2021 Mary Nguyen

Australasian Rail Industry Awards 2021 – RTSA Young Rail Professional Award


Headshot of Mary Nguyen

RTSA Executive Chair Roy Unny said Mary’s engineering and planning knowledge has led to multiple innovative solutions.

“Mary’s enthusiasm for technology has not only improved how Sydney Trains makes decisions and manages project requirements for critical resources, she has saved hundreds of hours of time for staff with her Access Locator App and track possession software,” Mr Unny said.

“She is also a passionate advocate for diversity, gender equality and inclusion and is a shining example of how modern the rail industry is.”


Innovation is driving the career of a young professional

Despite less than 10 years in rail, Transport for NSW Master Program Manager Mary Nguyen’s engineering and planning knowledge has led to multiple innovative solutions.

She developed an electronic Delivery Resource Assessment (eDRA) to improve the way Sydney Trains manages project requirements for critical resources.

“Before I developed a new system to manage and streamline planning and requests for resource and track possession, we were capturing information with manual forms and emails,” Ms Nguyen said.

“Managing requests through excel spreadsheets was somewhat archaic, so having everything automated improved workflows and made it more efficient for users,” Ms Nguyen said.

“eDRA allows us to identify potential resourcing issues early, which in turn allows us to coordinate hundreds of worksites more effectively.”

Ms Nguyen also created an access locator app allowing staff to search for possessions and access in seconds and providing immediate access to up-to-date information. Since its rollout in 2019, the app has enabled more than 1000 staff across Sydney Trains to improve how they plan and manage projects and maintenance.

“I had completed a few programming courses through uni, so I actually programmed the app myself,” Ms Nguyen said.

“It took about nine months in total as a side project and involved many streams of stakeholder engagement, but now we have about 2000 active users.”

“Employees used to track possession locations and maps via complex paper forms and multiple sources, which was time-consuming and potentially out-of-date. The user-friendly app allows staff to see updates in real-time, enabling better decision-making, improved communications and a time saving of around two days per year.”

The app also provides access to track maps during impromptu meetings where teams need immediate information on a particular area.

Ms Nguyen also mentors four new recruits in the Asset Management team, has been a member of the Sydney Trains’ Asset Management Division Diversity Panel and regularly facilitates communication workshops.

“I am an active advocate for diversity, gender equality and inclusion. I want to help young talent from all backgrounds to succeed and excel in the rail industry,” Ms Nguyen said.

“Every week, I make time in my schedule with one-to-one sessions with my mentees, challenging them to improve themselves and helping them develop goals and action plans.”

“It was such a surprise to be nominated for an award. It is validation that the work I have done has been recognised by my managers and team.”