Working for SYSTRA: An Insight from our London Office

Javier Abellan and Maria Jaen, two recent joiners to our London Office share some of their thoughts on life working for SYSTRA and the key challenges and opportunities for the transport sector.

Maria Jaen

Q1) What are your responsibilities in SYSTRA UK?

 Maria Jaen - Analyst

I am an Analyst for the London office. I tend to be involved in the analytical side of projects, helping the more senior team members to undertake tests and analyse the results.

Maria Jaen - Analyst

Q2) Tell us about a project you are currently working on?
Currently I am working on HS2. We have been doing some sensitivity tests to analyse how the model responds to variations in different parameters.

Q3) What do you feel are some of the current challenges facing the sector you work in?
From a political point of view, we are all expecting things to change in the mid and long term in the UK. However there is an uncertainty about how great the changes might be and which sectors will be most affected. In our work as transport modellers, we rely on historic data to forecast important drivers for demand in rail industry. Depending on the changes that occur, it could mean that the historic data won’t be able to reflect the future reality. As things become more clear it will be important for us to find an effective approach to overcome this.

Q4) And what opportunities do you see coming forward in 2017?
Since I am new to the transport business, I am expecting 2017 to be a year full of learning experiences. Now we are much bigger organisation in the U.K it will help us to continue making our presence in London stronger and also give us the opportunity to be part of new types of projects. 

Q5) When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I very much enjoy going out to try new restaurants. However, if I am staying at home I love making desserts and eating them while watching a good movie!

 

Javier Abellan

Q1) What are your responsibilities in SYSTRA UK?

 Javier Abellan - Senior Consultant 

I am a senior consultant and I am currently helping on-going projects, but I will soon help prepare bids and lead on tasks and projects as well.

Javier Abellan - Senior Consultant 

Q2) Tell us about a project you are currently working on?
I am working on “Improved Passenger Compensation”, developing a model to help the Department for Transport estimate and understand the cost of offering Delay Repay Compensation to cover passengers who are delayed for between 15 and 30 minutes. This is an extension to the current arrangements where a delay must be of at least 30 minutes before compensation is offered.

Q3) What do you feel are some of the current challenges facing the sector you work in?
Consultancy makes heavy use of data, and is being outpaced by other industries. Professionals need more knowledge about the latest tools and techniques available. Transportation is changing rapidly due to new technologies such as Uber, autonomous vehicles, internet of things, automation of manufacturing jobs, etc. Many of our current assumptions, approaches and techniques will need to be adapted or changed in the near future.

Q4) And what opportunities do you see coming forward in 2017?
Some of the largest and most relevant engineering projects are happening in the UK (Crossrail, HS2, potential Heathrow expansion Etc.). Local authorities are slowly getting larger budgets for infrastructure and will hopefully carry out transport projects that have been postponed during the recession. The World is becoming more and more global, I expect an increase in international projects.

Q5) When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I usually cook and go to the gym. I also play the “bandurria” (you will have to google that!) and dance salsa occasionally.