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Anniversary Network Meeting London

18 April 2016 19 April 2016

The 10-year Anniversary  NETLIPSE Network Meeting took place in London, England on the 18th and 19th of April 2016. First we would like to thank our partner, the UK Department for Transport , which has been a terrific host and organiser of these days.





The Network Meeting in sunny London was opened by Per-Olov Karlsson, NETLIPSE Chairman. During his opening speech he summarized his four challenges for the future of project management of large infrastructure projects: (1) reaching traditional project goals will not be enough, (2) new contracting forms, (3) increased cooperation between clients and suppliers and (4) applied research. The number of participants (60) at this meeting  is an all-time high, representing 13 different nationalities within Europe. Great to have so much interest for this 20th meeting.

Brian Etheridge, Director of Network Services, welcomed all participants in London on behalf of the Department of Transport. After congratulating the delegates, with achieving a continued client-based knowledge network, that is still active after ten years, he elaborated on the huge investments which are being undertaken in the UK rail infrastructure. Mr. Etheridge explained that there are still many challenges underestimated, such as cooperation with partners. He suggested that the NETLIPSE network could contribute to handling these challenges by providing  discussions on cooperation elsewhere.

First presenter, Stuart Baker, from the UK Department for Transport, provided insight into some of the huge investments the Department of Transport has made in the past years with the slogan ‘Moving Britian ahead’. Railways are seen as good news, when rail is not sold as an alternative or most pleasant way of travelling. It is just a way to complete a journey. In order to prevent a mismatch between expectation and delivery, you have to be an intelligent and well-resourced client in these kinds of projects.

Ali Sadeghi, Ostlänken Project Director from Trafikverket, explained the challenges and business opportunities in his project. This project includes three tunnels and 200 bridges and is the largest infrastructure project in Swedish history. Ahead of the execution phase, the project collected lesson learnt from different countries with do’s and don’ts. One of the biggest challenges is stakeholder management, as there are about 1300 property owners affected by the project.

Pau Lian Staal-Ong, NETLIPSE Programme Director, presented the results of the short research carried out looking back at the results of the 2006-2008 NETLIPSE research, that many of the NETLIPSE members contributed to. After inviting the meeting delegates to participate in an interactive quiz, she reflected on the lessons learnt in the past ten years and the challenges for large infrastructure project managers in the next ten years. These results are immortalized in het new NETLIPSE book, which is handed out to all participants and which can be requested via info@netlipse.eu.

After lunch four representatives from the Metrolink organization provided an overview of the project in the greater Manchester area. Peter Cushing (Metrolink Director), Steve Reynolds (Principal for the TfGM’s Delivery Partner), David Bray (Programme Director) and Alan Knott (Technical Manager) elaborated on their experiences with the transformation from two worn out suburban rail lines into a new light rail (tram) network. This big achievement between 2008 and 2016 included the extension of the network by almost 300%. It was very interesting to see that the key success factors from Metrolink are largely in line with the results of the outcomes presented in the new NETLIPSE book.

Also the applied system engineering method was explained. Whereas in general there are many V-models included in these kind of projects: each V-model needed to come together at the end of the project. In line with this view, you can’t see an integrated programme as a collection of single projects.

Marco Barra Caracciolo, Managing Director of FERROVIENORD, shared his challenges in the current Milan Airports railway extension programme, specifically with respect to  Malpensa airport. One of these challenges was the localization and removal of wartime bombs in the project area.

Next a new topic with respect to large infrastructure projects was discussed. How to document these kinds of projects? Sigi Herzog, Projectcoördinator ÖBB-Infrastruktur, presented his method of handling project documentation at the delivery phase of the Vienna Main Station project in order to describe and identify trends. Key word in his experience is visualization. ‘Reminders must be invented’. So what and how do you want to document the project result? Sigi showed us some examples of document forms to present trends for story telling purposes about the project. This information was also direct input for management steering information.

Mark Livock, Project Sponsor of the King’s Cross project, presented his insights on the old King’s Cross train station hallway redesign and the direct area around it. This was a very good introduction for the guided walking tour through the King’s Cross and St. Pancras train stations and the teardrop shaped area. The four tour guides from the UK Department of Transport successfully introduced all participants in the ‘magic’ of these very old structures and completely remodeled station area.



On the second of the NETLIPSE Network Meeting Professor Martina Huemann, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, started with an interesting and interactive session on Human Resource Management in the Project-Oriented Organisation. She considers project orientated organisations as social systems, where different cultures are brought together with temporary objectives. The interactive part in the hallway of the meeting area resulted in a shared conclusion that HRM in the client line organisations not always optimally supports the HRM in projects. 

From HRM we moved to ‘drill and blast’ in order to build the E4 Sundvall Highway in northern Sweden. Magnus Lundberg, E4 Project Director, provided beautiful insights in and pictures of his project. His experiences, ideas and challenges during the construction phase were shared with a special attention on the importance of architecture. He described some interesting innovative aspects in his project, such as the third party approval for the contract instead of the client itself and the use of the wisdom of the crowd.

The most interesting project in Norway at the moment is the ferry free E39. Bjorn Andersen, Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, shared his research on experiences from different comparable countries with innovative contract and project models for infrastructure projects and presented the E39 mega project which will cross eight fjords with a total road length of almost 1100 km. The political challenge is communicating the changing estimate of the project cost, as this still varies quite a lot due to all the uncertainties around the project scope. He compared the partnering approach in several European countries in order for possible application in the E39 project. All NETLIPSE participants in the end agreed that partnering is independent to the type of contract.

While most people are aware of the London Underground, there is another organization called the London Overground. This organisation has been in place for almost 9 years with the objective to connect outer greater London (suburbs) with the center of London. Mike Stubbs is the Director of this organisation and presented the successes of his journey so far. Biggest lesson from his perspective is that there is just one thing constant in our environment, which is that everything is changing al the time. So be prepared for continual change.

Also in Germany DBMO models are applied in order to fund new infrastructure projects. Gilbert Peiker, Head of the Planning Department of the Autobahndirektion Südbayern, presented the used structures for concessionaires and financing. In general, two operator models are used in the Bavarian region for two different parts of the A8 project. The picture of his special mowing maintenance staff was well received by the audience.

Infrastructure projects are in general a means to strive for economic growth. Gianluca di Castri, Director  of  Region 2 ICEC, elaborated on his figures around the relationships between several causes for economic growth. His final conclusion was a relief for most participants: ‘infrastructure contributes to raising the quality of life and contributing to macroeconomic stability’.

Last, but not least, Giuseppe Pace, Researcher at Ghent University, asked everybody’s attention for a new Horizon2020 initiative to submit an application to create an open source platform to improve the mobility along the TEN-T Network for passengers and freight. Learning from past EC-application processes, work on designing a consortium and key elements of the platform will start well ahead of the February 2016 deadline. Participants were invited to join the coordinating committee and let him know if they are interested in joining the proposal. We would like to thank all London participants for their active and interesting contributions and hope to see you all in Turin on 24th/25th of October 2016!

NETLIPSE Management Team





18 April 2016
19 April 2016