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Grad Projects: Maz keeps us flying high

Maz Chowdhury | Junior Consultant

01 November 2018

Here is the latest in our blog series highlighting the brilliant work of our Graduates. This time we hear from Maz Chowdhury, whose ambition is to “make a positive impact on society” — something she feels she can achieve through technology and the breadth of opportunities at Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin group…

Tell us about what drives you….
My passion projects mainly revolve around better using technology. The newest technologies can help us delight our clients by anticipating and reacting to their needs, as well as driving efficiency and saving time, effort and money. Technology can also motivate us to achieve better working behaviors internally, providing more value and improving employee satisfaction!

Can you give us an example of a project you’re working on where better technology is helping ‘make a positive impact on society’?
A prime example which I’ve loved working on is the Security Programme within a major UK Airport. There are 78 million passengers and staff using the site who need to be protected from increasingly complicated threats such as terrorism — so that’s an important and high impact project.

I joined the team in May. So far, I’ve helped increase safety in some of the search lanes including passenger facing ones, by leading the analysis on the Staff Search Body Scanners. I’ve also helped draft new contracts to govern the trials for 3D cabin baggage scanners. These will allow passengers to carry liquids and laptops in their checked luggage safely. I’m now on the trials for the machines, so I’ll get to follow through on that and see how the technology does.

I’ve also conducted an analysis of the ‘pinch points’ within security lanes, helping my team highlight the areas a ‘lane of the future’ needs to facilitate the faster processing of passengers. All things which will make a huge difference to the public.

What was your first assignment with us?
I was in at the deep end at the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) Centre. The DGP is a Government-Industry partnership which was set up to secure a thriving UK Defence sector.

As it spans 13 other Defence companies and three Government departments, integrity is key. I had the responsibility of remaining impartial during Government-Industry negotiations, workshops and strategy meetings. As I was often the only person from the Atkins business at meetings, I needed to maintain the highest standards to represent the company brand well. I was also on the look out to spot where we could win work, collaborating with other companies on initiatives, or leverage more capabilities like our Global Design Centre (GDC).

Working on this project allowed me to develop stakeholder management skills in a complex multi-company and government environment within a very short time, which was invaluable and exciting. I also undertook the planning and appraisal of the first DGP Board evaluation. I helped write the first proposal of the Defence Sector Deal and coordinated the analysis for the Defence Suppliers Forum (DSF) Mid-Tier, and Ministry of Defence (MoD) Prosperity review.

How have you been facilitating technology-based upskilling within Atkins?
As part of my team’s Graduate Development Programme, we’ve been looking into upskilling our Aerospace, Defence, Security & Technology division (ADS&T) on Microsoft Office 365 (O365). It provides the core Office apps, plus email, cloud storage, a robust set of team collaboration capabilities, Skype for Business meetings and voice services, and advanced security and analytics capabilities which will allow us to move all our IT systems to the cloud.

We’ve focused on project showcases to highlight best practice cases and identify where we can better cross sell our capabilities. Now that our internal introductory Webinars and ‘Lunch and Learns’ have been conducted, we're moving ADS&T into using Microsoft Teams (MS Teams), which could revolutionise the way we communicate and present work to clients.

In August we'll have MS Teams: Intermediate sessions which will showcase our work on PASS2 — the business’s biometric verification system designed for our Airport client’s busiest departure lounge. It integrates infrared facial recognition and biometric technology to establish passenger identity. It feels like I’m part of shaping the future!

Sound exciting? Be inspired by what Rose Whitfield, First-Year Graduate and Assistant Project Manager has been doing. And find out more about our graduate programme