WSP expands digital rail capability through two senior hires

23 November 2020 | WSP


WSP, the engineering professional services consultancy, has bolstered the digital capability of its Rail business through two senior hires. 

The firm has welcomed Doug Blanc as Technical Director in the Traffic Management Systems (TMS) team, and David Milburn as Director of Command and Control Systems (CCS) Solutions.

Doug Blanc joins from Ricardo where he was formerly the Head of Digital Rail and Cybersecurity. Doug has long been at the forefront of the rail industry’s digital innovations and has already began sharing his experience of TMS with the team. 

Doug will be involved in major WSP projects, supporting international rail operators as they look to enhance their railways’ digital capabilities. 

Doug Blanc, Technical Director of TMS at WSP, said: “It’s a really exciting time to join WSP as our large global portfolio means there is no shortage of interesting digital projects to be involved in.”

“The rail industry is great at ‘point solutions’ but our designs and safety cases need to move with the technology, so they can be opened when the need arises and not left idle. It’s imperative we accept that our designs have opportunities for change built into them. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues in the UK and around the world to create a Future Ready railway.” 

David Milburn joins from GHD in Australia where he most recently provided technical advisory work on the ground-breaking Cross River Rail project in Brisbane. 

In his new role at WSP, David will utilise his 25 years’ experience in railway systems to help develop domestic and international digital rail projects, using his particular expertise in automation.

David Milburn, Director, CCS at WSP, said: “With WSP’s global footprint and clients including Network Rail and HS2 in the UK, there is no shortage of metro, light rail, heavy rail and high-speed projects to get stuck into at WSP. With our burgeoning and well-established digital expertise and global pool of talent and experience, we are well positioned to play our part in the digitisation of railways. 

“One of the CCC team’s key remits is to help prepare industry and clients for digitalisation. This is not just about technology; we need to ensure we have a pipeline of skilled practitioners who can take rail into the next chapter.”

Darren Reed, UK Managing Director for Rail at WSP, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Doug and David to WSP during what is an exciting time for our Rail business in the UK. Our team is working with forward-thinking clients on projects which will transform the way people and goods move around the country for years to come, and technology is an important part of this transition. 

“Digitalisation will be a key element of the industry-leading solutions WSP provides to its clients and the skills Doug and David have brought to the team will be of great benefits to our designs and advice.”

Notes to Editors

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About WSP
As one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consultancies, WSP brings clarity and vision to complex challenges. Our team of technical specialists and strategic advisers across the UK is part of a talented global family of expertise. Together, we ensure innovative solutions solve complex problems for our clients and the communities we serve, meeting both the needs of today and addressing the challenges of the future.

As the largest environmental consultancy in the UK, WSP takes pride in leading the way we collectively tackle the climate emergency. Working collaboratively with industry organisations, WSP co-founded ‘Pledge to Net Zero’ which commits environmental services firms to science-based carbon targets and public reporting. WSP is on course to become a net zero business by 2025 – an achievement for which we were named Global Good Company of the Year in 2019 – and announced in October 2020 a commitment to halve the carbon footprint of all designs and advice provided to clients by 2030, a first in the engineering consultancy sector.

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