Daniel Pyke has joined Kloeckner Metals UK as business development manager and the company’s resident rail expert.
Formerly marketing manager at British Steel, Daniel joined the company when it was Corus back in 2001. He was appointed rail consultant in 2007, remaining with the company when it became Tata Steel in 2009 and then British Steel in 2016. He thus brings 13 years of rail industry experience to his new role at Kloeckner Metals UK.
Daniel is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).
In an online Q&A session, Daniel was asked what was the most ambitious rail project he had worked on in his career. “The most headline-grabbing rail project I have been involved in is Crossrail, where I was the technical lead supplying all of the rails through the tunnels (around 57km),” he replied. “This was virtually all premium grades, supplied from both the UK and France to strict time schedules.
“The most personally rewarding project was being part of introducing new rail steels to Network Rail, benefiting the customer and supplier, as well as millions of passengers. This was a true industry changing innovation which also received industry recognition too.”
He sees one of his biggest challenges will be bringing innovation to the rail industry. “Innovation is an issue the rail industry has struggled with for many years,” he commented. “Its assets are designed for long lives in a safety-critical environment, which favours a traditional/conservative approach.
“This conservative approach has its advantages, though, as, despite the recent tragedy, the UK railway is one of the safest in Europe.
“However, it is well recognised that the industry needs to be more agile and innovative to remain unbeaten in its third century of operation. There are many barriers to adopting innovations, including, in some cases, how the industry is currently structured in the UK. Moreover, knowledge sharing could be encouraged among stakeholders to allow seamless and faster adoption of new technology.”