We have hand picked some of the leading figures within the rail industry to present at this year's event. Find out a bit more about each of our speakers below.
Chris is a product development, marketing & technology specialist. He leads the vision and strategy for Enable iD - a unique product & service development company focused on IoT and personal data.
In 2004, and after a 7-year apprenticeship in IT convergence, Chris weaved his Commercial Music BA into his career and founded boutique Ecommerce company, Digital Animal. ‘DA’ built an enterprise marketing and retail platform for major record labels and artists, alongside customer loyalty campaigns for brands including Nintendo, Associated News and NatWest/RBS, winning Chris 4 UKTI Creative Industries Awards in 3 consecutive years and seeing him shortlisted for the O2 Arena Entrepreneur of The Year award.
During 2009-11 Chris held responsibility for the development and rollout of online retail strategy for PIAS, Europe’s largest independent entertainment distributor. He then moved in to mobile, working as a Creative Technologist on product development initiatives for JLR, Halfords, ATOS, Google and Vodafone.
Chris co-founded Enable iD in 2014 as a subsidiary of established software development house, Enable International, to specialise in the creation of 'smart environments' that empower people to securely capture, combine and transform data into actionable insight. In 2015 Enable iD launched its ‘MyJrny’ collaborative intelligent mobility ecosystem, which enables organisations to use personal data to improve travel whilst preserving individuals’ privacy.
Clive Kessell graduated in Electrical Engineering from City University, London, and has since been involved in railway telecommunications and signalling for his whole working life.
Following initial training by British Rail as a signal engineer, he transferred to telecommunications and became responsible for the roll out of the National Telecommunications Plan in Southern England.
Appointed Director, Engineering of BR Telecommunications in 1990, Clive moved to Racal in 1995 with privatisation and became Director, Engineering Services for Racal Fieldforce in 1999.
Clive has also been heavily involved with the various railway industry bodies. He was President of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) in 1999/2000 and Chairman of the Railway Engineers Forum (REF) from 2003 to 2007. He is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.
A chartered engineer, Clive has presented many technical papers over the past 30 years and his wide experience has allowed him to write on a wide range of topics for Rail Engineer since 2007.
Paul Darlington joined British Rail as a trainee technician in September 1975. By the time of privatization he was a schemes engineer with BR Telecommunications, responsible for the design, specification, tendering, implementation and commissioning of telecommunication schemes included Mersey rail IECC resignalling.
Becoming Engineering Manager he moved across to Railtrack North West, leading and directing engineering activity and technical management of asset condition, maintenance and renewal standards, and coordinating multi-functional engineering disciplines in the North West Zone, with an annual maintenance and renewal budget of £120 million.
After a 37-year career in the rail industry, Paul retired in October2012 from the position of Route Asset Manager (signalling) at Network Rail. In addition to being responsible as sponsor for around £60 million of annual renewals, he was also chairman of the safety review panel for the national GSM-R programme
Colin is the Managing Director of DGauge.
Having graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, Colin worked in Motorsport before joining DGauge in 2010, tasked with applying gauging research to real-time client challenges.
He has always been driven to design new and innovative tools using the latest technologies, and to deliver them in a realistic commercial environment.
Dave joined British Rail as an S&T Graduate Trainee in 1986, following completion of his degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Bristol University.
His early career was spent in the world of Telecoms Project Engineering and Field Engineering in BR’s Southern Region, before branching out into Voice and Data Managed Services when Racal acquired British Rail Telecom in the late 1990s.
Dave returned to the world of railway engineering when he joined Railtrack in 2002 as a Stakeholder Manager, looking after the introduction of the GSM-R radio system within the Telecoms Engineering function, and ultimately became the Principal Sponsor for the £1.8b National FTN (Fixed Telecoms Network) and GSM-R Train Radio Programme. When that programme came to a close, Dave took over as the Principal Sponsor of the National ERTMS Programme, expanding that role into a National Operating Strategy context that was the forerunner of the Digital Railway, where he took on first the role of Client for all Infrastructure and Train-borne system implementation and the delivery of a portfolio of Digital Railway implementation works in the current Control Period and subsequently the role of the Digital Railway’s Principal Sponsor for National and Enabling Programmes.
Dave is currently six months into a two year secondment to the Department for Transport, acting as the Department’s Client for a portfolio of digital signalling and traffic management programmes.
Emanuele Di Liberto is currently responsible for the Business Development activities for Nokia in the Global Enterprise Business Unit with a specific focus on the Transportation domain.
Throughout his career, he has been consistently involved in subject matters relevant to mission critical communication networks, especially for the railway and aviation industry, where he has developed over the years a deep knowledge of market dynamics and customer needs.
He has been keynote speaker at several industry conferences on subjects as Next Generation Radio, Cyber-Security and Internet of Things applies to the transportation segment.
Prior to his currently role, Emanuele has been leading R&D operations focused on developing new applications specifically aimed to global enterprise and Public-Sector customers.
Currently based out of Rome, Italy, he has served in several senior international assignments within Alcatel, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia across Europe and in functions such as Presales and Project Delivery. Emanuele holds a Master Degree in Telecommunication Engineering, with a specialization in microwave transmission and physics.
John Drake is the Chief Commercial Counsel at Bird & Bird & Bird LLP. After qualifying as a barrister, he had a 25 year career in industry, mostly in transportation, telecommunications and electronic systems.
He was CEO of British Rail Telecommunications for 3 years and then Group MD of Simoco International at the time it was developing transceiver terminals and infrastructure systems in TETRA.
Having been a client of Bird & Bird and then undertaking several consultancy projects for them including the establishment of their Aviation and Energy & Utilities work streams, he was Chief Operating Officer in London 2008-15. His current role covers a range of activities centred on helping clients managing the digital transition, including the railway industry. John is a Companion Member of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers.
Kimberly Wells is a senior associate in Bird & Bird's Commercial Group, based in London.
Her practice focusses on supporting clients across a range of sectors (including the aviation, media and technology sectors) with strategic technology transformation and telecommunications projects. Kimberly has particular experience in advising on network infrastructure and connectivity arrangements, including content delivery, dark fibre IRUs for terrestrial and subsea capacity, Wi-Fi access and corporate network requirements.
Kimberly keenly follows the impact of disruptive and enabling technologies on industry and has a particular interest in 5G as an enabler of the industrial IoT.
Cathal qualified as a barrister (non-practicing) and was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2009. He is a telecommunications regulatory and competition lawyer and a member of Bird& Bird's Commercial department in London.
His experience includes advising governments and industry players on a range of regulatory and competition issues including: the assignment and use of spectrum; access and interconnection (including IP interconnection); SMP market reviews; network neutrality; the regulation of new technologies and services (including over-the-top (OTT) and Internet of Things (IoT) services); market collusion and the abuse of dominance.
Cathal completed a full-time traineeship at the European Commission where he assisted with the transposition and implementation of the EU Regulatory Framework for electronic communications at the national level. He has also advised in other regulatory sectors, including post.
Toby Bond is an associate in Bird & Bird's Intellectual Property Group, based in London.
His work focuses on supporting high tech companies protect, enforce and monetize their intellectual property rights and he has acted on a large number of patent matters in the communications, IT and electronics sectors. As a result, Toby has developed an in-depth knowledge of the GSM, UMTS and LTE standards along with the underlying hardware and software which form part of the cellular ecosystem.
Toby graduated from The University of Nottingham with a BSc in Physics and Philosophy and also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice from The University of Oxford.
Mike Hewitt is the Chief Technology Officer at ADComms, a Panasonic company. He is responsible for delivering market strategy, a supplier ecosystem, product development and special operational deployment project capabilities. He also as responsibility for Health, Safety, Quality, Environment along with assurance services and Information Security.
He is the lead on track side infrastructure, energy storage, future station, a connected train, cyber security strategy and ensuring industry alignment across industry and government strategy.
Mike has over 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry working for a mixture of SME and Global operators, including Telecom NZ, and Level 3 communications. This experience covers a wide range of technologies including wireless and fixed transmission networks, IoT, M2M, Network Infrastructure, Energy Storage, Data Analytics, Cyber Security, Passenger Information and Train based Technology Solutions including network, WiFi, Track to Train Communications, CCTV and Video Analytics.
Mike Hewitt currently acts and ICT advisor to Welsh Assembly for Trawsfynydd and Llanbedr enterprise zones supporting strategy for UK Space Sector, Small Modular Nuclear Reactor, Energy Storage and Data Centre opportunities.
Neil joined RSSB as Innovation Programme Director in 2015. He is responsible for a cross industry Innovation Programme funded by Network Rail and the Department for Transport.
He is responsible for both leading and the effective governance of the programme, and implementing performance improvements. Prior to RSSB, he worked at the Royal Aerospace Establishment, Defence Evaluation Research Agency and QinetiQ as an Apprentice through to Programme Manager. With over 20 years’ experience of successfully leading major and technically complex military aviation research, technology insertion and flight test programmes.
Neil is an executive MBA graduate of Henley Business School.
Stephen has been an active member of relevant industry innovation boards leading in the development of new innovation processes / techniques through digital technology, reducing the cost to do business.
As Head of Stakeholder Engagement for NSAR Stephen was part of an industry innovation impact survey for HS2 and the sector skills gap studies. Separately as part of the Pauley team, he has been delivering the digital step change in rolling stock.
More recently moving focus over to infrastructure and winning the Constructing Excellence: Digital Construction Award in collaboration with the contractor for work on BIM at NCHSR.
Steve Denniss has been providing systems expertise on major mainline, metro and light rail projects across the world for the last 20 years.
Working in the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle East, Steve has developed extensive knowledge on the application of new technologies within the sector.
He has provided assurance leadership for the UK's ERTMS programme, Denmark's ETCS programme, led research for the Department for Transport, Network Rail and RSSB surrounding signalling, train control, communications and electrification systems, and has authored a number of technology articles for Rail Engineer.
Steve is currently providing system assurance and independent assessment services to the Digital Railway programme.
In collaboration with the IRSE and other industry representatives, Steve is leading a Digital Railway Think Tank to discuss the key issues facing the implementation of new technologies in the UK.
Stuart joined the Digital Railway team in September 2016 to lead the Early Contractor Involvement programme working closely with the supply chain.
He started his career as an engineering sponsored student with British Rail before specialising in project management and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Structural Engineering and a Master’s degree in project management.
He has over 30 years’ experience in major rail and infrastructure projects throughout the UK and Europe working as a Client, Contractor, Consultant and Manufacturer having held senior executive roles with Railtrack, Bombardier Transportation and Jacobs Engineering.
Most recently he has been Managing Director of an SME specialising in the design and manufacture of safety critical products used in rail and other specialist engineering industries.
Stuart has written and lectured on the subject of project stakeholder management and has a keen interest in skills development and training. He is a Board member of the National Skills Academy for Rail.