Matthew: Contracts Manager at VolkerRail

Matthew: Contracts Manager at VolkerRail

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I have been working at VolkerFitzpatrick since 2010. After graduating, I started working as a Civil Engineer for their Civils division, working mostly on road and bridge projects. VolkerFitzpatrick then expanded into the rail sector (Imperial Wharf Station was their first rail project) but had minimal staff with rail experience.

The business asked if anyone would be interested in taking on the challenge of working in a new environment. Although I was still relatively new, I jumped at the chance and have since developed myself and my career through to my current role of Contracts Manager.

A Contracts Manager’s role is to manage a portfolio of works, meaning I have multiple projects and project managers reporting to me.


For this role, you need the ability to understand client engineering requirements, and be able to articulate them to the teams working for you, and the ability to build strong relationships, so you can trust and delegate work to project teams.

Problem solving is the crux of all things engineering. More recently, having moved into management roles, I have had to adapt my skill set to include negotiation with internal and external stakeholders.

The rail sector offers huge opportunities; the growth of the industry is outpacing the incoming people – so if you have the skills, you will not be overlooked. The variety of work is brilliant and has some of the most challenging projects an engineer could hope for.

To date, the most interesting project I have worked has been ARC – the Anglia Route Collaboration – where VolkerRail had the opportunity to work collaboratively (over five years) with Network Rail.

Our project at Hackney Wick was a personal favourite, due to the challenges it posed. We ended up delivering approximately £3m worth of work in a 96 hour period.

Whilst there are a lot of stalwarts of the rail industry, Network Rail, as the driving force behind most change, are strongly supportive of the requirement to change the way the industry currently operates.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about this or any other career within the rail industry, please get in touch with us and a member of our team will be more than happy to anser any questions you might have!

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