Rosario Barcena

I’m a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 15 years’ experience specialising in the management of design, construction and supervision of infrastructure projects as well as winning work, mainly within the rail industry.

I arrived in the UK as an Erasmus student from Spain to finish my engineering degree. My intention was to return after a year with international experience and fluent English; a valuable asset in the Spanish engineering market, i.e. a good catch. The opportunity arose to apply for a scholarship during that year, I was successful and went on to complete a Master’s Degree and subsequently secured a job as a graduate civil engineer in York, where I discovered the rail industry. My 8 years’ experience with Jacobs was fascinating and the years flew by, as I became a Chartered engineer and received a long-standing service from my company!

Throughout this time, I’d continued to feel the need to return home, Spain’s High Speed Rail (HSR) was at its peak and I decided it was a good time for me to get involved in this and other international major projects. After 5 years in Spain and having spent 3 year supervising delivery of the Madrid-Valencia HSR Line I realised that the UK had become my home and luckily my HSR experience allowed me to return to the UK to work on HS2, developing the route options between Birmingham and Manchester (Phase 2). Later I joined Tony Gee and Partners to develop my consultancy and engineering management, where I became Regional Director. My passion for major projects continued to grow, and I needed a bigger firm to make a difference and create a legacy in my industry. Now, I am a Project Director with SYSTRA Ltd, I am responsible for two of the sections (N1 and N2) of the London to Birmingham Route (Phase 1) of HS2, so back on a major project and working hard with our Strategic Growth Director to secure work on transformative railway schemes around the world.