BakerHicks invests in Overhead Line Equipment service and new offices in Derby
BakerHicks, the multi-disciplinary design and engineering company, is continuing its investment in its rail capabilities with the launch of a new Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) design service, the opening of a dedicated rail office in Derby and the further recruitment of an expert team. The announcement follows the appointment of a new rail director, James Howles, earlier in the year.
The new, specialist OLE service will deliver engineering design capabilities for both new build and existing overhead electrification systems. James says it will be flexible enough to deliver renewals and also support large enhancement projects: “With thousands of route miles of overhead line to maintain and renew every year, there is already a substantial opportunity for an experienced team,” he says. “And, that is before any new electrification schemes are announced.”
The new team will be able to call upon the existing civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, high voltage engineering and architectural capabilities of the wider company to provide a holistic service: “It will be the spearhead to opening up further opportunities and helping us to achieve the best of both worlds: building up a new client portfolio for BakerHicks while strengthening existing relationships with colleagues in Morgan Sindall Group to meet market demand,” James adds.
An integral part of the new electrification-focused division is a new office, situated in the rail heartland of Derby. Another critical part of the strategy is to expand the team, which as well as James includes Iain Court, former rail director at WYG, AECOM and SNC-Lavalin, and Steve Limbert, a technical consultant with more than 40 years’ experience, which includes projects such as the East Coast Mainline Electrification scheme and the California High Speed Rail system.
“Derby has one of the most substantial clusters of rail industry suppliers and skills,” James continues, “and our ambition is to build an experienced, agile team with the potential to work alone or in tandem with Morgan Sindall’s electrification team to bring a new design and build capability to the market.”
The opening of the new office coincides with the appointment of Ben Starbuck as a principal OLE design engineer. Ben has specialised in OLE design for 27 years, working for a number of leading design consultants and construction firms in the UK as well as Network Rail. His experience includes working on major upgrades, renewals, and electrification new-build programmes, both as a designer and providing technical support through the installation phases of projects.
“Ben will be a key part of the team and reflects the calibre of quality engineers that our new division is looking to attract,” James concludes.