The second Consultants of the Year Awards lunch last week in London was another roaring success. One hundred and fi fty senior consultants, contractors and clients met in Claridge's elegant ballroom last Friday to celebrate a successful year's business and congratulate the companies and people who had enjoyed a particularly outstanding twelve months.
New Civil Engineer and the Association for Consultancy & Engineering run the awards and NCE's editor Antony Oliver and ACE's chairman Desmond Scott were joint hosts for the event.
Guest speaker James Naughtie of Radio 4's Today programme held the audience spellbound with his insight into the forthcoming General Election. In particular the change it will herald - whichever party is elected - because of prime minister Tony Blair's announcement that he will stand down during the course of the next term, if Labour wins again.
The engineers at Claridge's were all in buoyant mood, and not surprisingly. As the Consultants File 2005, which accompanies this issue of NCE, reveals combined fee earnings climbed to £5.9bn with total turnover pushing through the £7bn mark.
Winner of the major firm award, Atkins, was '40 minutes away from bankruptcy' three years ago, but by concentrating on technical excellence it turned out results that included fee income for 2004 up by 40% and fees earned per employee up 39% to £70,000.
Medium rm winner Whitbybird also produced 40% growth, and was an example of what a business full of individual entrepreneurs working as a team can do.
Parsons Brinckerhoff won the international prize thanks to strong focus on key markets, particularly the Middle East.
Young Consulting Engineer of the Year winner, Arup's Duncan Campbell, stunned the judges with an incisive paper on how to improve the profession.
And Outstanding Achievement Award winner the Seaford Duver coast protection scheme was cited as 'a sympathetic, life enhancing solution to an issue that is increasingly going to the top of the national agenda.' Congratulations to them all.
And thanks to the sponsors of the awards - Barclays, Griffi ths & Armour, BST and Eagle Technology, Hays Consulting Engineering and Berrymans Lace Mawer. Full details on winners, finalists and sponsors are in the Consultants File 2005.
The Winners Major firm of the year Atkins Sponsored by Medium firm of the year Whitbybird Sponsored by International firm of the year Parsons Brinckerhoff Sponsored by Young Consulting Engineer of the Year Duncan Campbell, Arup Sponsored by Outstanding Achievement of the Year Project team, Seaview Duver Coast Protection entered by Royal Haskoning Sponsored by Awards fi nalists were:
Owen Williams Group, White Young Green, CET Group, JMP Consulting, Halcrow Group, Arup, Owen Chriwa of Atkins, David Clark of Max Fordham, James Warne of Building Design Partnership, Buro Happold, Kate Whitley of FaberMaunsell, Upton McGougan