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Rachel Evans, Senior managing consultant, Atkins

Rachel

Senior managing consultant

My Bio

When did you join Atkins?

2004.

Why did you join Atkins?

The company has a great reputation and I wanted to work for a large and dynamic organisation that would challenge me with diverse and exciting projects. At the time I joined, Atkins was looking to grow its travel demand management capability which was a great match with my skills and expertise.

What did you do before you joined Atkins?

I worked for another consultancy but Atkins was a major pull because I was looking for the opportunity to get involved in larger projects that would have a real impact on the way people travel.

How would you describe your role and responsibilities?

I am the technical lead for Atkins’ Travel Demand Management (TDM) discipline. My role involves winning and delivering sustainable transport projects for our clients, working closely with a team of TDM specialists across the country.

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

My work is quite varied and specialist so I highlight practical examples of my projects to my friends and family so that they can put my work into context. For example, we’ve been improving the way passengers get around Birmingham New Street station and we made the Olympics work as well!

Do you have any professional accreditations?

I am a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics (CILT) and I am currently working towards my CILT fellowship.

What key projects have you worked on?

I feel very privileged to have been a panel member of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Travel Advice to Business programme for Transport for London. This panel engaged with over 500 businesses, with an average of 500 employees each to deliver a Games-time change in travel behaviour for 30% of commuters. This was the world’s largest travel behavioural change project and involved helping businesses change the way their staff travel to and from work.

What are you currently working on?

The Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) has made £650 million of revenue funding available to local authorities for sustainable travel initiatives. I’m lucky to be helping to wisely spend some of this pot by working with Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Peterborough on their LSTF projects. This includes everything from travel behavioural change initiatives with employers to working with job centres to improve access to employment for job seekers. Every LSTF project offers a different opportunity.

What achievement are you most proud of?

It sounds simple, but being regarded by my colleagues as having limitless energy and enthusiasm is a quality which I’m very proud of!

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

Managing differing interests of stakeholders is my top project delivery challenge! As an example, we provided sustainable travel support to Peterborough and Stamford Hospital’s NHS Trust with the redevelopment and relocation of services to Peterborough City Hospital. Car parking supply and allocation was so sensitive to all stakeholder groups and we developed a needs-based parking solution that was efficient and equitable.

How has your career developed at Atkins to date?

In short, quickly and very enjoyably! I joined as a Grade 11 and I’ve progressed through the technical career development pathway to Grade 15. I have responsibility for securing and delivering high-profile projects, senior client relationship building and influencing national TDM policy through my professional institute.

How have you been supported during your career development?

I have been given the right balance of being supported by project leads and senior managers, but also with the flexibility and headroom to make personal decisions to influence my career path. My clients have also been very beneficial in my development – client and consultant working is a two-way knowledge-sharing process!

How do transport planners and Atkins make a difference?

Transport affects all people every day of their lives. We constantly make travel decisions and as my work influences travel behaviour, I can confidently say that transport planners make a difference to everyday lives!

How would you describe the culture at Atkins?

Can-do, intelligent thinkers and driven to succeed!

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