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Consultants File Awards 2010: Shortlisted firms

There was particularly strong competition for this year’s NCE/ACE Awards and the following companies put in excellent performances to join our shortlist. Congratulations to them all.

Major projects

Hyder

Hyder refocused its business for a tougher market over a year ago under new chief executive Ivor Catto, aligning itself with four key markets − transport, property, utilities and environment.

Staff numbers rose from 3,916 to 4,694 in the last year and fees increased from £196.9M to £269.9M.

The achievement the company was most proud of was the completion of the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai (pictured above) − the tallest free standing structure in the world at 826m high and with over 160 storeys. Burj Khalifa is not a one off, the company says and it plans to make itself the engineering consultant of choice for tall buildings.

Mouchel

Mouchel have been working on the Highways Agency's Area 3 MAC

Mouchel have been working on the Highways Agency’s Area 3 MAC

Mouchel has just survived a hostile approach from VT Group, but the approach demonstrates the robustness and attractiveness of the Mouchel business model, the company says. Mouchel has won over £500M of new work in recent months including the Highways Agency’s Area 3 MAC and is building on its strategy of providing essential public infrastructure and service functions.

The company’s plan over the last few years has been to build solid client relationships that give visibility of earnings over a considerable period of time. Work in hand sits at £1.68bn and the company has a bidding pipeline of around £2.4bn. Mouchel has been expanding its range of services in the core markets of transport, education, local and central government, health and water. Strong relationships with clients mean new services have been added incrementally.

Sinclair Knight Merz (Europe)

SKM finally managed to purchase the Enviros Group this year after losing out to Alfred McAlpine the last time The Enviros skills in intelligent carbon design, water and energy are dovetailing nicely with SKM’s UK skills in structures and the wider SKM group’s spread of activity. “The acquisition demonstrates our commitment and capability to offer our “relationship clients” a more integrated proposition on sustainability and climate change,” the company says. Top three projects are MediaCity UK, the Isle of Grain power station which includes an innovative combined heat and power scheme; and the Sydney Desalination Plant.

International projects

Arup

Arup's California Academy of Sciences

Arup’s California Academy of Sciences

Arup’s stunning coup on the international front in the last 12 months was to enter into an exclusive strategic partnership with 40 of the world’s largest cities − known as the C40 Group.

Arup will be helping them develop policies and solutions for the problem of climate change and will be acting as strategic adviser to the Clinton Climate Initiative. Arup says it is the first and only private sector company to partner with the C40 in the last two years. In the first of its engagements with the C40 it held an urban life workshop to devise a plan for Toronto.

Buro Happold

Buro Happold’s long standing working relationship with clients in Saudi Arabia has helped it weather some of the storms of the recession. Chairman Rod Macdonald has relocated to the Riyadh office and success there has prompted the company to spread its international wings and increase its activities in India, Hong Kong and the United States.

Overseas turnover has more than doubled in the last 12 months from £23.6M to £48.41M representing 49% of the company’s total revenues, up from 33% a year ago. Top projects include the King Abdullah financial district in Riyadh, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi and the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson's Erbil Airport, Iraq

Scott Wilson’s Erbil Airport, Iraq

Scott Wilson has had a long and successful history in the busy markets of India and China but in the last year has set up some strategic alliances with major international partners to allow it to enter new markets.

One link is with Texas-based Global Maritime which provides exposure to North America as well as work in the oil and gas sector on international port and offshore projects. The firm has also won the programme management contract for Saudi Arabia’s first high speed rail project. The firm has prepared the concept design and master plan for a new airport at Erbil, in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region and is now appointed as designer to contractor Mak-Yol.

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