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Arup, Mott MacDonald, Tony Gee & Partners and HR Wallingford star as NCE announces its Consultants of the Decade

Consultants that have ridden the ups and downs of the last decade and individuals that have done most to champion the profession were celebrated at a special awards ceremony last night.

Arup, Mott MacDonald, Tony Gee & Partners and HR Wallingford picked up awards for consistent business performance, while RES associate director Sarah Royse and former Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke were recognised for individual achievements.

They all received NCE/ACE Consultants of the Decade awards, a special award organised to celebrate of the tenth anniversary of NCE and the Association of Consultancy and Engineering’s premier awards for business performance. The awards were first run in March 2003 and are now a mainstay of the industry calendar.

Last night’s awards unashamedly drew on the successes of the past ten years across the six established categories of the awards.

A judging panel of ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin, FIDIC president Geoff French and NCE editor Antony Oliver picked the winners.

A full review of the awards and the winners will appear in NCE on 3 October.

The awards

SME Consultant of the Decade

Presented by ACE

This started life in 2004 as the medium sized consultant category but morphed in 2012 into the SME category to more closely reflect and reward the range of sizes, skills and sectors of the entrants.

Winner: Tony Gee & Partners

Judges verdict: Tony Gee has carved out a strong reputation as technical maestros that can sort out any complex construction challenge, which makes them a first port of call for most major contractors.

It is a firm that consistently punches above its weight working on some of the biggest and most technically demanding projects around the world including recently the London 2012 Olympics, Crossrail, Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong and of course the hugely challenging Thameslink Blackfriars Station in London.

Also shortlisted: AKT II, Colin Buchanan, GHA Livigunn, Haswell, Hewson, Hilson Moran, JBA Consulting, Sinclair Knight Merz, Steer Davies Gleave, Whitby-bird


Specialist Consultant of the Decade

Sponsored by Lafarge Tarmac

This was a new category introduced in 2012 to recognise the growing significance of generally smaller but no less vital components in the profession’s armoury of skills and expertise. The shortlist was therefore drawn from consistent entrants over the decade in all categories

Winner: HR Wallingford

Judges verdict: Performance really peaked last year for water specialist HR Wallingford with turnover reaching £25.5M up nearly £2M on 2012, staff number rising to just under 300 and earning £23M in fees which is more that £3M more than last year.

Our winner is a true civil engineering specialist; the global go-to guys for practical solutions to complex water-related challenges.

Also shortlisted: Ardent, Bridgezone, Clear Environmental, London Bridge Associates, SLR, Strainstall, Testconsult, Westlakes Engineering


Young Consultant of the Decade

Sponsored by Hays Civil Engineering

Winner: Sarah Royse, Inbuilt

Judges verdict: When Sarah won this award in 2008 the judges described her as “brimming with ideas and with a powerful, analytical and thoughtful approach”. It is clear that in the last five years her career has gone from strength to strength as she builds her skills and experience in the building services profession – particularly through her passion and drive to deliver sustainable low carbon solutions to clients building and infrastructure management challenges.

Also shortlisted: Laura Bayliss, BDP; Sarah Bowden, Arup; Peter Brown, Atkins; Duncan Campbell, Arup; Fiona Cobb, Price &  Myers; David Gilpin, Arup; Nariba Gittens, Halcrow; Phil Anthony Moutousamy, Buro Happold; Sarah Royse, Inbuilt; Tom Wilcock, Arup


Outstanding Achievement of the Decade

Sponsored by Beale & Co

Winner: Keith Clarke

Judges verdict: In his eight year reign as Atkins CEO Keith refocused this mammoth firm back onto its core engineering roots, returning stability to the business and cementing Atkins position as one of the global go-to firms for engineering and consultancy.

From 2003 to 2011 he successfully navigated a world recession and charted a course for growth via a strategy of “returning to the knitting” and focusing the Group on core engineering

Key to this was his drive into the Middle East where key projects included the multi-billion Dubai Metro. He retained a role in the Middle East for Atkins until last year and now has an independent role advising the Qatar Government on its spectacular investment plans.


UK Consultant of the Decade

Sponsored by Mabey Hire

Another award that has changed over the decade, starting life as major consultant of the year until we decided to refocus the name around the UK business for firms with more than 600 staff.

Winner: Arup

Judges verdict: You name it, and Arup has probably had a hand in engineering it over the last decade and beyond. With a key role major projects over the decade such as High Speed one and its connection into London, the 2012 Olympic Games planning, a huge proportion of the British Construction Industry Award shortlist and winners each year and of course a key role in the planning of Crossrail and HS2, Arup is without question the go to firm of compelx engineering solutions and major infrastructure planning.

Also shortlisted: Amey, Atkins, Buro Happold, Capita Symonds, Mace, Owen Williams, Scott Wilson, White Young Green


Global Consultant of the Decade

Sponsored by Bentley Systems

We introduced this category in 2012 during our revamp of the categories prompted by the clear morphing of the market as major firms embraced the new global civil engineering market

Winner: Mott MacDonald

Judges comment: Mott MacDonald has taken the title of international or global consultant three times in the last decade and been shortlisted in every year.

Long-term stability and a solid growth strategy continues to be the order of the day for this firm which, unlike so many other of it historical peers, fiercely and resolutely retains its independence as an employee owned business.

With over 75% of its staff working on projects overseas, projects in 140 countries and permanent offices in 50 of them, it is truly a global consultant with UK headquarters.

It is an icon of UK civil engineering expertise around the globe and form that continues to demonstrate that investment in it staff and in its core values over a long term reaps great reward.

Also shortlisted: ERM, Hyder, Parsons Brinckerhoff, RPS, Turner and Townsend, WSP

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