The head of engineering for TfL, George Clark has been named as the 2019/20 president of the Institute of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE).

A packed lecture theatre at the IET saw outgoing president Dr Markus Montigel hand over the chain of office to Mr Clark at the Institution’s AGM held on 26 April.

For the first time in the Institution’s history, the AGM was streamed live to enable international members and all other interested parties to watch the proceedings. The Vimeo footage  is available via this web link:

Following on from Dr Montigel’s 2018/19 presidential theme:  ‘Winds of Change’, Mr Clark has entitled his presidential programme for the year  ‘delivering change’. In his address to the AGM  he spoke about the challenges facing the global railway signal and communications industry. Across the world there is an unprecedented pressure on railways to modernise and deliver ambitious transport strategies cost efficiently.

Each year the IRSE presents awards at the AGM to outstanding members of the Institution.

The Dell award was given to lead C & I engineer, 4LM Janagan Yoganathan, who joined the London Underground group of companies in 2013. This award is made annually under a bequest of the late Robert Dell OBE (past president) to a member of the Institution employed by London Underground Ltd for achievement of a high standard of skill in the science and application of railway signalling.

Mr Yoganathan was nominated as a result of his work on the 4LM project delivering a new CBTC signalling system for the four sub-surface Underground lines comprising the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith &City and Circle Lines. He was the principle point of contact for a number of projects all of which have an interface with the TBTC system  These have included Jubilee line signalling upgrade (JNSU), Northern Line Extension(NLE) and the works to facilitate the introduction of a more intensive timetable known as Working Timetable 58 (WTT58). Mr Yoganathan was presented with a plaque and a cheque for £300.

Next up to the stage was Network Rail senior conformance engineer, Reece Martin, winner of the Thorrowgood Scholarship. This award is also made under a bequest from a past president, the late W J Thorrowgood to a young member who has excelled in the Institution’s examination.  Mr Martin attained four passes with credits in the exam sat in October 2018. It assists the development of a young engineer employed in the signalling and telecommunications field of engineering with £1500 towards an industry-based study tour. Mr Martin plans to spend the prize fund on a visit to study high speed rail in China.

The recipient of the IRSE-Signet Award, Paul Hobden was unable to attend the AGM but details of his nomination was read out to the AGM by Andy Knight, managing director of Signet Solutions.  The award is presented each year to the candidate achieving the highest marks in any single module of the Institutions exam.  It was introduced to mark the  20th anniversary of the formation of Signet Solutions Ltd and  provides funding for the recipient to attend the Institution’s annual convention which in 2020 will be held in Toronto, Canada.

Merit Awards are awarded by the IRSE Council, and this year’s recipients were named as David Nicholson FIRSE for his assistance to Institution members in their preparation for the professional exam and Ian Moore FIRSE for his long service to the Institution and in particular the York Section.

The annual dinner was held once again at the Savoy and was kindly sponsored by SNC-Lavalin Atkins. Guest of honour was  Mike Brown MVO, Transport Commissioner for Transport for London and an impressive £3,300 was raised on the night for RedR. Their CEO Martin McCann spoke passionately about the work of this  international engineering charity which was founded by engineers to  train and support aid workers and humanitarian organisations.