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Making a bigger splash

Names & Faces - Grontmij's Scott Aitken is stepping up to the role of the company's water director for UK and Ireland.

Consultant Carl Bro changed its name to that of new owner Grontmij a week ago and current deputy director of water for UK and Ireland Scott Aitken is full of anticipation.

Over the next year, the 40 year old will be working himself into the role of full water director.

He is taking over from Roger Pyle who, while continuing to look after some key utility clients, will also be hunting out new acquisitions for Grontmij to add to the company's water empire.

'We have grown the water group by 30% each year since 2001, ' says Aitken. Grontmij has just been confirmed as framework supplier on five of Scottish Water's latest consultancy lots. And the takeover by the Dutch group offers the UK water team tempting opportunities on mainland Europe.

'We can already see the benets of being owned by another engineering company, ' Aitken says. 'There's a whole other level of discussion. Plus there are 600 technical water staff to go with our 400.

'We have our expertise in working with privatised water businesses to export and they have exciting skills such as a deep understanding of the EC's Water Framework Directive to share with us. Grontmij also acts as a process contractor in Europe, but it's early days.' Aitken joined Carl Bro 10 years ago. He had studied civil engineering and then went to work with Crouch & Hogg as a water engineer, a specialism he has remained with. 'I was the first water person in Scotland for this business, ' he says, 'and yes, I suppose I did open up the market.' Turnover of his division in 2006 was £20M.

'We are growing sustainably, ' Aitken says.

'We have never focused on a head ofce and have skilled people in all our core areas including Leeds, Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Reading and Glasgow, which is where Aitken is based and will be staying.

Q&A Scott Aitken

Career highlight: When we won a place on Scottish Water's National Consultancy Framework and went on to provide some 250 staff to the client.

Career lowlight: I've probably been fortunate not to have any signicant career lowlights. In general I am too competitive and don't like losing at any time (even with my children! ).

Life philosophy: Live for the moment particularly as I have just turned 40!

Favourite holiday destination: North east corner of Majorca.

Fascinating fact: You really would have to ask my wife this one.

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