Philippa M treated

Philippa is an Engagement Manager

What do you hope to bring to your new role of Engagement Manager? 

I am really excited to be starting my role. I think it will be a really interesting challenge for me. I am a lifelong railway enthusiast, so I feel that the Engagement Manager role will help bring together all those years of rail operations knowledge to help members get the best out of their membership and support their development. 

I am thrilled to be taking the freight and contractor portfolio. My original interest in the railways was in the Mechanical & Electrical Engineering part of the business, and I have really enjoyed working with my freight colleagues on the Train Accident Risk Group (TARG) and its subgroups. Freight is such a key part of the railways, so I am looking forward to learning more about it as well as being able to help them. I will also be taking on three train operating companies, whom I am confident that I can support with their membership requirements.

What brought you to RSSB?

I am a career railway-person, so RSSB was a natural home for me. I joined RSSB in 2014, working in the Human Factors team. Before that, I started my railway career at Siemens Transportation, writing method statements for Cab Secure Radio and becoming their Human Factors Specialist. From there, I went to Railtrack to do an industrial-based PhD with Nottingham University on the impact of communication failures on T2 and T3 irregularities. 

It was here that I gained my interest in engineering works and yellow plant management. From there, I worked at ERM Risk, where I wrote the first version of the safety-critical comms standard. Once Network Rail were recruiting, I joined their Human Factors and Ergonomics team, where I spent a number of amazing years working on such varieties of projects. From there, I moved to Investment Projects and was the lead for the Behavioural Safety programme, as well as working on safety culture projects. After NR moved to Milton Keynes, I freelanced for two years. I did human factors work, safety leadership, and behavioural tender evaluations, and I also worked with RSSB on their Incident Factors Classification System. 

I then came to RSSB’s Human Factors team, initially on a maternity cover, doing some work on non-technical skills (NTS) as well as speed restriction management. I stayed in the team full time and lead on the NTS work, as well as co-authoring the original 3119 standard on accident investigation, among other projects. In 2020, I moved to the Rail Industry Health and Safety Strategy team, leading the Train Operations chapter of the strategy and working with the TARG and its subgroup to deliver improvement to operational safety. 

How can you help RSSB members?

I have spent the last ten years helping RSSB members in other ways. For example, I have supported their human factors work, improved investigations, and written standards to make their businesses more effective through NTS training and guidance. 

So, while those have helped through a more technical or operational lens, I am looking forward to helping members through the Engagement Manager role in a different but hopefully equally effective way. 

Is there anything else you’d like members to know?

In my spare time, I am happiest when I am outdoors. I used to run/walk mountain marathons for fun, mostly in the rain. This has taken me to some of the more remote parts of Scotland and the Lake District. I loved being disconnected from any technology or obligations and just being outdoors. 

I mixed my two favourite loves, the outdoors and trains, when I did the Railway Three Peaks Challenge in 2018. While I don’t do mountain marathons competitively now, I still enjoy walking in the mountains and wild swimming.