Essay n.3D. Cite at least one example of when your leadership had an impact on orchanged a certain situation, and justify how an IE Master’s Degree programwould help you to strengthen or improve this competence.SEVERN TUNNEL BEARER SYSTEMFOR GSM-R & EMERGENCY SERVICES
INTRODUCTION In December 2008, while I was working in London at Network Rail ltd on roll-out project to provide GSM coverage (called GSM-R) to the entire British railways network, my company was asked by the UK Emergency Services Organizations, such as Fire Brigade, Police and Ambulance Departments, to design and install an ad-hoc system able to provide wireless communications throughout one of the longest railway tunnels in the country, the so-called Severn Tunnel This tunnel is a strategic part of the rail trunk since it carries an intensive passenger train service, and a significant freight traffic (ref. Wikipedia)
SEVERN TUNNEL - GENERALS It’s a 7008 meters long tunnel, connecting South Gloucestershire in the West of England to Monmouthshire in South Wales under the estuary of the River Severn. For well over 100 years it was the longest mainline railway tunnel in the UK, until Channel Tunnel Rail was completed in 2007 Welsh Portal English Portal
PROJECT AIMS Wireless communications for emergency and commercial (such as GSM-R) services had to be provided. The existing obsolete radio coverage system designed for Fire Brigade’s radios and installed in the ‘80s wasn’t suitable to fit two new additional technologies GSM-R Fire Rescue Police Dep system Services Radios • Brand new • Existing • Brand new system had system had system had to be to be to be designed renewed designed
POSSIBLE DESIGN SCENARIOS1. Obsolete existing Fire Brigade radio system equipment could have been simply replaced with a new and more efficient one, whilst two new separate GSM-R and Police Department radio systems could have been deployed2. Existing radio coverage equipment could have been completely removed and a brand new system catering for all the three technologies could have been installed from scratch
IMPLEMENTATION DISCUSSION My tasks within the project was to coordinate the designing team from a technical standpoint and to deal with all the parts involved in order to find a performing and reliable solution, which should have ideally been cost- and installation-efficient From the very beginning, both our main partners (Fire Brigade and Police Department) pushed for installing three separated antenna systems inside the tunnel, since they thought this would have been the simplest solution to implement and maintain, hence the most reliable one On the contrary, my opinion was that a single, combined system should have been adopted. I had already worked on similar projects when in Italy, and knew from my previous experience that I always got the best results with such an solution
PROPOSED SOLUTION: THE “RADIATING CABLE” Instead of installing three separate antennas – each working at a specific frequency and bearing only one of the three technologies to be implemented - a single Tunnel shared radiating cable could English portal be clipped to the tunnel ceiling, for its entire length A radiating cable is a coaxial slotted cable which can radiate the wireless radio signal towards a specific direction, like a leaking water pipe. It is also able to combine different signals operating at different frequencies
PROS AND CONS OF OUR PROPOSED SOLUTION •Better performance since the cable provides a uniform radio coverage all along the tunnel •More reliable and easier to maintain since only one piece of equipment is installed inside the tunnel •More complicated and time consuming installation since long drums of heavy cable have to be brought inside the tunnel • More expensive solution due to cost of a 7 Kms cable compared to a separate antennas system
PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: THE FINAL DECISION The initial skepticism of our partners regarding my proposed design was overcome via a series of meetings in which I showed them the advantages of the radiating cable solution in terms of reliability and efficiency, and clarified their doubts about it. We eventually agreed to implement our proposed design after 4 months of discussions and compromises Equipment installation and commissioning went fairly smooth even if, as expected, it lasted almost an year Once the system was completed, it was perfectly working and meeting all initial customer’s requirements, making the whole project a big success from all points of view
HOW AN IE MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM WOULD HAVEHELPED ME IN A PROJECT SITUATION LIKE THIS? When preparing the comparative document showing the differences between the two possible design scenarios, I realized that I lacked some project management skills such as estimating time and cost for the required activities, developing the budget and planning the risks of each scenario Having a purely technical background and working experience I found several difficulties in preparing and evaluating the project from an economic point of view and I needed to ask some colleagues of mine for help I’m expecting an IE Master’s Degree to allow me to add, together with other financial and marketing skills, the management and work-organization competences that will complete my profile and make me a proper Project Manager, able not only to deal with technical issues but also with other aspects such as budget development or activity monitoring & controlling
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