Meet The Team

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David Diesbergen

Over the last three decades, David has supported and led some of the most complex multi-disciplinary projects in the UK. In 2011, driven by a vision to build a community of experts who aligned with his own values, David established D2 Rail & Civils. His intent was to bring together a community who would build trusting relationships with clients and apply innovation to challenge the norm and add value. Through the growth and evolution of the business, David has ensured a clear mission supported by core values.

As CEO of the business as it stands today – D2 Global – David is accountable for the business strategy and maintaining the positive culture within the D2 community. He is passionate about driving the business forward into new industries and territories, whilst maintaining our core values. He is also dedicated to ensuring future generations are provided with the right skills and experience to ensure the future of the business. David Chairs the board of Directors where he encourages innovation and ensures the business has a clearly defined strategy, supported by clear objectives that work towards our mission.


Simon Blair
Chief Operating Officer

Simon is one of the founding Directors of D2, having joined the company following a successful career with Balfour Beatty and WSP, both in the UK and internationally. Operating at board level, Simon helps set our strategy to drive sustainable growth through service diversification and developing key client relationships. He has also been a keen proponent of our business core values: people, community, innovation, and integrity. A passion for innovation leads Simon to apply new thinking to solve perennial industry problems.  For instance, he has led the application of gaming designs, new software development, and data science competence to transform our professional services business – helping our people to consistently outperform themselves. Simon has also initiated and sponsored the design and development of bespoke applications and processes to improve how we work. More recently, Simon has spearheaded the establishment and growth of D2’s Canada business since its incorporation in Nov 2021. Working across continents, Simon ensures consistency in our approach to similar project challenges, client objectives, and stakeholders’ needs.

A successful construction management, project, and programme development specialist, Simon has a track record for delivering benefits at any point in a project’s lifecycle. As an engineer with extensive knowledge and experience of infrastructure delivery and programme control solutions, Simon’s expertise is wide-ranging. His understanding of engineering requirements and principles to adds value and confidence for clients and infrastructure funders alike. To date, Simon has successfully led integrated programme controls teams across two major programme Alliances for Network Rail. Passionate about collaboration and building integrated teams around ISO44001 principles, Simon has supported both Alliances in achieving Institute of Collaborative Working accreditation. The resulting synergies have enabled Simon to combine project information from five industry partners to develop integrated programme baselines that successfully achieved full funding. Most recently, Simon has been working in a hybrid capacity to support D2 Canada’s development of a major rail network expansion programme around the Greater Toronto area.


Mike Heywood
Transport Sector Director

Mike is a highly motivated and committed senior leader with almost three decades of experience in rail. For the last 20 years Mike has been directly involved with the development and delivery of complex multi discipline high value infrastructure projects. He has a proven track record in leading large project teams in the safe, efficient, and timely delivery of these projects.  Mike is an industry expert in Alliancing, having spent the last 10 years directly involved in procuring, forming, and leading alliance teams. He has undertaken the role of Alliance Director on both the £350m Northern Hub Alliance (which successfully delivered the Ordsall Chord project) and on the £3bn Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) West Alliance. Mike’s earlier career successes include, leading the delivery teams responsible for the national roll-out of the Fixed Telecom and GSM-R Radio networks, and installation of the Train Protection Warning System across the North-West of England.

Mike has a clear understanding of what Leadership is, and always looks to embed this within his Senior Leadership Teams. Fundamental to this is inspiring a shared vision and goals, embedding a common culture and values, enabling his teams to act, encouraging the heart, and constantly challenging the norm. Top priority for Mike is always the Health, Safety, and Wellbeing of his teams. To that end he always plays an active role in his projects Safety Leadership Teams, has successfully embedded Behavioural Based Safety initiatives and is always looking to identify and implement industry leading best practice in these areas.


John Johnson
Rail Director

John is a highly motivated senior leader with over twelve years of experience in rail, with the majority of his career spent leading complex, multi-discipline enhancement projects and programmes.  With a proven track record in leading teams to safe and successfully delivery. John has the ability to provide strong inclusive leadership on programmes that have complex stakeholder interfaces. Examples include:
Integration Director on £3B Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) West Alliance, Project Director on Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) West Alliance Project W2B £800m, Programme Manager on North West Electrification Phase 3 Preston to Blackpool Programme £400m. John’s earlier career also involved leading teams within Network Rail Building and Civils and also delivery specific work packages on fixed telecom and GSM-R Radio Networks.

Since 2015, John has worked within collaborative or alliance contracts at a senior management level, having spent the last two years working as part of the Alliance Management team on TRU West Alliance as Integration Director. During this time, John gained valuable experience in the development of an organisation from inception and the operation of alliances with an array of different suppliers. Having worked for Network Rail for twelve years, with the last eight years on programmes that form the foundation of the Great North Rail Project/Northern Powerhouse. John is motivated by the opportunity to continue to work on large scale capital investment programmes that deliver transformational benefits for clients, key stakeholders, customers, and communities.

John recently joined D2 as Operation Director-Rail and is excited to be part of D2’s vision to transform the way major project & programmes are delivered.


Peter Rogers
Global Infrastructure Director

Peter has almost 25 years’ experience in programme controls, having worked on major programmes in the defence, energy, transport, utilities, petrochemical and government sectors across the UK, Europe and KSA. Peter’s methodology for programme controls follows a risk-based approach, developing strategies that assure programme performance is achieved and monitored.

Peter joined D2 in 2023 having enjoyed successful leadership positions with Turner & Townsend and more recently Faithul+Gould (AtkinsRealis), where he supported programme controls capability development, work winning and operational leadership in addition to working with clients to help shape critical infrastructure projects such as Sizewell C nuclear new build.

Peter’s role in the D2 journey is to leverage the capability and experience within the business to support programme performance outside the rail industry in the world of critical infrastructure. 


David Steele
Vice President – Canada

David is a strategic leader with over twenty-five years of experience in rail and infrastructure. He has a record of developing and leading multiple discipline PMO teams and providing strategic advisory services to clients. David has a deep knowledge of Programme Management Organisation disciplines at increasing levels from project to portfolio. Within the United Kingdom, he has undertaken the role of Head of Strategic Planning and Controls on both Northern Powerhouse Rail and the interface between the conventional railway & the proposed HS2 Phases 2A and 2B. The role included the development & amalgamation of those complex high value portfolios into the Integrated Rail Plan for the North. Early career successes include the programme to close out the West Coast Route Modernisation portfolio, delivery of CP4 and CP5 Enhancement portfolios and Alliance working on Northern Hub and Northwest Electrification. In Canada, David has performed both operations and sales roles as a Progressive Contracts Advisory and Client Service Lead to a major infrastructure client with Metrolinx.

David fully embraces collaborative Leadership and ways of working, and always looks to embed and support the development of teams behaviours and skills. He will constantly look to support and empower the ability for growth and maturity in both teams he leads and client organisations he works with & on behalf of. David sees establishing and sustaining positive collaborative relationships is a key fundamental to successful infrastructure development and delivery.


Graham Nicol
Programme Performance Service Director

Graham has almost 20 years’ experience in programme controls and is recognised as one of the leading risk management experts in the UK. This recognition is validated by his status as a Certified Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management, recognising his experience as a leader in enterprise and programme/project risk. Graham recently joined D2 to lead our programme performance service to seamlessly integrate project controls, planning, risk and data science to provide data led insights to inform decision making.

Graham has held significant positions on major programmes, including his time as Head of Risk for HS2 where he oversaw the development and iteration of risk scenarios to establish a deliverable estimate range for the entire programme. Graham has recently supported DfT and HM Treasury with the development and assurance of the current programme baseline, providing expert review and recommendation to the Senior Leadership Team.

Graham was Project Risk Lead on Orsted’s largest and most complex offshore windfarm to date, Hornsea One with the role split between London and Copenhagen. Graham reinvigorated the project risk process, conducting multiple interface workshops to produce risk registers, integrated risk analysis and output risk range reports to support Gate Approval documentation requirements for DECC. The IQRA analysis helped inform Orsted’s contingency arrangements at both project and portfolio level and identified areas of programme acceleration to better enable schedule certainty.


Troy Lancaster
Head of Project and Programme Management

Troy is a highly qualified Chartered Project Management Professional with over 15 years of programme and project management experience in client, delivery and consultancy organisations. Troy has led a diverse set of complex multi-disciplinary renewal and enhancement projects and programmes from concept to delivery both in the railway and within the military. Examples include: the Enhanced Spend renewals programme which was Highly commended for ‘Driving Efficiencies’ at the Network Rail Partnership awards in 2014; the £60m Market Harborough Line Speed & Station Improvement project which won the National Rail awards in 2020; and the £3bn Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) programme where Troy was the Project Lead accountable for delivering the Transpire Alliance’s first £370m sub-programme of works.  Prior to joining D2, Troy was the Technical Director for Programme and Project Management at Amey Consulting where he revolutionised their approach to project management. This culminated in Amey Consulting becoming Corporately Accredited with the Association for Project Management (APM) with the highest marks possible which has only been achieved once before in the 50 years it has been running. Prior to this Troy worked in Amey Rail, Network Rail and the British Army as a Captain in the Royal Engineers where he served all over the world including Afghanistan.

Troy is passionate about programme and project management and always seeking to learn and continuously improvement. In 2019, Troy was awarded his fellowship with the APM, won the Department Prize at Warwick University for his MSc in programme and project management; and was the winner of the APM Award for the best post-graduate master’s dissertation of the year.


Daniel Smith
Head of Engineering

Daniel is an experienced Chartered engineer and Technical Director with over 23 years in the engineering consultancy industry. He has led a diverse set of engineering teams throughout his career, using his technical expertise and leadership capabilities. As the Engineering Director (Rail Consulting South) at Amey Consulting, Daniel led a team of 180 technical staff, he ensured they were competent and licensed engineers for projects. His responsibilities included providing direction for growth and development of the technical staff. Daniel also excelled in promoting innovation and improving design delivery practices within the account. At Versairen, Daniel served as the Head of Product Development, working with an R&D team to develop graphene-enhanced materials for various industries. He led the creation of a new business model for graphene-enhanced carbon composites in the automotive sector and led a consortium for product development. Daniel’s role also involved developing new materials and construction methods for the rail industry, including 3D printing and graphene-enhanced concrete.

During his time as the Technical Director (Industry Advisory) at AECOM, Daniel drove innovation through industry and academia partnerships and led the development of a prototype 3D printed product, CNCTArch. He held the role of Project Director for a new division with the end practice with a diverse Porfilio of projects in the industrial, rail and automotive sectors and ensured project success. At AECOM, he also held roles as a P&L Manager and Project Performance Director, effectively managing accounts, driving performance, and fostering collaboration across portfolio of projects with an annual turnover of £20m.

Throughout his career, Daniel has demonstrated strong leadership, technical expertise, and a commitment to innovation, to achieve the project delivery and outcomes.


Matt Sykes
Head of Digital Technology

Matt leads our Digital Technology and Visualisations team. He joined the team with over 10 years experience in software development and systems engineering in the construction industry, where he developed and maintained one of the top construction estimating systems in UK. Matt has worked in a number of areas of Digital Technology ranging from IT infrastructure overhauls, networking, software development, and system integration with clients.

Matt is experienced in cloud based software solutions and high availability IT infrastructure. He knows the importance of talking needs through with clients to get exactly what they need from a solution. Working closely with the rest of the Digital Technology and Visualisation team, Matt is always looking to expand D2 Rails’ digital service offering and value.


Matt Sykes Profile

Steve Cooper
Utilities Manager

Steve is an accomplished utilities professional with an excellent technical, commercial and project management background gained from the utility sector. Steve has had proven success in the management and co-ordination of utility diversions for both public and private sector clients and has over 25 years’ experience working on major infrastructure projects and providing professional services to the construction industry.  Capable of working on own his initiative or as part of a team to achieve the required goals and objectives, Steve is accustomed to working to meet tight deadlines.

An impressive CV includes utilities programmes for Network Rail on the Northern Hub Programme including the Ordsall Chord, Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road Railway Stations, and also the Manchester Airport Railway Station improvements. Steve’s other key projects include the Growth Deal Programme for Transport for Greater Manchester, Ring 3 Light Rail project in Denmark and HS2 Phase 1 Enabling Works Contract North.


Ashley Williams
Head of Data Science

Ashley leads our Data Science division within D2 Rail and holds a wealth of industry experience spanning 16 years, both in the United Kingdon and the Middle East. As our Head of Data Science, Ashley brings a strong understanding of diverse sectors, primarily within rail, but also spanning infrastructure, power, and highways.Throughout his career, Ashley has demonstrated his ability to navigate complex challenges and uncover valuable insights from vast data sets. Ashley’s analytical skills, combined with strategic mindset have allowed him to devise innovative solutions that optimise operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs across various projects. As we expand into the realm of Machine Learning and artificial intelligence, Ashley is dedicated to maximising the potential of these technologies, leveraging their power to propel our team and company forward.

Beyond his technical skillset, Ashley fosters a collaborative and inclusive environment, empowering his team to think creatively and push the boundaries of what is possible. By nurturing talent and encouraging professional growth, he ensures that our Data Science division remains at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies and methodologies.


Rebecca Mercer
Head of Information Management

With more than 10 years’ experience in the construction industry, Rebecca leads our Information Management team. Rebecca’s experience has been gained supporting some of the country’s leading construction organisations in designing and implementing appropriate information management solutions to both ensure data governance and support the flow of design information through the design process and into construction. Rebecca joined D2 in 2017 to support project delivery and has developed with the business to now lead our team information management professionals providing capability to one of Europe’s biggest rail programmes.


Sarah Barnes
Head of Collaboration

Sarah is an experienced project consultant that follows the principles of ISO44001 to ensure D2 hold Collaboration at the centre of everything we do. Sarah has built up a wealth of experience over the past 16 years within the rail and construction industries. Having delivered integral roles on major programmes such as Northern Hub, Northwest Electrification, HS2, East West Rail and Manchester Metrolink, Sarah is passionate about people and possess the communication and leadership skills needed to achieve cultural change.

Sarah’s most recent efforts have supported TransPennine Route Upgrade (TRU West Alliance) one the biggest rail projects in the UK as Collaboration lead. In her role as Collaboration lead, Sarah focuses on creating an environment where people feel secure in sharing their opinions, skills and knowledge and aim to establish a collaborative culture of continuous improvement. By challenging the status quo in a positive and effective manner, we can help teams contribute and collaborate at their full potential.


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