The RailStaff Awards 2020

Nominations for Graduate or Newcomer Award

Asfandyar Shahid

Said the following about Ben Flynn:

“Ben joined WSP in 2015 as an apprentice and is now an undergraduate engineer in the Overhead Line Electrification (OLE) team. His commitment to project delivery has enhanced our reputation with our client, Network Rail. Most recently he has been instrumental in the East Kilbride station project, taking on and excelling in client-facing responsibilities. His rapidly developing expertise on OLE means he is often asked to contribute to other projects, which he does with great enthusiasm.

Over the last few years, Ben has flourished within the business and in the Rail industry, growing into a confident presenter, always holding himself professionally very well. Leading the OLE reference design on East Kilbride, Ben is always willing to help, no matter how busy he is with his own tasks. The effort Ben puts into his work on projects is impressive, and was no different when he presented the OLE designs to Network Rail. Impressing the 20 client representatives with his thorough knowledge of OLE, innovative ideas and recognising the challenges associated with the OLE solution at the overbridges.

“Ben delivered an excellent performance during the Network Rail meeting when he presented the OLE Cross Section drawings produced for the East Kilbride project. His high-quality presentation summarised OLE methodology for the production of OLE Cross Sections and included examples of OLE proposals for various type of overbridge structures. Ben was well prepared and presented his slides in a professional and confident style. He also responded well to questions from the client.” Artur Waszkiewicz, Contractor Engineering Manager (WSP).

Pantographs collect power through contact with an overhead line. To avoid bridge strikes and ensure delivery of the required traction power, they need to be well designed. Ben took the initiative to develop his own pantograph profiles to allow the team to keep producing the OLE overbridge designs and keep the project on track. This unsolicited help was valuable to the project and demonstrated Ben’s commitment to technical excellence. It’s this dedication to excellence that has made Ben a sought-after asset on projects, including Waterbeach Station and Birmingham City Centre Extension.

“Ben’s contribution to the Waterbeach Station project has been exceptional. He was responsible for originating all the deliverables. The quality of his work ensured a successful project. Ben is a credit to the organisation, and he executes his role with absolute professionalism.” WSP Senior OLE Engineer/Team Leader, Nikos Georgakopoulos.

The OLE team hosted two university students to shadow engineers, to gather insight into the business and the rail industry. Naturally, Ben sat down with the students and explained his role in the team, showing his work on projects and answering their questions about working in the industry. Demonstrating Ben’s willingness to go above and beyond to help and support peers while managing his project tasks and meeting strict deadlines.

Ben is not only a role model within WSP, but this extends to many of his peers outside the business. Ben mentors fellow early career professionals, helping them add value to their career development. Through being a STEM Ambassador, Ben attends his college every year, representing WSP, to talk about his experiences as an apprentice and encourage students to study STEM subjects.

For STEGTA (Salford & Trafford Engineering Group Training Association Ltd.) Ben has two mentees. Although, his passion for helping others reach their potential means he has a few more unofficial mentees. Ben uses his experience as an apprentice to support our current intake to achieve their milestones on WSP’s award-winning apprenticeship scheme. Ben holds weekly meetings with his mentees, sharing invaluable advice that will only have a positive contribution to their career progression.

“Without Ben as my mentor, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my essential NVQ work and finish my application for EngTech professional accreditation. Ben guides me through my working life, gives me great advice and helps in all of my reports.” - Liam Pollitt, Apprentice.

Ben is also committed to adding value to his own career development along helping his peers. Having received his EngTech accreditation in 2017, he is working hard towards achieving his CEng accreditation. With his additional workload and project requirements, Ben is often working beyond office hours and weekends. He does this with great enthusiasm, which inspires fellow apprentices to achieve more.“