Susan Cooklin, the CIO of Network Rail, has been chosen as one of four finalists in the running for the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium 2012 Award for Innovation Leadership.

The award aims to recognise CIOs who use innovative IT and business processes to deliver business value for their organisations.

Cooklin was selected for running technology projects that aim to reduce the cost of running the UK's railway by 21 percent by 2014. She joined the company as head of IT delivery in 2006, and was promoted to CIO in 2009, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Prior to this, her experience has been in financial services, with roles as a senior executive at Barclays Bank and programme director of Royal Bank of Scotland.

Cooklin is up against three candidates from the US, namely Catherine Bruno, VP and CIO Of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, Bill Oates, CIO of the City of Boston and Chris Perretta, EVP and CIO of State Street Corporation.

Ray Chang, co-chair of the award program, said: "We received many impressive applications for this award that demonstrated strategic vision, innovative use of technology, improved customer satisfaction and service delivery, and focus on reducing response time

"Our finalists integrate the elements of innovation leadership into their practice in dynamic ways to deliver powerful results."

The winner will be announced at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium on 22 May 2012.

In-depth: Read Network Rail's CIO 100 profile