James Drinkall

Traffic Signals & Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer

James Drinkall - Traffic Signals & Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer

Name and role

James Drinkall – I am a Traffic Signals and Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer.

When did you join Waterman Aspen?

I joined WA in January 2021.

What does a typical day look like in your role or secondment?

I guess, somewhat uniquely to Waterman Aspen, I have a couple of secondments going on at the same time. I work as a Project Engineer for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and as a Traffic Signals Engineer for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. I don’t really have a typical day as my work is dictated by the demands of the projects I work on. At Barnsley, I am working on the town’s smart parking project. This has been a tremendous test of all my skills. I have designed a parking signage strategy which includes several Variable Message Signs linked into the various car parks which display spaces available over the town’s Urban Traffic Management and Control system (UTMC). I have prepared tender and procurement documents to go out to tender for the signs, parking payment machines, detection systems and UTMC parking systems. Once contracts are awarded, I will be project managing the installation and commissioning of all equipment.

At Rotherham, my role is to design traffic signals junctions and pedestrian crossings from start to finish. This includes all on site work, controller specifications, MOVA data sets and commissioning of sites. I also check and approve designs supplied by outside consultants as well as help out with the day-to-day running of the town’s Urban Traffic Control (UTC) which includes fault reporting and maintenance of the town’s traffic signals assets.

What training or education have you received at Waterman Aspen?

Waterman Aspen have been very supportive of me attending industry conferences and symposiums. I recently attended the Transport Technology Forum in Liverpool where I was able to network with suppliers, consultants and prospective clients based in and around the Traffic Signals and ITS industry. Next, I will be attending the JCT traffic signals symposium held in Nottingham in September. This is where people from the industry (consultants and local government) present their projects to the audience of like-minded people.

What’s the best thing about working for Waterman Aspen?

For me, it’s been the flexibility to work for two fantastic clients. Some days, it is hard work to balance them, but I do enjoy the work thoroughly. I like the encouragement and the positivity that the line mangers and directors have for WA and their staff. I like the fact they have regular socials for WA staff to meet and talk about the different projects they work on. I think, most importantly, is feeling like you are part of a team even though you don’t see WA colleagues daily.

What would you say to someone interested in a career in your role?

I’d say, do it. No day is the same, so it keeps things fresh and you get to work on some great projects. WA are a good company to work for too, they look after you and I think that is very important, especially in the post-COVID climate.

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