Amy Whitehead

After graduating from the University of Leicester with a 1st class honours BSc Mathematic, I applied and successfully joined the extremely competitive TfL’s Project Management graduate scheme.

Whilst on the scheme I have worked on a diverse portfolio of projects varying in size and complexity; including Cycle Superhighways (Feasibility), Fit for the Future (Concept Design) and Earls Court Development Project (Delivery/Handover). I also had a six-month placement in project sponsorship where I was accountable for 7 Commercial Development projects.

During my time on the graduate programme, I completed my MSc in Project Management at UCL (University College London). Juggling my studies with a full-time career proved difficult, however, due to my persistence, resilience and time management skills, I successfully graduated with a Distinction and was asked to present my dissertation findings at a RICS Conference in April 2018.

After the graduate scheme I became an Assistant Project Manager in LU (London Underground) Asset Development, which managed large scale enhancement projects with 3rd Party investments. I worked across several projects including Lillie Bridge Depot Facilitation Project, London Road Sidings Feasibility Study, Tottenham Hale Station Upgrade (£50m) and Colindale Station Redevelopment (£27m). I was responsible for the management of different workstreams within these projects as well as a stakeholder engagement during a difficult period for LU, where there were several significant organisational changes.

Due to my experience in delivering during the design phases, I became Acting Project Manager for Colindale Station Redevelopment in January 2018 and after a successful interview process, I became Project Manager in May 2018. I managed the project through concept design; successfully obtaining approval from the London Fire Brigade and LU discipline engineers for the use of Glulam Timber in the station, an unprecedented achievement for a LU station. I also led the team and obtained planning permission from Barnet for the station and the adjacent site development. One of the biggest challenges was to overcome the conflicting interests of the station and the adjacent site development in terms of interfaces with structure, delivery timescales and logistics.

Working on Colindale Station Redevelopment has provided me with the opportunity to challenge the norm and use my initiative to find project efficiencies, whilst ensuring that quality and health and safety is not compromised. One key example of this is the Construction Support Study that was completed as part of the procurement of detailed design. This approach had some significant positive outcomes including reducing the Estimated Final Cost by £6.9m and improving the construction sequencing, reducing the station closure period, by more than half, from 27 weeks to 12 weeks.

After being identified in March 2020 as a future leader within Renewals and Enhancements (R&E), I was invited and succeeded in applying for an Executive Officer role. This position gave me responsibility for leading key business improvement initiatives on behalf of the Head of Renewals (R&E 2021 Initiative) and provided exposure and input to senior leadership decision making. I was able to develop effective working relationships with Directors, Senior Managers and staff across LU and promote positive strategic relationships across R&E. I have been instrumental in ensuring that R&E wide initiatives are applied in the Renewals Programme and identifying any potential issues, and solutions, with the subsequent roll out.

I am due to start as Lead Project Manager for Infrastructure on the Safe Track Access, a high priority project with aggressive timescales.

Leading important projects and teams as a young female has been challenging due to underlying biases around younger people and females in the construction industry. However, due to my motivation and proactive approach to achieving projects, targets and business objectives, as well as constantly striving to challenge and look for efficiencies, I am able to overcome these barriers.