Maritime & Transport / Other / Rail

Over the air – what rail can learn from Qantas

The inaugural ARA Asset Management in Rail Conference is taking place on the 8-9 July at the InterContinental Sydney. The impressive speaker line up will see representatives from leading companies including Sydney Trains, Yarra Trams, Downer Rail, Networking Rail Consulting and Transport for NSW.

Michael Killeen, 747 & 767 Fleet Manager, Qantas Engineering Operations, Qantas Airways will give the Opening Keynote Address at the event.

Michael was kind enough to provide us with some more insight into his background and some more information on his presentation for the conference.

Michael Killeen

Michael Killeen, Qantas

Michael, can you tell us a bit more about your background and your role at Qantas?

Over the last 20 years I have worked in a range of leading blue chip companies, like Qantas, and top tier consulting organisations. My experience has been broad and includes procurement, supply chain, asset optimisation and ICT. From an industry perspective, I worked in manufacturing, mining and aviation. I have led teams of up to 250, P&Ls of over $50 million, been responsible for asset bases of over $2.5 billion costing nearly $1m per day to operate and has successfully lead the delivery of multiple high-profile projects of $180-$270 million including some high profile ones.

Can you give us an insight into some of the points you will discuss in your presentation at the Asset Management in Rail Conference?

The work I will discuss relates to my role as 747/767 Fleet Manager. During a period of rapid transformation within Qantas, including the retirement of the 767s, I lead an asset management reform which touched a number of parts of the business.   I hope to be able share some key lessons learned including those things that worked well and some that we would do differently. Asset management has a lot to offer in terms of not only its technical content but also as a lever for change. I will show how we applied asset management as a framework for business change.

What were some of the challenges you faced transforming the Qantas asset management system?

The problems we faced were similar to the problems that many of the people in the rail industry undoubtedly face.  These included clearly communicating and explaining the need for significant change and engaging closely with our people through each stage of the process. Many people involved in aviation have been so for a long time so change is going to be challenging for a lot of people.Getting people on the journey was extremely important.

How do you optimise your assets?

Our asset optimisation was underpinned by focusing on the value that assets deliver rather than the interests of the organisational silos that contribute to their success.  We encapsulated this in our asset management plans which defined what needed to be done for the assets, not for the organisational silos.

What are you most looking forward to about the conference?

My experience across a broad range of industries has taught me that no one industry has all of the answers – some industries do things better than others despite the perception – so I am not only interested in sharing experiences with people in the rail industry but, I am also looking forward to meeting the people and learning something from the rail industry that I can bring back to aviation as a better way to approach a problem.

Michael will give the Opening Keynote Address at the ARA’s Asset Management in Rail Conference on Wednesday 8th July. Join Michael and a host of industry leading professionals at the conference to keep up to date on the latest in asset management strategy improvements.

Other speakers include:

  • Maria Palazzolo, CEO, GS1 Australia
  • Warwick Talbot, General Manager, Engineering and System Integrity, Maintenance Directorate, Sydney Trains
  • Rob MacGregor, Business Development Manager, Inspired Systems
  • Paul Reichl, Senior Research Engineer and Data Scientist, Institute of Railway Technology, Monash University
  • Simon Ratcliffe, General Manager – Maintenance, Reliability & LCC, Downer Rail
  • Tony Frazer, GM Asset Management, Interstate Division, ARTC
  • Christopher Stinchcombe, Director, Rolling Stock, Yarra Trams

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