An insight into the world of rail

Earlier this month, Jemma Foster was named runner up in the coveted ‘Young Rail Professional’ category at the Rail Freight Group Awards. Since joining 3Squared in 2018, Jemma has flourished in her role as UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) Designer and Business Analyst, and grown into a role model across the business, widely recognised across the industry for her positive go-getter approach and clear vision. 

The recognition caps off a successful year for Jemma, which has seen her play a key role in our work with High Speed Two (HS2) and one of their direct contractors, Skanska Costain STRABAG JV (SCS JV), who have been commissioned to deliver the tunnelling programme for the large-scale route between London Euston up to the M25. 

UI/UX plays a significant role in the project, which Jemma helps to oversee. The bespoke element of the contract with SCS JV has seen the UI/UX team develop several enhancements to its existing software including terminal management, cost control and supplier performance, supporting whole-life value measures across the project. Jemma’s involvement has helped to make this part of the contract a success to date and lays a solid foundation for the future delivery of the project.  

Following on from her well-earned recognition at the RFG Awards, we took the time to sit down with Jemma to discuss what drew her to working with the rail industry and any top tips she may have for those looking to forge a career in this exciting and fast paced industry: 

“If you had asked me four years ago what industry I would be working in after I left University, I can safely say that the rail industry would never have crossed my mind. However, after getting lucky with finding such an awesome company to work for in my first ‘real’ job, the team at 3Squared have done so much to not only introduce me to the world of rail but open my eyes to a world of possibilities as to how we can make improvements to the industry. 

“Before becoming part of the industry, my rail knowledge was pretty limited to my experience as a passenger and knowing friends with family members who work at Bombardier. It was a surprise to discover the wealth of areas within the industry and it remains one of the things I love, and which makes every day interesting. 

“I have since worked on UX projects, designing accessible apps to help passengers organise assistance in stations, in cab safety apps to warn of areas with low adhesion, and complex data monitoring software systems with Remote Condition Monitoring. There are so many different elements of the rail industry that are required to keep it moving, none of which I was aware of before working at 3Squared and talking to our clients. 

“I might be biased working at a software company, but I firmly believe that technology has the potential to make significant improvements to the industry. From digitising paper-based processes (which our RailSmart suite of products has its roots) to full logistics solutions, we can truly make a difference to the day-to-day jobs of our software users, all the way up to the passengers who can travel on safer and efficient railways, alongside helping the planet with the drive to reduce carbon. 

“This is what makes events such as the RFG Awards so exciting. Knowing that the awards champion the possibilities and opportunities the rail industry provides is incredible and benefits so many people, alongside inspiring new talent to join the industry who bring with them new thoughts and ideas.”

If you would like to find out more information about you could become a member of the 3Squared team, please visit our careers page here.