Mott MacDonald transmission and distribution operations director Richard Stone was last week celebrating a double win for his team, which was part of two successful consortiums bidding for contracts to upgrade the National Grid.
The consultant was part of the Amec-led joint venture, along with Babcock International, that was named as the preferred bidder for the £550M job of upgrading half of the National Grid cables and overhead power lines in England.
It also won, in alliance with Skanska and Arreva, the £180M job of improving substations in the South East.
When the contracts begin in April 2007, both teams of contractors and consultants will be based in an office together, with National Grid preferring to term each job as an 'alliance', rather than a traditional contract.
'With these alliances, we are in uncharted territory for the power industry, ' says Stone, who will be overseeing both jobs. 'It's certainly not business as usual.' Both contracts are based on the NEC 3 Engineering and Construction Contract, and Stone says the most challenging aspect of both projects will be for everyone involved to learn how to work together on a partnering basis, leaving commercial divisions at the door.
However, Stone is ideally placed to take on this task. Prior to joining Mott Macdonald four years ago, Stone had worked almost exclusively for power contractor GEC and its latter incarnation as GEC Alstom.
'I joined Motts due to an inner desire to see the world from a different angle, ' says Stone.
Now, on this project, things have come full circle for Stone and he will be in one integrated team with Arreva, the owner of his previous employers GEC.
Q&A Richard Stone
Career highlight: The most satisfying element of what I do has always been in winning new business. It's always one of those moments where you go 'wow'.
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be? Some sort of professional sportsman. In my younger days I would have wanted to be a cricketer, but I'd now probably go for something more sedate like golf.
If your house was burning down, what would you save? The wife, the kids and then I'd get the car out of the garage and make sure the golf clubs were in the boot.
Source of inspiration: Mike Rees, a Welsh rugby coach at school. I was 100% football before he taught me, but he had a depth of passion for rugby that I found infectious.
It made me realise there was more to things than just technical aspects, be it rugby or engineering.