Engineer of the Year 2010

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The logo of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers

This award is designed to recognise, reward and inspire management talent in the engineering disciplines of the UK bus industry.

Darren RoeWinner: Darren Roe

Stagecoach Manchester

As Engineering Director of Stagecoach Manchester, Darren Roe is an exceptional and inspirational young engineer and manager. He is enthusiastic, motivated and inclusive, with first-class communication skills. His ‘can do’ approach and his relentless focus on the impact that engineering has on the passenger experience, coupled with his passion for developing staff at all levels, has turned a good engineering team into an excellent one.

In particular, the judges were very impressed by his commitment to people, his involvement with local schools and the provision of work experience for Year 10 and 11 students, as well as ‘taster days’ for teachers and careers advisors, leading the company to obtain the pick of youngsters for engineering apprenticeships.

Darren pictured with some of his young staffThis, together with his development of engineering staff through such as his ‘Target 100’ incentive scheme and the ‘10% Club’ for supervisors, rewarding extraordinary performance with extraordinary prizes, and jointly with his managers a strong focus on performance KPIs, have all been key parts of the transformation of Stagecoach Manchester over the last few years.

This victory follows on from last year’s win in this category by one of his depot Engineering Managers, Mike Brinicombe, illustrating the culture of excellence in the company’s engineering discipline.



Runner Up: Bill Devlin

Lothian Buses plc

Bill DevlinBill is an absolutely first class engineering director with a long career of leading, innovating, training and managing PCV engineering people and functions, and a track record of success and the highest standards. For over a decade he has led the engineering function of Lothian Buses which features a 600-strong fleet and has achieved a consistent 99.5% MOT pass rate, with only three delayed prohibitions in the last five years. He has ensured the highest possible operational and safety standards for the company’s customers in Edinburgh and the surrounding area and has been a key factor in Lothian Buses’ growth in passenger numbers, financial success and tremendous reputation.

As his Managing Director says, with Bill “what you see is what you get”. One only has to look at his buses in central Edinburgh to see that what Lothian has got is a top-class engineering function managed by a top-class engineering director.

Steve Prewett, Go South Coast

Steve Prewett from BluestarSteve Prewett has guided Bluestar to achieve great things.  Since his arrival in 2006, the business has been revitalised due in no small part to his personal efforts and him leading the complete transformation of the engineering function.

A calm leader, he has developed deep respect from those around him for his hands-on methods of working, an undying commitment to the company and its people and an excellent relationship with and deep understanding of his colleagues and the work they do throughout the business. His air of calm competence and down to earth approach impressed the judges immensely..




Judges' Overall Verdict

As an award designed to recognise, reward and inspire management talent in the engineering discipline of the industry, the judges could not have been asked to consider three more different engineering managers, all absolutely first class in their own way and all very worthy of shortlisting.

In particular the judges had an immensely difficult decision to decide between winner and runner-up, one a very long-serving Engineering Director in the industry with reputation for presiding over a quality operation wherever he has worked, and a relatively young Engineering Director who has brought new ideas to the way he undertakes his role, equally achieving high standards.

Again there was disappointment that not more engineers were entered for the award, but the small quantity should not in any way be seen to detract from the quality of those who were.

Who could be nominated?

This award was open to all people employed at or above the supervisory grade in the engineering function of bus operating, maintenance or manufacturing companies or organisations for a continuous period of not less than 12 months at 31 May 2009.

… and by whom?

We welcomed nominations from all eligible organisations, both of their own employees and of outstanding engineers with whom they work in partnership or as stakeholders. Self-nomination is NOT appropriate for this category. In all cases, the person nominated MUST countersign the form to confirm their agreement to their name being put forward.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

The judges will reach their decision on a short-list of finalists on the quality of the submissions made by the nominating organisation. Short-listed entrants will be required to make a presentation to the judges and be interviewed by them.

Nominating organisations must be able to demonstrate that the nominees have shown excellence in management and leadership and that this has been recognised by them.

Nominees must be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to manage complex tasks, people, processes and the environment in which their organisation operates
  • Effective communication skills with both staff and colleagues
  • A commitment to mentoring or other leadership activities
  • Demonstrable ability to perform to a budget and to deliver measurable outputs and other outputs, which could include:
    • Specified vehicle availability targets
    • Specified PSV test targets
    • Avoidance of roadside prohibitions or defect notices.

Short-listed finalists were required to make a 10-minute presentation either:

  • on the role of their function in their organisation or wider industry, or
  • on a subject of their own choosing relevant to engineering in the bus industry

And to answer questions from the judging panel (also 10 minutes).

Group Travel World

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