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Megha Garia, Principal consultant, asset management, Atkins


Principal consultant, asset management

When did you start working at Atkins?

September 2007.

Why did you join Atkins?

To pursue a career in consultancy and work in the dynamic environment that Atkins offers. Of course asset management hugely caught my interest too as a very niche area of service.

What did you do before you joined Atkins?

For one year, following graduation and prior to joining Atkins, I worked for a leading oil field service provider (Schlumberger) as a seismic engineer on oil exploration projects offshore and travelled to quite a few countries around the world.

How would you describe your role and responsibilities?

I lead a team of asset management consultants within the Rail Solutions business of Atkins. We assist railway and highway clients in various aspects of asset management that typically include investment planning, whole life costing, risk based maintenance, asset information management and staff training. Business development, technical and commercial management of projects and bids also form a vital part of my role.

How do you describe what you do to friends and family?

I provide advisory services to clients in the transport sector so they can get the best out of their physical assets whilst achieving a healthy balance with the costs and risks associated with managing the assets. This in turn lends to an efficient delivery of their services to the customers.

Do you have any professional accreditations?

I have a BTech in Civil Engineering and I am a member of Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Institute of Asset Management (IAM).

What key projects have you worked on?

Various projects in the UK and UAE; a few of them include Network Rail Whole Life Costing Functional Requirement, Docklands Light Railway 10-year Asset Investment Requirements Plan, Transport for London Risk Based Inspections Framework for highway structures, Highways Agency Optimum Maintenance Strategies for highway structures, and several others.

What are you currently working on?

Quite a few exciting Network Rail projects which include ORBIS Asset Data Improvement Programme, Risk Based Maintenance Training, and a few others such as the London Rail 10-year Asset Investment Requirements Plan.

What achievement are you most proud of?

A terrific professional journey of progressing from a graduate engineer to the role of group manager within five years. It has been an exponential learning curve and it has not come easily; I have constantly stepped outside my comfort zone to gain a greater understanding of my discipline/service line and have never hesitated to take on more responsibility which has helped shape up my professional abilities.

What’s the most technically challenging project you’ve worked on at Atkins?

Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) PAS 55 certification: it was a completely new and different working environment and culture for me and involved dealing with several hundred stakeholders within the challenging timescales of the project that led to RTA becoming one of the first organisations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to achieve PAS 55 certification.

How has your career developed at Atkins?

I joined Atkins as a graduate and over the six years that I have been with Atkins I have evolved my professional abilities as a consultant as well as a manager of projects, people and clients. I have grown technically, commercially and interpersonally in many ways.

How have you been supported during your career development?

I have received the depth and breadth of experience, not just within the UK but also internationally. I have always had very supportive line managers who have allowed me the freedom to explore a variety of challenging projects and have never hesitated in offering me more responsibility.

How do asset management consultants and Atkins make a difference?

With increasing financial pressures it is becoming even more crucial for our clients to demonstrate value for money in the investment they make in their assets throughout the lifecycle. We support them in doing so whilst ensuring that risks are carefully managed.

How would you describe the culture at Atkins?

Atkins believes in delivering quality solutions to its clients and has a culture that is underpinned by technical excellence and safety. And people form a key part of this offering.

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