Our careers as engineers

Hello! We’re a group of engineers at TfL. 👋

As engineers, we’re solving London’s transport problems to keep the city moving and create a safer, cleaner, more sustainable future. We’ve put together this blog post to share our experiences and talk about our careers in engineering. We also want to dispel any myths people may have about what we do and who engineering is for. We have great fun as engineers so here we share some of that with you. ✌️

See how engineers make a difference

Meet us

Three of our engineers share their favourite part about being an engineer, their favourite project in their careers so far, and why they chose a career in engineering. 👇

🙋‍♂️ Hanish Thakeria – Electrical Engineering Graduate

What made you want to become an engineer?
I chose to be an engineer because I wanted to make a difference. During my A-levels, I chose Maths, Physics, and ICT. I was very keen on learning about electronics and would often take things apart to see how they function. I also realised that electricity was at the core of almost every industry which made me pursue Electrical and Electronic Engineering at university.

I am, and always have been, extremely passionate about bettering the lives of the people around me. As engineers, we’re constantly changing the world with inventions and solutions that affect everyone’s lives. It is through engineering that we will continue to solve the world’s most impactful problems and create solutions that were once deemed impossible. I think Albert Einstein put it best when he said ‘Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been’.

What’s the most exciting engineering project you’ve worked on?
I’ve been extremely lucky to have already had the opportunity to work on two of the world’s most exciting rail programmes, however, the most exciting must be Crossrail. The amount of complexity and the opportunities it creates are nothing short of phenomenal. I truly believe that it will be a trailblazer in the UK’s rail systems going forward.

I’ve also been lucky enough to work with the Fire Safety Systems at Tottenham Court Road and also contribute to solving programme-wide issues with the Tiger Team. Being a Londoner I’m extremely excited for the Elizabeth line to open its doors for revenue service and look forward to playing my role in helping it get there.

What’s your favourite part of being an engineer?
My current role is as a Project Engineer within the Crossrail Tiger Team. In this role I’m deployed to different business segments to help solve issues the programme may be facing. My favourite part of this has to be the wide range of experience you get learning about different disciplines, and in addition to this, you get to meet lots of interesting people.

🙋‍♀️ Neera Kukadia – Project Engineer at Elephant & Castle Station Upgrade

What made you want to become an engineer?
Having taken Art and Maths for my A-levels, engineering was never the obvious career option for me and one that I’d not considered until my first year in college. It was then that I learnt engineering is not just about maths and physics, but also about solving problems using out-of-the-box ideas.

I realised that having creative and technical ability would allow me to really enjoy engineering as it covered both of these aspects. I chose Mechanical Engineering by chance, it was a pretty big gamble to study it at university as I didn’t take Physics for A-levels, but after my year in industry, I realised this was the subject for me and I really found something I enjoyed and was good at.

What’s the most exciting engineering project you have worked on?
My most exciting project was Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project. Having been born and brought up in London, there was something very special about Bank. Having this very busy city life at street level, with so many listed buildings and thousands of people walking, cycling, and running and then below, through the shaft on Arthur Street a massive construction project, tunnelling its way through the middle of the city was incredible to see and be a part of.

What’s your favourite part of being an engineer?
My favourite part of being a Project Engineer is that every day is different. Working on complex multi-disciplinary construction projects, you’re always learning new things about disciplines you’ve never delved into. I also enjoy the stakeholder engagement part of the role because I have to work with lots of different colleagues, which gives me a holistic approach to solving problems.

🙋‍♂️ Lee-John Allen – Head of Engineering (Stations) and Chief Information Security Officer at Crossrail

What made you want to become an engineer?
It’s slightly cliché but as a child I wanted to become a telecommunications engineer and follow in my father’s footsteps. I was also extremely interested in understanding how transmission networks worked and how to build them.

What’s the most exciting engineering project you’ve worked on?
I’ve been fortunate to have worked on a number of exciting and large projects over the last 30 years. One of the best projects was bringing the Hammersmith Service Control Centre Communications System in to use, which I was fortunate to see from the design, build, and test to commissioning. In my opinion, the best ones are always the ones that you see from inception to revenue service.

What’s your favourite part of being an engineer?
My favourite part of my role on Crossrail is being the Chief Information Security Officer, as not only do I get to set the vision and strategy for cyber security on Crossrail, I’m also responsible for delivering the Cyber Security Assurance Case for the whole railway. As you can imagine with Crossrail being the first all-digital railway it’s a massive challenge to ensure that the railway is electronically secure and that everything is in place to continually manage operational cyber systems throughout the railway system lifecycle.

How to get into engineering

If you know anyone that’s interested in getting into engineering, but they are not sure how, don’t fret! We’ve put a twist on our Tube map to show you some of the routes our engineers have taken to land an engineering role at TfL. 👀

Graphic showing pathways into engineering by TfL engineers

🗣 Anthony joined TfL on the Engineering Degree Apprenticeship and completed an Electrical + Electronic Higher National Certificate (HNC) part-time in college. He went on to do a Bachelor’s in Engineering (BEng) in Electrical + Electronic Engineering and is now an Assistant Engineer.

🗣 Abi studied Chemistry, Physics, and Maths at School. He gained work experience in both the Rail and Tech field during his Masters in Science (MSc) studies in Electrical Engineering. He is now an Engineering and Technology Graduate.

🗣 Emily studied A-level Modern Languages, Physics, and Maths. She attended the Headstart Summer School before gaining a Masters in Engineering (MEng) in Aerospace Engineering. She is now an Engineering and Technology Graduate.

🗣 Fahad studied A-level Maths, Further Maths, and Physics. He gained work experience in the Rail field and completed an MSc in Engineering with Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is now a Mechanical Engineering Graduate.

🗣 Haf studied A-level Chemistry, Physics, and Maths. She gained work experience in a company that specialises in Automation during her MEng studies in Mechanical Engineering. She is now a Mechanical Engineering Graduate.

🗣 Hanish studied A-level Maths, Physics, and ICT. He completed an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and is now an Engineering and Technology Graduate.

🗣 James studied A-level Chemistry, Maths, and Physics and gained work experience at East Midland Trains. He is now a Design and Development Engineering Apprentice whilst also studying his BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

🗣 Jane studied A-level Chemistry, Physics, and Maths. She completed a BEng in Energy, Sustainability and the Environment and is now an Engineering and Technology Graduate.

🗣 Silvia studied Classics in Italy in High School. She completed a double degree in Engineering with a focus on Quantitative Modelling. She now works as a Traction Sub-systems RAMS Engineer.

🗣 Usaid studied Biology, Chemistry, Business Management, and Mathematical studies in College. He completed a BEng in Biomedical Engineering and is now an Engineering and Technology Graduate.

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We’ll answer your questions 👇

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1 Comment

  1. Kudos to whoever came up with the “tube map” to demonstrate the different routes!

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