Engineer of the Year

This Award is designed to recognise, reward and inspire management talent in the engineering disciplines of the UK bus industry. The award is sponsored by the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE).

The IRTE logo

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 2014.

… 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 was not appropriate for this category.

Gold Award Winner

Tony Cocfoft, who works for Stagecoach in Merseyside and South LancashireTony Cockcroft, Stagecoach Merseyside

Seconded to Stagecoach Merseyside to control three existing depots and merge two new, underperforming ones as engineering director two years ago, Tony has inspired his teams to be more pro-active and passionate about their job. He raised standards across all five depots and his fresh, approachable manner has improved engineering and operations communications to ensure all depots are working together as a team to achieve ultimate customer satisfaction. His managers now have tools to analyse defect and breakdown information and lost mileage has reduced by 30% across his existing depots. The judges were impressed by Tony's professionalism and his passion for developing his staff at all levels.


Silver Award Winner

Jason Jackson from EnsignbusJason Jackson, Ensign Bus Company

Having joined Ensignbus as an apprentice, Jason is now Workshop Manager where he leads a team of engineers including three apprentices. Despite the sheer diversity of his job from the repair and maintenance of the latest hybrid vehicles to the refurbishment of sales vehicles and the restoration of historic vintage buses dating back to 1930, he delivers consistent results across the whole range of demand. Jason is not only a talented engineer and effective manager but a great ambassador for the company when dealing with bus sales customers and an inspiring mentor for apprentices and others who aspire to achieving a similar level of expertise.

Bronze Award Winner

Stuart Drummond, who works for FirstGroup in the North RegionStuart Drummond, First UK Bus (North Region)

Stuart is a well-respected, diligent and knowledgeable engineer with 16 years' experience in the bus industry. Engineering director for First West Yorkshire, Stuart has demonstrated to the business what can be achieved with an industrious and honest application of sound engineering techniques, delivered in an inclusive and supportive manner. Over the past two years, his calm and methodical approach has significantly boosted the company's behavioural culture and in Manchester, lost mileage has improved by 45%, no vehicle lost mileage by 80% and breakdown casualty rate by 57% all while hitting budgetary targets. Stuart shone out to the judges as an exemplar of good practice


Leigh Vardanega from London UnitedLeigh Vardanega, London United Busways

When Leigh Vardanega was appointed Engineering Manager at London United's Hounslow depot in 2012, he was faced with the huge task of transforming working culture to raise the bar in engineering performance in London. Through managerial skill, financial acumen, leadership and engineering excellence, he has instilled a sense of pride in his engineers and created an ethos of openness, teamwork and personal accountability. Rigorous quality checking and reading of all driver defect logs - above the required 20% - means standards are high and he is proud of a 100% MOT pass rate. Leigh's approach and ability to deliver such positive results impressed the judges.


Evran Kiazim from Arriva Southern CountiesEvran Kiazim, Arriva Southern Counties

Evran joined Arriva on the Engineering Graduate programme in 2007 and is now an extremely capable and valued manager within the organisation. He has outstanding leadership qualities and not only consistently achieves high engineering quality standards but assists the marketing department on a regular basis when buses are needed for photo shoots, PR events and more. Both the depot and the fleet are very well presented and, while happy to get into overalls and in the thick of it, Evran is always immaculately turned out. Despite increasingly tough budgets faced by engineering managers, each year he always rises to the challenge and is currently slightly under budget for the year.

Criteria and Entry Requirements

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

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

Nominees had to 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

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).

The TEG logoThe UK Bus Awards scheme is organised by The Bus Industry Awards Limited, a company registered in England & Wales No 3332837.

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