RSK director George Tuckwell (left), who led the awards, presents RSK Business Solutions’ managing director Danny Bird (right) with the inaugural RSK Innovation Awards trophy
The evening was a celebration of all the innovations being developed across the RSK group. The awards, which were launched in October 2017, received 31 entries from 56 employees across the group, representing a wide range of technological and practical changes in how RSK do business to benefit our bottom line, our services to clients, our sustainability or our safety.
All three presentations were excellent. RSK’s Neil Sharpless presented via the video conferencing software that he and principal administrator Linda York developed. Special thanks go to Neil, who gave the presentation from home despite being unwell. The judges recognised that the use of the video conferencing software, and the hardware investment that enabled it to happen, probably had the biggest impact on our bottom line, our sustainability and our staff’s safety through the travel avoided by having remote meetings. It was not Neil and Linda’s job to develop RSK’s ability to meet remotely, nor did they have a budget for it, but they saw that it would improve the business and made it happen.
ADAS (an RSK company) director Roy Dyer presented the work that Chris Thompson had done in collaboration with Orbital on invasive species identification using high-resolution video from a helicopter platform. The judges were impressed by this excellent example of providing an innovative solution to a client’s problem, which sets us apart from our competition. They also praised such a significant collaboration between businesses so early in ADAS’ time with the group.
“It's enabled us to secure other contracts on the back of it, so we’ll be definitely be using this new kind of survey on future projects,” comments Roy. “I don't think it's been done before, and it opens up many opportunities for RSK.”
RSK Business Solutions’ Danny Bird gave the final presentation on the work that his team has done for Network Rail monitoring the safety of level crossings. Danny and his team recognised that the surveys currently provided to the client were limited and low quality, and designed a new way of monitoring level crossings with video and associated software. They collaborated with Structural Soils (an RSK company) to install the equipment at each crossing they surveyed. The success of the work for the client is expected to lead to further surveys, and RSK’s transport planning experts are exploring the possibility of using the technology for road safety and traffic assessments. The team’s innovative level crossing services have already drawn industry attention, and were featured in rail industry magazine Rail Professional in October 2017.
The innovative technology enables a nine-day census of traffic across level crossings with software that enables the team to analyse data faster than any competitor.
The judges were impressed with the cross-business collaborations and that it was an opportunity to proactively help a client by creating a new approach to a problem from scratch. These factors enabled Danny and his team to take the winner’s trophy away on the night.
“It’s always been RSK’s philosophy to back anyone who has an idea that may lead to an innovation that will benefit the company,” comments Danny. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s been really exciting to see the idea develop into something that I know no other company can do.”
RSK’s culture of innovation encourages individuals who have ideas for how RSK can do things better to share their ideas and ensures that they are given the appropriate support and resources to test them.
“I’m incredibly proud that I’m working in a business that has got such an energy and creativity about it, and such an enthusiasm to celebrate that,” says RSK director George Tuckwell, who led the awards.
To find out more about RSK’s first Innovation Awards, take a look at Danny Bird’s video that explains the winning level crossing entry, and George Tuckwell’s video that explains the success of RSK’s inaugural Innovation Awards.