2018 Engineer of the Year

Engineer of the Year sponsored by sponsored by 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.

Winner, Gold Award, Terry Absalom – Stagecoach London

Engineering Manager Terry Absalom was tasked with turning around Stagecoach London’s Bow garage in East London. Terry took a simple approach – set the vision and inspire the team. Taking at least 18 months, these steps have evolved into a blueprint to take a reasonably performing garage and get it to the next level in terms of consistent service delivery. Terry has systematically got rid of the distractions and distracters and developed an elite team who not only ‘see round corners’, but now have the drive and tenacity ingrained in their DNA.

Winner, Silver Award, Ben Coghlan – Stagecoach Manchester

In just 18 months Fleet Engineer, Ben Coghlan, has lead Stockport depot to become one of the top performing Stagecoach depots in the country. Ben joined the Stagecoach Apprentice Programme in 2007 and soon won First Year Apprentice of the Year. He has gone on to support, develop and motivate his team and mentor a number of people who have progressed in their engineering careers. His proactive approach to achieving the highest in engineering standards has seen him introduce a programme of Preventative Maintenance that has resulted in the Stockport team delivering reductions in breakdowns and lost mileage whist improving overall maintenance standards and vehicle cleanliness, all within budget. Ben works closely and effectively with staff at all levels in particular his depot operations team to provide Stagecoach Manchester customers with the best service. His motivation, enthusiasm and commitment to achieving engineering excellence both for himself and his team make him a great asset to the company.

Winner, Bronze Award, Colin Barnes – Go North East

Originally joining Go North East in 1992 as an apprentice technician, Colin Barnes has since risen through the ranks to become Head of Engineering and now oversees the overall engineering management of seven operational depots and a fleet of over 650 vehicles and over 250 staff. Colin champions the company’s vision of ‘journeys taken care of’ and has pioneered a wide range of efficiency measures and bespoke training.

Highly Commended, Graham Smith – Nottingham City Transport

As Nottingham City Transport’s longest serving employee, Engineering Manager Graham Smith has been at NCT ‘man and boy’, joining the company in 1970 as an apprentice. Throughout his loyal and dedicated service, Graham has progressed through the ranks to NCT’s biggest depot, where he is responsible for 209 buses and a team of 90 staff, providing cover 24/7. Graham has overseen several major projects in recent years, including new bus and chassis washes, the introduction of 53 bio-gas buses and changes to evening run-in procedures. He is heavily involved in mentoring and supporting today’s apprentices as they enter the industry, with one of his current apprentices being crowned Scania Year 2 Apprentice of the Year. With a first time MOT pass rate of over 99%, Graham manages a department that maintains its fleet exceptionally well, ensuring over 37 million passenger journeys a year are hassle free.