40th anniversary Honorary Fellowships

APM celebrates 40 yearsChief executive of Network Rail and former chief executive of the London 2012 Summer Olympics Delivery Authority has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by APM at the chairman’s lunch today in celebration of the association's 40th anniversary.

Sir David Higgins, along with Simon Kirby and David Waboso from the world transport, picked up the most distinguished honour in project management joining a list of the profession’s most prominent figures.

Dame Sue Ion, Stephen Hall and Mike Brown have also been awarded an Honorary Fellowship today for their significant contributions to developing the standards and practice of project management throughout their career.

Sir David Higgins has an enviable record for creating an effective, positive working culture and for delivering even the most complex projects on time and within budget – most notably for London 2012. David oversaw a team of 500 at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), and a construction staff that exceeds 4,000 people. His insight and clarity enabled him to obtain a budget of £8.1billion, and left with the final cost forecast to be at £7.26billion. He puts much of that success down to focusing on the early milestones. He said: “Hitting the milestones on planning, on cost-planning, start date on site, those are the biggest ways of 'de-risking' the project.”

Major projects in David’s portfolio at Network Rail include modernisation of the network, introduction of new technology and the new high speed rail link, HS2. A fellow colleague at Network Rail joined David at the chairman’s lunch today to receive his certificate from APM president Dr Martin Barnes CBE. Simon Kirby is director investment projects and has set about improving Network Rail’s project delivery. When Simon first joined only 60% of its projects were delivered on time, now this is over 90%. Simon’s portfolio includes several mega projects, such as major upgrades to the West Coast Main Line and Thameslink.

David Waboso’s career began in engineering by working on some of Britain’s major motorways including the M25 before focusing on railway project management. In 1995, he won the UK Project Manager of the Year Award in recognition of his work in managing the re-signalling of the DLR. He was a major player in the Jubilee Line extension, one of the largest construction projects in Europe, and was responsible for the delivery of an Automated Train Protection System to improve safety on the rail network in the wake of serious mainline crashes at Ladbroke Grove and Southall.

David is now director capital programmes at London Underground and holds one of the highest profile, most challenging and complex programme management positions in the country as upgrade work is being carried out on the oldest underground rail system in the world to improve services and increase passenger capacity by a quarter.

At BNFL Dame Sue Ion was responsible for the Group’s entire technology portfolio and played a leading role in Government and regulatory issues. Her accountabilities included a personal sponsor role for a large portfolio of nuclear research and development projects and capital programmes for new facilities of over £200m. In addition to performing the high-profile project sponsor role at BNFL Dame Sue is very supportive of both APM and the profession. In 2009 she delivered the annual management lecture at IMechE which concentrated in project management in New Build Nuclear Plants.

Stephen Hall has been project director for the Minas Rio System and head of projects for Iron Ore Brazil since April 2008. Stephen is responsible for feasibility studies and project execution of this challenging iron ore extraction and processing project, with a value in excess of $5billion and involving thousands of people across many sites, spread over hundreds of miles. The project is not only technically complex, it is being executed in some of the most regulated and environmentally sensitive areas.

As project director on this high profile project Stephen has been instrumental in rolling out best practice project and programme controls, taking lessons and successes from Minas Rio and sharing these globally across Anglo.

Mike Brown has had a distinguished career in programme management having managed projects and programmes valued between £20million to £350million in locations as diverse as Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, USA, China and the Middle East. In his role as Head of the Centre for Programme Management within Rolls-Royce, he is responsible for driving improvement in project and programme management across the entire group.

He was instrumental in establishing the MSc in project management at the University of Manchester. One of the most significant aspects of Mike’s achievement with the programme was having it run parallel at Penn State University for the benefit of the US and Canadian employees of the participating companies, clients and partners.

Mike is also the chair of the British Standards Institute Committee MS/2 which is responsible for the UK Project Management Standard BS6079, which has recently been updated. The committee has also contributed to the development of the ISO 21500 international project management standard and has representation on the new ISO technical committee TC258 tasked with developing generic guidance on the planning and realisation of projects, programmes and portfolios, and the application of appropriate techniques.