Engineer of the Year

This Award is designed to recognise, reward and inspire management talent in the engineering disciplines of the UK coach industry.

The Results 2019

Winner, Gold Award: Stagecoach North Scotland

Ward Barnes

Ward Barnes has worked in the transport industry for 44 years, with the past three years being spent as Engineering Manager for Stagecoach North Scotland's Elgin and Macduff depots. He joined the business at a challenging time as the depots were having problems with vehicle reliability. A motivational leader, Ward has implemented changes and improved the reliability of the depot while sticking to a strict budget. He has empowered his team to be able to make decisions in his absence - particularly helpful as the two depots are an hour apart. Most recently, Ward has volunteered to take a six month secondment to the company's Kirkwall depot in the Orkney Isles, where he already making a positive impact.

In terms of a single person making the biggest difference, Ward is a clear winner. The judges noted that he had turned around two failing depots, changing the culture, and introducing efficiencies and cost control, while also increasing vehicle reliability. Ward has delivered measurable positive outcomes.

Winner, Silver Award: Belle Vue Manchester

Jason Cotgrave

From Maintenance Apprentice to Maintenance Manager, Jason Cotgrave has come a long way at Stockport based Belle Vue Manchester. Jason was managed for many years by the Engineering Director who tried to instil the old of working, but being the technology geek, Jason had his own style of working. Since his promotion to Maintenance Manager, he has implemented some of his ideas to improve the already high standards in the garage. Jason is now pushing for electronic walk round checks and electronic work tickets for the team of eight engineers he manages. This will take the maintenance department to another level and streamline the paper chase, freeing Jason up to spend more of his time motivating his team and engaging in more learning activities to improve their knowledge and experience.

The judges praised the way Jason has grown into his role and looked at new ways of doing things, citing the examples of saving money on parts by working with suppliers, and how he introducing new technology to bring further efficiencies into engineering.

Winner, Bronze Award: Horseman Coaches

Derrick Holton

Reading based Horseman Coaches' Engineering Manager, Derrick Holton, has played a vital role in the company since 1985. He has an impeccable record for vehicle maintenance, safety inspections and man management skills. Derrick achieved another 100% MOT pass rate last year, which has continued into 2019. His knowledge, experience and diversity of skills, combined with his sense of humour and passion for the industry, makes him highly respected by drivers, administration staff and senior management. He is one of the company's greatest assests.

The judges noted Derrick's long service and an exceptional record of no prohibitions and a 100% MOT pass rate over many years. They also praised his successful record with other staff.


Who could be nominated?

This Award is open to all people employed at or above the supervisory grade in the engineering function of coach operating, maintenance or manufacturing companies or organisations for a continuous period of not less than twelve months at 30 December 2018.

… and by whom?

We welcomed nominations from all eligible organisations, both of their own employees and of outstanding engineers with whom they work in partnership or as stakeholders. Self-nomination is not appropriate for this category. 

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