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David Cochrane Joins WSP to Lead High Speed Rail Projects

Cochrane brings comprehensive experience in delivering high-profile transit and transportation infrastructure projects, including senior leadership roles on Europe’s largest infrastructure project, High Speed 2.

NEW YORK — WSP, a leading engineering, environment and professional services consultancy, hired David Cochrane as senior vice president and transportation program director. He will be based in the Pacific Northwest region.

In this role, Cochrane will be responsible for delivering emerging complex mega-projects, in response to significant congestion and growing mobility needs in the region.

“David’s exceptional experience and technical excellence speaks volumes about his leadership skills and international expertise that we’re eager to share with our clients,” said Jannet Walker-Ford, WSP senior vice president and national transit and rail market leader.              

Cochrane has more than 35 years of experience, having held numerous senior leadership positions delivering civil engineering transport infrastructure in the UK, including high-speed rail and highway programs.

His most recent and notable work was on High Speed 2 (HS2), which is Britain’s new zero carbon, high-speed railway. HS2 connects communities across England and is Europe’s largest infrastructure project in terms of scale and length.

“My experience on HS2 has given me a deep understanding of the complex, multi-disciplinary interfaces that exist on mega-projects,” Cochrane said. “Understanding those interfaces and how to manage them from the early stages of a project’s lifecycle will help WSP clients avoid pitfalls and deliver their requirements effectively.”

He said high-speed rail projects are part of a wider integrated transport solution that offer greater connectivity, increases capacity and decarbonizes travel choices for communities. “What is clear to me is that community engagement is at the center of developing those solutions, so outreach and engagement is critical to delivering the right solutions for communities,” Cochrane added.

Cochrane spent the past seven years on HS2, during which time he gained experience developing the route and leading strategic engineering for phase 2 from 2016 to 2020. He was responsible for technical oversight of the high-speed rail line for this phase, managing the work of four major design joint ventures and supporting design for six area teams.

Beginning in 2020, Cochrane’s final multi-faceted role on HS2 before joining WSP was as head of engineering and environment for construction of the northern section of phase 1 from Warwickshire to Birmingham and beyond with connections to phase 2, the northern sections of HS2.

Cochrane holds an honors degree in civil engineering, is a chartered engineer and a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

About WSP in the U.S.
WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering, environment and professional services firms. Recognized on Fast Company’s Brands that Matter List for 2022 as a top Community-Minded Business, WSP in the U.S. brings together engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals who are dedicated to collaborate in the best interests of serving local communities. WSP designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment markets. With approximately 16,000 employees in 300 offices across the U.S., WSP partners with its clients to help communities prosper. wsp.com