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Senior Leadership Team

Mark Phillips - Chief Executive Officer

Mark Phillips - Interim Managing Director

Mark was appointed Chief Executive in 2016. Mark joined RSSB as Director of Research and Standards in 2015 where he led the technical experts who provide advice and guidance, and develop standards for the rail industry to improve efficiency and safety. The role included managing interoperability with the EU, driving the integration of EU standards into GB rail, and managing the research portfolio.

After graduating in Economics from the University of York, Mark joined British Rail as an operations graduate trainee, before joining the privatisation team. He worked for Railtrack as Head of Operational Planning and Engineering, for Network Rail as Regional Director for Anglia, and as Deputy Managing Director for the Greater Anglia franchise.

Mark is a Fellow of the Institute of Railway Operators and a Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport. Mark is deputy chairman of the British Transport Police Authority and chairs the BTPA audit and risk committee. In 2018 Mark became a founding member of the Department for Transport’s Research and Innovation Board.

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Paul Marchant - Chief Financial Officer

Paul Marchant - Head of FinancePaul joined RSSB in 2014 and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in February 2018. Paul’s immediate challenges are to ensure RSSB remains financially sustainable and to shape RSSB’s long term financial strategy in order to meet the changing needs of its membership and key stakeholders. Paul is also leading the work to reform RSSB’s business performance measures and to build the strategic business plan for the next control period of funding.

Paul gained a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the University of Warwick, and qualified as a chartered accountant (ACA) with Clement Keys (now PKF Cooper Parry) in Birmingham. Paul was also Management Accountant at the Conservative Party Campaigning Headquarters in Westminster before joining RSSB

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Paul McLaughlin - Business Development & Engagement Director

Paul McLaughlin, Business Development & Engagement Director

Paul joined RSSB in February 2018 from BESA, a trade association within the construction industry. As its chief executive he led the organisation to deliver value and benefit to members. Prior to this he was managing director at Scotty Brand and the first chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink. At the latter, an industry membership organisation, he developed sector-wide strategies focussed on commercial results. He lobbied and influenced government and established Scotland Food & Drink as the industry’s main leadership body.

Before joining Scotland Food & Drink, Paul worked at Mars and then The Coca-Cola Company, most recently as commercialisation director responsible for North West Europe.

Paul gained a first-class honours degree in electronic engineering from the University of Glasgow, and also holds a diploma in company direction from Durham University Business School.

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Nizar Awad - Director of Projects

Nizar Awad -Director of Projects

Nizar joined RSSB as Director of Projects in November 2017. He is responsible for leading the Projects team to ensure RSSB members and stakeholders benefit from timely delivery of high quality, ‘fit for purpose’ outputs within the critical budgetary and time constraints.

With almost 30 years experience developing and delivering complex major infrastructure projects and programmes, Nizar has held various senior roles within the rail industry, working with both contractors and consultants in the UK and overseas. Most recently, he was a member of the Executive at London Rail, accountable for all project delivery as well as transforming the constituent businesses into a coherent and high performing delivery unit. Nizar enjoys developing the capability of organisations to continuously improve their project delivery and actively encourages collaborative working across the industry. 

Nizar is a Chartered Engineer with a BEng in Civil Engineering, MSc in Construction Management, DIC and MBA from Imperial College; and is a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the British Tunnelling Society and the Association for Project Management.

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Keith Hanlon-Smith - Human Resources Director

Keith Hanlon-Smith - Head of Human ResourcesKeith joined RSSB as Head of HR in April 2017 with responsibility for the HR, Company Secretariat and Facilities teams. Keith heads up the team that is responsible for ensuring that RSSB’s people are able to provide the very best service to its members.

Keith has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resource Management gained in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. He was worked for the Carbon Trust, Norland Managed Services (now CBRE Global Workplace Solutions) and prior to that the media and retail sectors.

Keith is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a graduate of Brighton University and a business mentor for Teach a Man to Fish.

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Vacant - Chief Operating Officer

Tom Lee - Director of Standards

Tom Lee - Interim Director of Standards

Tom joined RSSB in 2002 as a signalling specialist. Since then he has headed several specialist teams within RSSB, was appointed Acting Director of Standards in 2016 and permanently in the role in 2017. He is accountable for the suite of Railway Group Standards, Rail Industry Standards, and Guidance Notes. He leads engineering, operations, and human factors specialists who provide advice, guidance and develop standards and related material to support the industry.

Originally a British Rail sponsored student, Tom gained a BEng in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Birmingham. Following graduation, Tom had various roles on infrastructure maintenance projects, including leading a team maintaining signalling and communication systems on the West Coast Main Line.

Tom is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a Fellow of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers.

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George Bearfield - Director of System Safety, Health & Wellbeing

George Bearfield - System Safety DirectorGeorge joined RSSB in 2006 and was appointed Director of System Safety and Health in 2014. He is responsible for RSSB’s work to support the industry in all aspects of its health and safety management and assurance processes and capabilities.

Initially manager of the Safety Decisions Programme, George became Head of Safety Knowledge and planning in 2012. Prior to this he worked as a senior consultant at Atkins Rail, following previous roles in the consultancy and railway supply sectors.

George has an MSc in Electronics and Computer Based Systems, and a PhD in Computer Science, specialising in railway risk modelling. He is a Chartered Electrical Engineer, and a Fellow of the Safety and Reliability Society. He is the visiting Professor of Railway System Safety at the University of Huddersfield and is an independent expert advisor to the board safety subcommittee of National Air Traffic Services (NATS).

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Luisa Moisio - Director of Research and Development


Luisa Moisio - Director of Research and Development Luisa Moisio joined RSSB in 2005, and was appointed Head of Programme Strategy and Analysis for Research & Development in 2013. She was named R&D Programme Director in 2017, and is responsible for a cross-industry programme funded by the Department for Transport. This provides answers and develops solutions for the rail industry, spanning a broad range of engineering, operations, and management topics. Since 2014 Luisa has been a member of the organising committee of the World Congress of Rail Research, and in 2015 she became the Industry Co-Chair for the Rail Research UK Association (RRUKA), a partnership between the rail industry and UK universities.

Luisa has a background in business analysis and consulting. She has an MSc in Decision Science, and a degree in International Sciences and Economics.

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Chris Lawrence - Technical Director


Chris Lawerence - Technical Director

Chris joined RSSB as Technical Director in 2016. He is responsible for ensuring that the technical capability of the organisation meets the current and future needs of the industry. Chris oversees the consistent application of a whole-system approach to the delivery of RSSB’s services that reflects best practice in rail and other relevant sectors.

Chris previously worked in engineering consultancy in the UK and internationally. He has led multi-disciplinary engineering and design management of main line, mass transit, and light rail projects for over 30 years.

Chris is a chartered civil engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a member of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation. He is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham.

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Eileen Pevreall - Information Technology Director

Eileen Pevreall - Information Techology DirectorEileen joined RSSB as Information Technology Director in 2015.  Eileen’s role is to develop RSSB’s IT and digital services to support the rail industry systems provided to members.

Eileen has over 15 years’ experience as an IT Director in the charity and not-for-profit sector.  She has worked with the Carbon Trust and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development where she led IT programmes with a focus on member engagement and business growth.  Eileen started her career in IT at British Gas.     

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