Colin Barnes, 44 from Sunderland, the Engineering Director at Go North East, the region’s largest bus company, was named ‘Engineer of the Year’ at the routeone Awards last week with judges noting that “he has so much ‘oomph’ it is unbelievable”.

Held at Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Wednesday 2 October, the Engineer of the Year award recognises the exceptional impact an engineer has had on their organisation. The accolade follows Colin’s promotion to Engineering Director in December 2018, with the judges saying, “he was removed from his comfort zone and subsequently excelled in his new sphere”.

As Engineering Director at Go North East, Colin is responsible for a fleet of over of 700 vehicles and 250 team members, and plays a significant role in developing new opportunities, technologies and innovations.

Starting out as an apprentice aged just 17, Colin has worked his way up and credits Go North East for being a company that really does value and invest in its people. He is a role model for apprentices and over the past couple of years has worked in partnership with Gateshead College to introduce and oversee several training programmes to upskill all team members.

Commenting on Colin’s win, Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director at Go North East, said: “I’m delighted that Colin has been recognised for not only his engineering efforts but also his leadership and processes for finding new ways to work. Ever enthusiastic and energetic, he certainly has the ‘oomph’ that the judges described.”

Tim Deakin, Editor at routeone, added: “It was a pleasure to present Colin with the award that recognises him as Engineer of the Year among the Britain’s large bus operators. The work done by Colin and his team at Go North East and East Yorkshire directly influences the reliability of bus services that are delivered to passengers.

“Colin’s desire always to do better shone through to our judging panel of industry experts. He faced tough competition, but his enthusiasm and dedication were among the many reasons for his well-deserved victory.”