Movers and shakers: Biggest construction and engineering appointments in August 2023

Before the return of Parliament and new work ramping up, organisations including Buro Happold, Kier, Network Rail, the UK Atomic Energy Authority and more have made significant appointments.

A round up of the biggest moves and appointments during August follows below. To feature on next month’s appointments roundup email

Buro Happold makes numerous high level appointments to strengthen UK offering

Andrew Parsons has been appointed Buro Happold group director for the water and environmental consultancy team. Having moved from Jacobs, Parsons has 15 years of experience at director level and has spent much of his career focused on the environmental sector, providing providing sustainable solutions to a wide range of private and public sector organisations across multiple markets.

Buro Happold has also appointed Christopher Mills as mobility director. He brings with him extensive experience in delivering successful transport planning appraisals and business case analyses. He spent 13 years at Transport for London as project and programme transport planning manager and more than 14 years as a planning consultant on projects including Heathrow, Gatwick and Old Oak Common.

Further to those appointments, Sidsel Birk Hjuler joins Buro Happold as global lead of active mobility. She will be based in Copenhagen but spend much of her time developing the UK market. She is a leader in the field of mobility and regarded as the voice of cycling in Denmark having served as the head of office for the cycle superhighays of the Copenhagen Capital Region. In her new job she will create an active mobility centre of excellence and collaborate with the UK transport and mobility team around sustainable transport development.

New director at Atkins Nuclear

Mike Hughes has been appointed as an outside director on the Atkins Nuclear board of directors. He has over 35 years of experience in the nuclear sector and in this new role will provide oversight for corporate activities and security compliance to ensure alignment with the Company’s vision and strategy.  He has previously supported the United States Department of Energy in developing the One System approach, creating consistent operational requirements across all contracts enabling performance tracking.

Aecom makes leadership appointment in global transportation

Mark Southwell is the new chief executive of Aecom Transportation global business. Southwell is a civil engineer with over 35 years of experience who joined Aecom in 2019 as managing director of Transportation for Europe. In his new role, he will lead the global transportation design business and extend the company’s legacy of delivering innovative, safe, sustainable and cost-effective transportation systems.

Sisk Ireland and UK gets new COO

Steven McGee has been appointed as chief operating officer, Ireland and UK at John Sisk & Son. He joined the company’s Irish business last year and in his new role will continue to lead Sisk’s Irish business as well as the company’s operations in construction, civil engineering and rail across the UK.

Three new regional directors at Network Rail

Ellie Burrows has been made permanent Network Rail Southern region managing director, having held the role on an interim basis since January.

Simultaneously, Rob McIntosh has moved from Eastern region managing director to North West & Central region managing director.

Taking up the vacated Eastern region managing director role is Jake Kelly, who moves across from Network Rail system operator director.

Four senior hires at Kier

Kier has appointed Tracey Collins to the newly created role of head of emerging talent, diversity and inclusion. She has previously held a variety of roles at Kier with the most recent being the Group’s head of diversity and inclusion. Her new role is an expansion of this role and will see her setting and embedding Kier’s emerging talent strategy. This will be critical for meeting the growing demand for skills to deliver the UK’s ambitious programme of infrastructure.

Also appointed to Kier’s senior leadership team is Tracey McNamara, who will take up the role of group procurement director. She will work with Kier’s business divisions to support the business’ extensive supply chain. She joins the team from Berry Global where she spent 20 years and held the role of procurement director.

James Martin has been promoted to health, safety, wellbeing and sustainability director and head of the Group’s Responsible Business team. He has worked for Kier since joining on a graduate programme in 1999 and has since worked on some of largest and most high-profile infrastructure projects in the UK, including Crossrail, Sellafield, Hinkley Point C and the Channel Tunnel. Most recently, James has been working as a project director for Eiffage Kier Ferrovial Bam Nuttall (EKFB), which is responsible for delivering 80km of civil engineering works for High Speed 2.

The previous holder of Martin’s new role, Chris Lilley, has also been promoted to regional director within the Eastern and Midlands region of the group’s construction business. Over the past two years, Lilley has created a new health, safety and wellbeing strategy and overseen a strong improvement in the group’s safety performance. He has also played a leading role in the design and roll out of a culture programme across the group, as well as developing Kier’s evolved sustainability framework and maintaining an industry leading approach to health and safety.

Motts strengthens systems thinking

Heather Marshall has been appointed by Mott MacDonald as technical principal in its water consultancy systems thinking business. She brings with her over 10 years of experience in the water sector and will help guide the team to integrate their interventions across the water, environment, social and infrastructure systems, creating more joined up solutions to the concurrent challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and social equity.

ORR chair gets second term

Declan Coulier has been reappointed as chair of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for his second five year term. Collier will continue to drive forward the important work of the ORR, holding Network Rail and National Highways to account ensuring they deliver significant investments to improve our national infrastructure. His next term will commence on 1 January 2024 and conclude on 31 December 2028.

Top (L-R): Amy Gandy, Barry Ward, Chris Lilley, Chris Sparey
Bottom (L-R): Diana Casey, James Martin, Mike Hughes, Shaun Tate

Quad of new appointments at UKAEA to deliver STEP

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has made four appointments to support the delivery of its ambitious Spherical Tokomak for Energy Production (Step) nuclear reactor.

Former Step delivery director Chris Waldon has made the leap to Step chief engineer. He has been with the UKAEA since 2003 and has over 30 years’ experience spanning the nuclear, pharmaceutical, chemical, refining and power generation sectors.

Debbie Kempton has been appointed as Step director of engineering programme. She is responsible for the overall engineering programme in addition to developing links with industry to support Step’s concept design. She is a chartered engineer and certified programme manager with 30 years of experience in aerospace engineering, applied research, technology demonstration and major programme delivery.

Sounak Dutta takes up the role of Step director of supply chain, having garnered over 20 years of experience in commercial, procurement and supply chain roles in the aerospace, consulting, utilities and business service sectors. He joins from Babcock International Group, where he spent eight years building and leading procurement and supply chain teams in the civil and naval nuclear businesses.

Finally, James Cown is the new Step director of programme development. He is a chartered project professional and chartered engineer with a career spanning more than 30 years that has seen him gain experience across high risk major programmes including submarine design and build, manufacturing facilities and establishment and implementation of multi-partner collaborations within the UK Ministry of Defence. In his new role, he will be responsible for programme and project management across the whole programme, development of the future home of Step at West Burton, regulatory engagement and development, and transition to a new operating model.

UKAEA strengthens materials division

In addition to the appointments to its Step programme, the UKAEA has made two appointments to its materials division.

Barry Ward has been appointed as head of the division’s Materials Research Facility. He was formerly Rolls Royce global chief of materials testing and has over 30 years’ experience in materials engineering. Throughout his career he has covered the full materials lifecycle journey from initial research through to the generation of design data to impact manufacturing changes.

Meanwhile, Amy Gandy has become the materials division head of programme, materials science and engineering. She has a PhD in physics and materials science and was previously senior lecturer in nuclear materials engineering and head of taught courses in the Department of Engineering at the University of Sheffield. She’s been the recipient of a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship in Understanding Radiation Damage Mechanisms in Compositionally Complex Alloys.

Inaugural chair of UK Industrial Fusion Solutions announced

David Gann CBE has been named as the inaugural chair of UK Industrial Fusion Solutions (UKIFS) by minister for fusion energy Andrew Bowie. He will oversee UKIFS as it delivers Step, a prototype fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton in Nottinghamshire. He was previously chair of the UK Atomic Energy Authority since 2018.

MPA gets executive director for energy and climate change

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has appointed Diana Casey as executive director for energy and climate change. She will play a strategic role in the sector’s acceleration towards net zero, advocating for better government policy to support decarbonisation and facilitating the growth of innovations being implemented by MPA members. She has been with the MPA since 2010 when she joined as technical advisor for energy and climate change.

New area manager at Roger Bullivant

Chris Sparey is the new south east region area manager at Roger Bullivant, having previously been southern piling manager. In his new role, Sparey will oversee operations in the region, ensuring seamless project execution and fostering strong client relationships.

Reds10 makes bid to become Tier 1 with new hire

Reds10 has appointed Shaun Tate as chief operating officer. He brings with him 35 years of experience in the construction industry, where he has primarily dealt with project delivery across residential, commercial, education, medical facilities and more. He joins the firm from Mace where he spent 17 years as director. Reds10 believes Tate’s experience can help it become one of a “new breed of Tier 1 contractors”.

BakerHicks strengthen life sciences team

Multi-disciplinary design, engineering and project delivery company BakerHicks has appointed Richard Linacre as director for life sciences and industry in the UK. In is new role, Linacre will deliver focused local support to the company’s existing and prospective clients across the UK life sciences and industrial sectors. He started his career as a civil and structural engineer and over the last 30 years has gained experience working in multi-disciplinary engineering and project management environments for high profile life sciences and industry clients.

Fortis IBA appoints experienced civil engineer

Incinerator bottom ash (IBA) recycling and processing company Fortis has appointed Mark Oliver as its new chairman to accelerate its growth strategy. Oliver is a civil engineer with over 40 years experience and has most recently been CEO of The Clarison Group. He has knowledge of building products and will use this to support Fortis in providing increasing volumes of sustainable, low carbon products to the construction industry.

Accys strengthens French team

Accsys, the fast growing company that enhances the natural properties of wood to make high performance building products, has appointed Laurent Valensi as sales manager in France and Clemence Guilloteau as marketing coordinator in France. The team will focus on developing The Accoya Approved Manufacturer Programme in France.

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