middle East.
Prior to G&W UK/Europe she was the Head of HR for a FTSE listed global diversified mining company, Eurasian Natural Resources (‘ENRC’) PLC, spanning Europe, South America, Africa and Kazakhstan. Prior to RNRC she spent 16 years working in financial services related environments in subsidiaries of Barclays, ABN Amro and Hitachi Capital.
Ms Appelbe earned a business degree from University of Limerick, Ireland and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
Anna Delvecchio is currently the Commercial Account Director at Amey. Anna started her professional journey at the age of 16 as an apprentice. In her 25-year career since then, she has rapidly risen through the ranks holding several senior commercial, development and supply chain roles.
Anna recently co-led the transport industry’s coordinated response to the Government’s industrial strategy, in the form of an ambitious Sector Deal for the rail sector, which was successfully secured in December 2018.
With a passion for diversity and inclusion, Anna is committed to supporting colleagues across the sector. Anna is the Industry Chair for the Women in Rail South Group and is also on the Women in Transport Board, one of Everywoman’s Ambassadors and is a strong advocate of apprenticeship programmes.
In June 2019, the London Transport Museum unveiled a portrait and plaque of Anna, appointing her as a patron of the museum and recognising her as one of the iconic women of transport. The prestigious accolade was in honour of Anna’s work across the transport sector, including developing the Rail Sector Deal and promoting diversity and inclusion across the industry voluntarily.
Anna was also named the FTA Everywoman Transport and Logistics Woman of the Year 2018. She is a Fellow (FCILT) of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and works with the President and CEO to champion initiatives across the Institute and is Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (FCIPS).
David Shirres joined British Rail in 1968 as a scholarship student and graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Sussex University. He has also been awarded a Diploma in Engineering Management by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
His roles in British Rail included Maintenance Assistant at Slade Green, Depot Engineer at Haymarket, Scottish DM&EE Training Engineer and ScotRail Safety Systems Manager.
In 1975, he took a three-year break as a volunteer to manage an irrigation project in Bangladesh.
He retired from Network Rail in 2009 after a 37-year railway career. At that time, he was working on the Airdrie to Bathgate project in a role that included the management of utilities and consents. Prior to that, his roles in the privatised railway included various quality, safety and environmental management posts.
David was appointed Editor of Rail Engineer in January 2017 and, since 2010, has written many articles for the magazine on a wide variety of topics including events in Scotland, rail innovation and Russian Railways. In 2013, the latter gave him an award for being its international journalist of the year.
He is also an active member of the IMechE’s Railway Division, having been Chair and Secretary of its Scottish Centre.
Lee Woolcott-Ellis (Winner of the Rail Person of the Year 2018) is the HR Mental Health Coordinator at Southeastern.
Lee manages several mental health programmes or initiatives, monitoring how the organisations meets standards to ensure they remain mental health aware in support of their colleagues and service users.
Lee has 17 years of experience in the Railway Industry over a 30-year period, working in the industry previously as a Train Guard, a CCTV Manager and a High-Speed On-Board Manager. Lee has also worked in the NHS as an AV Technician/Project Manager, the Police and the Security Industry. Lee has an Honours Degree in Digital Media (RFTV) from CCCU and a Higher National Diploma in Multimedia Technologies & Development.
Lee is a published author (Mental Health), publishing his first book “A Childhood Not Easily Forgotten: A History of Abuse” in October 2017. Lee is a Mental Health First Aid England Instructor (MHFA) and an i-act Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner.
Lee wrote and developed the Colleague Mental Health Advocate Programme, which he delivers for Southeastern Railway and is passionate about reducing stigma and creating awareness of the importance of maintaining positive mental health at work and in general.
Lee enjoys networking and appreciates the value that this brings. Lee set up a Mental Health at Work Collective, a multi-organisational mental health at work forum that meets every 6 months to discuss, share and learn in all areas of reducing stigma and supporting positive mental health in the workplace.
Mac is currently Global Business Development Director for Hitachi Rail, focussing on post merger sales team integration and industrial strategy. He has worked for Hitachi for over 20 years, in a number of different positions.
Prior to Hitachi, Mac had worked for a number of technology companies, including IBM, Compaq, and Nokia. He has extensive international experience, having lived and worked in Germany and the USA.
He started his career many moons ago as an Electronics Engineer, and still remembers using valves!
Mac is an active supporter of the Railway Children, having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Everest base camp to raise money for this most worthwhile charity.
Marc Johnson began his career in the rail industry in 2012 as Rail Media’s online and international news editor before taking over as the editor of its flagship print publication, RailStaff, in 2017. Under his editorship, the magazine highlighted many important issues facing the industry and it continues to shine a spotlight on the amazing work being undertaken by companies and individuals to overcome these challenges.
During this period, Marc led editorial campaigns to raise awareness about mental health, diversity and equality, and skills. He also covered numerous RailStaff Awards ceremonies and helped to promote the inspiring stories of its winners and nominees outside of the industry.
In 2018, Marc joined Deutsche Bahn (DB) - Germany’s national rail company - to support the growth of the organisation’s international consultancy business, DB Engineering & Consulting (DB E&C), in the UK and Ireland. DB E&C is a member of the consortium that is currently delivering a major train protection system (TPS) project in Ireland.
Mark has delivered numerous diversity and inclusion projects in the UK and internationally for organisations across a wide variety of sectors, including The Financial Reporting Council, Lloyds Market Association, Inclusive Recruitment review, Bermuda Hospital Board, Groupama Insurance, The BBC, Sheffield University, NHS Clinical Commissioning Group Boards, Highways England, ITV, DR TV Denmark, Lloyds Market Association & The Bermuda Human Rights Commission and The Law Society.
Mark is a published author on the topic of Equality and Diversity having authored the Law Society E&D Risk & Compliance Toolkit which assists law firms to comply with regulation and is the co-author of research published for Arts Council England on Goal 5: Equality & Diversity for Young People in the arts.
Mark is an executive committee member of the R.I.D.I. (Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative) campaign and is a trustee for the Mama Youth Project which trains disadvantaged young people to access careers in media.
In January 2016 Mark took up the role as Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion for HS2. HS2 have won a number of EDI Awards including the 2017 ENEI Awards for Inclusive Procurement, Innovation with impact and Overall Public Sector Winner categories, three REACH Society awards for its work Inspiring Young BAME Individuals, Professional Role Models & Corporate Champions categories, The Apollo Award for Best Supplier Diversity Programme, the Women in Rail “Top Employer” 2018 award, ENEI Inclusive Procurement Award 2018, Gold Award for the ENEI TIDE benchmark, MSDUK Global Inclusive Procurement Award 2018 and the VERCIDA No.1 Gender Inclusive Employer in the UK 2018 and two RIDI 2019 Awards for Disability Confident Employer & Supply Chain management.
John Downer, Board Director of High Speed Rail Industry Leaders, and Client Account Director for Rail Solutions at Jacobs
Offering a unique background and diversity of thought to the rail industry, John is an environmental scientist by degree and Chartered Wastes Manager and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.
He worked in the waste PFI and PPP sector for his ten years at Jacobs, ultimately leading their technical, procurement and commercial advisory services business.
John joined the rail sector in February 2014, initially leading work winning and business development with HS2, Network Rail, TfL, DfT and the Historical Railways Estate. He is presently the Client Account Director for Rail Solutions directing all of Jacobs’ market engagement in the rail sector.
John has been a Board Director of High Speed Rail Industry Leaders since October 2017, through which he:
Within Jacobs, John is on the Rail Business Leadership Team, he is a ‘Positive Mental Health’ first aider and an Inclusion and Diversity champion.
John Sheehy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Transport Benevolent Fund CIO (TBF) a membership charity for public transport workers.
TBF currently has over 60,000 contributing members and John sees on a daily basis the amount of help granted towards the Fund’s members who experience need, hardship or distress. TBF can sometimes be the difference between surviving and going under.
John joined TBF in 1998 as a Benefits Assistant and before that he started with LUL in 1989, firstly as a Guard before becoming a Train Operator.
John is proud to be part of the TBF because he says it is not every day that you can be part of an organisation that makes such a difference to people’s lives when they really need it.
Paul was appointed as Chief Executive Officer at Total Rail Solutions following the completion of a management buyout in November 2018.
He is responsible for the strategic direction of the business and ensuring the efficient and safe running of all operational activities. Paul comes from a commercial background and combines this expertise with 15 years’ experience in the rail sector, to ensure strong leadership of an excellent team at TRS.
Joined Westermo in 2005 starting as an Area Sales Manager with the geographical area being North of the UK.
In 2008 my role changed to Infrastructure Sales manager working mainly for the Rail Sector but also having responsibility for Highways and transport in general.
During this period I have been developing the rail business for Westermo by building brand awareness performing various activities such as joining and taking part in industry focus and networking groups, developing the Westermo annual rail event, collaborating and forming partnerships with Key companies within the rail sector, working with Network Rail to gain product acceptance for the Westermo products.
Ruth Busby, is the HR Director at Great Western Railway (GWR) responsible for leading the people agenda during a significant period of transformation.
Ruth joined GWR in March 2018, from the Atomic Weapons Establishment, where she had been both Head of Transformation and Head of HR. Ruth also has senior management experience in Higher Education, and the Civil Service, where she started her career in policy development. A qualified coach, Ruth also has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in employee relations, diversity, leading organisational change, policy and employee reward.
Ruth was appointed CEO of Samaritans in August 2015. She initially trained as a Registered General Nurse but has spent the majority of her career in public health roles, following a degree in Social Policy from University of Warwick and a Master’s degree in Health Promotion from the University of Ulster.
Ruth was the founding Director of the Community Development and Health Network, a charitable membership network committed to addressing inequalities in health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland. Prior to joining Samaritans, Ruth was CEO of Relate and previously held senior executive leadership roles at Rethink, Alzheimer’s Society and Scope.
Ruth is a volunteer at the Bexley and Dartford branch of Samaritans. She has been a Trustee of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts since November 2015 and was a Commissioner on the NHS Staff and Learners’ Mental Wellbeing Commission.
Stephen Pearce, retired Program Director, telent Technology Services Ltd
Stephen joined telent (formally Marconi) in September 1977 as a graduate engineer, delivering complex projects in the transport arena and more specifically in the rail environment, and has been in Project Management roles since 1999.
As Program Director at telent, Stephen was responsible for the safe delivery of Operational and Station Comms projects in the rail sector.
Stephen led a busy and diverse team of project managers and engineers, from apprentices and graduates to experienced rail professionals. As part of his role he was committed to the personal and professional development of his team.
As a Chartered Engineer, delivering critical telecoms projects for most of his career, Stephen is the perfect person to help judge the Lifetime Achievement award category.
Steve Lammin in October 2019 joined Govia Thameslink Railway as their engineering director.
Steve is responsible for the maintenance, train presentation and engineering across the GTR fleet.
Prior to joining GTR, Steve worked within Transport for London holding 25 years railway experience, starting as an engineering apprentice in 1994.
Steve carried out a number of senior roles within TfL, working across the asset base with a bias for rolling stock, but having experience of running other assets. Steve’s focus was within asset maintenance and management to deliver and improve services to London, with his last role being the Head of Fleet Asset Operations, responsible for providing the passenger rolling stock fleet for London Underground. Steve has a passion for developing talent within the rail sector, inclusivity and removing barriers to entry.
Tyler LeMay is the Managing Director of Land Sheriffs, a private security and safeguarding specialist organisation in the rail sector.
Starting the business in 2005 with his father, Tyler began working on the ground and was soon responsible for the operational delivery, staff, fleet and finance within the business.
In 2010, after a successful period of growth, he was appointed operations director and was responsible for the operational strategy and delivery, but also still oversaw the finances, fleet and staff.
In 2014 Tyler was appointed the MD of Land Sheriffs, responsible for all departments within the business and also leading the strategic direction and shaping the future of the business.
He has built upon company's strength and reputation, becoming a multi award winning, industry leading security and safeguarding specialist organisation.
In 2017 with over 13 years’ experience of running a successful business within security and rail industry, Tyler is now part of industry boards to help promote and drive industry best practice and change in both the security and rail sectors.