Team News

Donnelly Rail Systems has a new team member!

Katherine Chan, probably better known as Kat, has finally joined after listening to Phil’s “brilliant plan” for DRS back in 2012 when he was her manager at Parsons Brinckerhoff in Sydney, Australia. While Phil made his dream a reality by forming Donnelly Rail Systems in 2016, it wasn’t until 2021 that Kat decided to join.

Kat has come from Furrer+Frey GB and has over 10 years of experience working in the rail industry. Most of that experience is in overhead wiring (aka OLE/OHLE/OHW/OCS) from projects in both the UK and in NSW, Australia. Some of the more notable projects she has worked on are the Mk1 OLE Mid-Life Refurbishment Project in the UK, the Great Western Electrification Project in the UK, and the North Strathfield Rail Underpass Project in NSW, Australia.

Phil Donnelly would like to say: “I’m delighted that Katherine has agreed to join our team and help us on our journey. Kat adds strong engineering capability to the team and lives the values that underpin our formula”

To get to know her a bit better, here’s her answer to a few random questions:

Q: Why did you join Donnelly Rail Systems?

A: Phil is probably the best manager I’ve ever had. He used to check in on me every other month even after we stopped working together just to make sure I was still taking care of myself! He has always, even while I was just a graduate engineer and he was a senior engineer, made me felt heard, accepted and trusted. I believe that he wants to make DRS the best company to work for and I want to help him make that a reality. Plus I may have made a vague promise to join him back in 2012 and felt I should probably honour it.

Q: What are your plans for DRS?

A: My goals almost completely match Phil’s plans. One of the things I want to do is to make sure that the company is inclusive by example and by documentation. I am not male, not white and not straight, but I’ve been lucky to have people like Phil as my managers who have never made me feel like I am a “lesser person”. I have every intention of making sure that this company continues to accept people as they are and make sure that we have all the right processes and procedures in place to make that happen. I also want to make sure that we have all the right tools in place to make sure DRS is a safe place both physically and mentally so that everyone who joins in the future can become the most that they can be.

Full disclosure, Kat has written this article, so it’s a little more than a little biased. I hope to contribute to DRS for a long time into the future…so watch this space.


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