Robert Crease MSc CEng FICE FCIArb FPWI is a chartered civil engineer and chartered arbitrator, who also qualified as a registered mediator but who no longer practises mediation. He is probably the only qualified dispute resolver who has held direct responsibility for the safety of a railway. Although his present practice includes dispute resolution, Bob is convinced that dispute avoidance is much to be preferred, and he is an enthusiastic supporter of the Resolex RADAR philosophy. He was a reviewer for the Crossrail East RADAR panel and his underlying interest is in achieving success through people.
Bob founded his own company in 2007 when he left the HS1 project, upon completion. As the client’s Executive Director, he directed contractors in the operation and maintenance of Section 1, the construction of infrastructure maintenance depots and the procurement of maintenance rolling stock. He was previously Implementation Director, Section 1, and signed the relevant safety acceptance certificates, ensuring that the operators and maintainers took over responsibility for the railway simultaneously with that acceptance. As Head of Rail Engineering before that, he managed a multi-disciplinary client team which provided oversight of the design and construction of the new railway. His team also delivered asset protection services with delegated authority from Network Rail/Railtrack to ensure the safety of their railways during the construction of the new one and its associated infrastructure, e.g. diversions of utilities, roads and water-courses.
HS1 was one of the first PPI projects, was an early user of the NEC contract and delivered the UK’s first high speed railway on time and within the £5.4 billion budget. The UK rail speed record was broken on Section 1, at 186 mph. Partnering between the client and the project team was a key factor in the success of delivering such a complex, multi-disciplinary and international project and Bob’s roles all involved a high degree of facilitation, collaboration and stakeholder engagement.
During the early part of his career, Bob directed up to 1100 staff on civil and track engineering aspects of railway maintenance, renewal and projects. His experience of managing large numbers of staff and stakeholders was enhanced by participation in several major leadership and quality initiatives, including one designed for the top 500 staff in British Rail. Bob was the lead negotiator on behalf of the fledgling contractors for £650 million’s worth of rail haulage contracts which were agreed on time to support the new industry structure after railway privatisation. Over the years, he has witnessed collaboration and other styles of operation and he enjoys deploying his experience to support teams in enhancing their performance.