‘Better the balance, better the world’


'Better the balance, better the world'

‘Better the balance, better the world’ is this year’s theme for International Woman’s Day (IWD) which is celebrated on the 8th March. The statement “Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue” written on the IWD website resonates strongly with Hitachi’s ethos that diversity is the wellspring of innovation and a powerful growth engine. Hitachi regards personal differences — gender, nationality, work history, age, sexual orientation, and philosophy — as facets of people's individuality. By respecting employees' individualities and positioning them as an advantage, Hitachi frames its diversity and inclusion as conducive to both the individual's and the company's sustainable growth. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.

Gender Balance at HICSE

In the UK rail industry, despite amazing growth, women are still underrepresented especially in technical or senior roles. In an attempt to redress the balance the Department for Transport actually set a target, specifying that women working in transport should match the number of men by the end of the decade. For its part, HICSE is supporting this initiative by offering flexible working opportunities to both men and women and creating a culture that encourages a positive work-life balance. As the organisation grows it’s encouraging to see the increasing levels of diversity within our teams across all departments but we must do more to encourage more women to join the business.

Almost a year ago HICSE became a Company Partner of the Women in Engineering Society (WES) and this has provided opportunities for staff to attend a number of events, workshops and even an award ceremony! We’ve also been involved in projects which have raised our profile, ensuring that an ever increasing number of people know who HICSE are, and what we do. Below are a few examples:

Women in Engineering - A Discussion

In October, Mel Sutcliffe travelled to Swansea to participate in the filming of a ‘Women in Engineering’ video, organised by the College of Engineering at Swansea University. Mel was one of three women present who currently work in an engineering role, and they were joined by a number of students, all of whom are studying for a variety of engineering qualifications. The resulting video is available to view here:  https://www.hitachi-infocon.com/women-in-engineering-a-discussion/

Lottie’s Tour

Lottie’s Tour is an annual project which is organised by the WES Young Members Board. It aims to show young girls and boys that there are a huge range of careers available in engineering - an engineer isn’t just the person who fixes your car or works on the railway wearing orange! Over 150 companies participated in the 2018 tour, and HICSE joined the likes of the National Grid, Aston Martin and Balfour Beatty in welcoming Lottie to our offices. Below are a selection of photos showing Lottie during her visit to HICSE in Bradford on Avon (huge thanks to Nick Krainc for his fantastic photography skills):

WES’ INWED18 Afternoon Tea event.

In June, Mel Sutcliffe attended the 2018 International Women in Engineering Day’s Afternoon Tea event which was organised by WES, and hosted at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s headquarters in Carlton House Terrace, near Buckingham Palace.

The afternoon started with champagne on arrival, followed by tea and tiny cakes throughout the afternoon. The keynote speech was presented by the Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Dr Hayaatun Sillem, and the event ended with an award ceremony, recognising the achievements of individuals under the banner of ‘Returners and Transferrers’: http://www.inwed.org.uk/top-50-women-in-engineering.html

It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other engineers (both male and female), and to increase the profile of HICSE within the engineering community.



HICSE MD’s talk to IET members at Bath University


HICSE MD's talk to IET members at Bath University

Last night HICSE’s Managing Director TIM Gray gave a talk to IET members at Bath University. The subject was Digital Railway and how the UK rail industry is using digital systems to improve capacity and performance plus bring new benefits and opportunities to railway stakeholders. A supply side view on the transformation plans and progress to date. The event was well attended and the subject prompted some lively debate amongst IET members.


Women in Engineering – A Discussion


Women in Engineering - A Discussion

Our Senior Test Engineer, Mel Sutcliffe, has recently participated in an inspiring discussion about women in engineering organised by College of Engineering at Swansea University. It brings us a step closer to understanding the biggest problems women engineers face and what we can all do to support them and help increase diversity in workplace.

The video is available at:



Lottie Tour at HICSE



The WES Young Members Board (WES = Women’s Engineering Society) have organised their third Lottie Tour for this year’s ‘Tomorrow's Engineers Week’ (5th-9th Nov) to show how varied and exciting it is to work in engineering - the target audience for this event is girls of primary school age and upwards.

We were lucky enough to receive a visit from Lottie in early Oct, and below is a photo we took of her in action. You can find more pictures of her visit in our office on our social media: @hitachi-infocon – we’ll be posting them all week! And here is the blog she wrote after her visit:



Hello Everyone!

This week I’ve been in Bradford on Avon, spending time with the engineers of HICSE. I hadn’t heard of HICSE before, but Mel and Dee explained that they’re part of the Hitachi family, and their full company name is ‘Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe Ltd’.

They also explained that HICSE is a company which help to keep our trains running, and without their software and knowhow, people wouldn’t be able to get to work, visit their friends, or have days out in exciting new places.

I’d bought both my hard hat and Hi Viz jacket with me (safety first at all times in the rail industry!), but these engineers were office and laboratory based, so protective clothes weren’t needed. Despite this, I took the opportunity to get a few photos of me wearing my kit – I hope you like them!

Next I was shown around the company’s onsite lab – wow! It was full of big, noisy machines with lots of flashing lights, computer screens beeping everywhere, and loads and loads of cables and plugs. I made sure I got lots of photos of me with the equipment – and no, I wasn’t allowed to touch anything without supervision!!

Before leaving I made a new friend called Howard. He let me sit on his shoulder whilst he worked – have a look at the photo! I was sad when I had to leave HICSE, but I’m looking forward to my next adventure, and to making more new friends.

Bye and thanks HICSE – especially Mel, Dee and Howard!!

Lottie xx



Women of Hitachi Summit 2018



On the 10th & 11th October we joined (and some of us co-organised!) the Women of Hitachi Summit. The summit was held at Woodlands Park Hotel in Cobham, Surrey, a fabulous former Country House with a lot of period features, which was brilliant for our history nerds.

The event was not only a brilliant opportunity to meet up with colleagues from a raft of different Hitachi organisations & countries and see how diverse our workplace experiences were. It was also really good to see our directors in attendance and whilst we do currently have a male bias within our Organisation, like much of the industry, it demonstrated that they are supportive of making us a more inclusive and diverse workforce, building on recent positive progress in this area.

Georgie Bullen, GB Goalball Paralympian, was the guest speaker on Wednesday and provided a fascinating, informative presentation on the challenges of being registered blind, with 73% being unemployed.

On Thursday we had a packed day of presentations and workshops. Laura Dunley from HRE, was the key note speaker and was extremely engaging when providing her background with some very interesting examples of having assumptions being made as to her role within meetings (being handed coats to hang up etc.). The workshops Courageous Conversations and Pouring coffees or Making an Impression gave us a lot to think about, it has provided us with interesting tools going forward.


WES Corporate Partners Meeting



Earlier this month, representatives from various WES Corporate Partners met to discuss the different types of mentoring programs employed by companies, and how they’re used in organisations to support women in engineering careers. The meeting, facilitated by Past-president, Petra Gratton, was hosted by Transport for London at their Victoria Station House offices. The newly appointed WES COE Elizabeth Donnelly also attended this meeting.

The resulting comments and experiences will be used to generate a report, and to develop MentorSET Corporate, an extension of the current WES scheme.

Hitachi Infocon at InnoTrans 2018



The Sales and Marketing team have just arrived back from an extremely busy week at InnoTrans in Berlin. This bi-annual event provides a great opportunity to showcase our product range and capabilities to a captive international audience of railway professionals over a four day period.

The international trade fair, occupying all of the Berlin Messe exhibition grounds, welcomes on average 130,000 trade visitors filling 40 exhibition halls and two outdoor areas. Once more we had the opportunity to exhibit alongside Hitachi Rail Europe, Hitachi Rail and Ansaldo STS, demonstrating global expertise in rolling stock, maintenance and signalling plus digital innovations such as smart ticketing and dynamic headway. We also launched dessan Design which was very well received and generated a lot of interest from potential clients in Australia and India.

Amongst the many visitors to the stand we were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Transport the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP. He was given a short tour of the stand by Tim Gray and Karen Boswell (MD HRE).

The Sales and Marketing team would like to say a huge thank you to Paul Jones, Suleman Qazi and Oliver White who worked tirelessly throughout the show and provided invaluable technical support.

Hitachi to Launch New Signalling Design Software



London, September 12, 2018 --- Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe Ltd. (HICSE) today announced that the company will launch an exciting new Railway Signalling Design tool ‘dessan Design’ in September. This intuitive new software enables signalling designer’s to easily create and edit new signalling layouts using an integrated library of signaling components.

It can be used to create design sketches during the option selection phases of a new project, and provides graphical outputs for the assessment of new design options. This integrated tool helps to reduce errors with its in-built validation and improves productivity for signalling designers. Less time spent manually transferring data between tools will improve efficiency and accelerate the design process.

dessan Design is part of the dessan Rail portfolio – a comprehensive suite of products that can increase efficiency throughout project lifecycles, via scheme optimisation, design validation, operational modelling and simulation, through to operator training.

Tim Gray, HICSE Managing Director, commented:

dessan Design is a great addition to the HICSE portfolio of software and data products designed for use in the railway industry. It draws on our excellent software expertise, but coupled with a real-world understanding of the signalling design process, so it also offers our clients opportunity to work more efficiently in delivery of projects. It is also a further step within Hitachi’s Digital Railway ambitions and our drive to become ‘An Innovation Partner for the IoT Era’.


InnoTrans 2018 – Berlin, Germany

HICSE will be demonstrating the new software on Hitachi Rail’s stand at InnoTrans on September 18-21. 


About Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe Ltd.

Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe brings together many years of experience in delivery and support of simulation, control and traffic management systems. In the U.K. our products form an essential part of Network Rail’s operational infrastructure, enabling safe and efficient performance via our training simulator and automated route setting systems.

To meet rail sector challenges, our team are driving industry-changing innovations in full lifecycle modelling and simulation, including automated data validation and design optimisation solutions. We are now combining our products and experience with those of our parent company, Hitachi Limited, to deliver market leading information and control solutions such as the Tranista Traffic Management platform and related Digital Railway solutions.

For further information about the company, please visit:  www.hitachi-infocon.com

Or contact Denise Watkins, Business Development Manager: Tel 07872 147616 email: denise.watkins@hitachi-infocon.com

Victory at RailSport Games 2018



For the second year in a row Hitachi Infocon has won the Rounders Championship title in the RailSport Games UK. The event, organised by Rail Media and held across two days at Loughborough Endowed Schools, was celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Participants included top rail industry companies, like Network Rail, Siemens Rail, Knorr-Bremse Railservice, Thales etc.

Hitachi Infocon participated in 5-a-side football, 100 mile cycle race and defended the Championship title for Rounders gaining gold medals for the team – Well done all!!

Hitachi Annual Golf Day 2018


The Hitachi Annual Golf Day was held on the 11th July at Dalmahoy golf course, a beautiful setting just outside Edinburgh. This event is co-sponsored by HICSE and HRE and the guest list included representatives from some of the main players in the UK rail industry such as Atkins, Angel Trains, Porterbrook, Alstom, OSL and Unipart. It is a good opportunity to network with clients and suppliers as well as Hitachi colleagues from around the UK. HICSE MD Tim Gray hosted an enthusiastic four ball team and was close to a lucrative hole in one…. but not close enough!

golf day

Following a lively afternoon on the course the guests enjoyed an evening of world cup football (England v Croatia) and dinner hosted by Pete Graves (Sky Sports) with guest speakers Emile Heskey who during his 18 year career made more than 500 appearances the Football League and Premier League and represented England in international football, and Scott Hastings, a Scottish Rugby Union player. He won 65 caps at centre for Scotland from 1986 to 1997.  It was certainly interesting to watch the England v Croatia game with those guys and hear their views about the end result.

It would be great to have more involvement from the HICSE side though, players and guests, so if you do know one end of a golf club from the other why don’t you join one of the teams at next year’s event?

golf day