The third member of the triumvirate is a senior vice president of Parsons Brinkerhoff. Ashok Kothari, aged 60, has been moved over from the States for the duration of this project to head up the Parsons Brinkerhoff team that will be responsible for policing the contracts. 'I am responsible for making sure we deliver the programme and ensuring the terms of the contract are met, ' he says. 'I'm the one that tells them to hurry up. To me, the skill that you need as a programme manager is to get people to do things your way and get them excited about it.' Mr Kothari was born in India and after a degree in civil engineering went to the USA to do a masters in structural engineering. He stayed there, joining Parsons Brinkerhoff in 1974, and spent 15 years working on Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority projects. For the past 15 years he has been in San Francisco on the Bay Area Rapid Transit extension project.
'I've worked for Parsons Brinkerhoff for 30 years but I've never worked in a Parsons Br inkerhoff office, ' he says. 'I t ruly believe working in an integrated team has benefits.
'Any time you do a transit project, they are complicated because they need the knowledge not only of civils projects but also systems, so experience always counts. ' Mr Kothari started working on the project in October 2004, although until June he was still completing other work in the USA and so spent much of his time commuting over the Atlantic.
On ly in June has he been full t ime on the project.
He says he has always wanted to work overseas but had never had the right opportunity. He adds that sometimes people end up with jobs because circumstances take them there. That's not the case here, he asserts. 'I am here because I want to be here.' And despite being at an age when others may start to think about retirement, he is looking forward only to the task ahead. 'People who retire early don't have anything to do. It's not good for you, ' he says.
His only concern? 'The hardest bit is adjusting to the weather.'