12 May, 2016 By Hannah Bottom
The NCE100 is a new and exciting way of showcasing the best companies in civil engineering, with firms assessed on the cultures and competencies that matter most.
NCE100 firms are scored and ordered according to answers provided to comprehensive company and staff surveys. The answers to both surveys are confidential and have only been used to score the companies. The data has also been used to create top 10s in New Civil Engineer’s five core themes: Technical Excellence; Future Tech; Engineering Equality; Future Engineer; and World View. NCE100 companies were also invited to enter awards designed to recognise specific achievements within the core themes. The following listing highlights where firms have been recognised for such achievements.
1. Opus International Consultants
Winner NCE100 Company Of The Year Award
Opus appears in the top 10 firms across all of the core themes – Engineering Equality (second), Future Engineer (second), World View (fifth), Future Tech (ninth) and Technical Excellence (tenth), which demonstrates a large part of why the firm has been named the NCE100 Company of the Year.
The consultant prides itself on having a clear diversity strategy; engaging its staff in outreach activities to promote the profession and act as STEM ambassadors; working with impact internationally culminating in professional recognition of its work; spearheading new technologies through research and development funding; and pushing engineering boundaries through partnerships with clients.
Its history dates back to colonial New Zealand, when around 1885 the country’s public works department began building national road and rail networks to open up its notoriously difficult terrain. It has grown from a small number of engineers to a 3,000 strong staff working in the UK, Australasia, Canada and the US in the key sectors of buildings, transport water and environment. The UK operation was established in 1989. It is now headquartered in Bristol and employs over 400 in 12 offices while the parent company is based in Wellington, New Zealand. It was listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in 2007.
Its practice covers asset management and development through the full lifecycle – from concept development, planning, detailed design and procurement to commissioning, operation, maintenance and ultimately rehabilitation and upgrading.
The firm is made up of engineers, scientists, researchers, data analysts, chemists, surveyors and behavioural psychologists who work together. It is perhaps natural that it sums up its ethos as such: ‘people, collaboration and innovation’.
Large firm (From 250 to 1,000 staff)
Water and infrastructure consultant MWH features second in top Future Tech firms, third for Future Engineer and ninth for Engineering Equality. Its ethos is summed up as ‘innovative, responsible, people’. It has a long heritage dating back to the early 1800s and has grown to a business with around 7,000 people working from 180 offices in 35 countries on and is headquartered in Warrington, Cheshire.
Taking the top spot in the Engineering Equality firm rankings and 10th for World View, independent consultant Arup understands the importance of its people. Its ethos is to be innovative, sustainable and collaborative. The consultant has 10,000 projects going on at any one time. It was established in 1946 by philosopher and engineer Ove Arup in London, where it retains its head office. It employs over 12,000 in over 90 offices in Europe, North America, Africa, Australasia and South East Asia.
Enterprise firm (More than 1,000 staff)
4. Mott MacDonald
Consultant Mott MacDonald sums itself up as ‘collaborative, forward-looking and open’. The firm appears fourth in the top World View firms and works in every continent. It now operates from 180 offices in 50 countries. Established in 1989 after the merger of Mott, Hay & Anderson with Sir M MacDonald. Its growth over the years has primarily been organic and its head office is in London. It is among the world’s largest employee owned companies.
Dutch headquartered consulting giant Arcadis bolstered its UK presence in the last few years with the acquisition of Hyder and EC Harris. It was established in 1888 and is now a firm of 27,000 people working in over 70 countries in in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and, since 2014, Australia Pacific. Its ethos is sustainable, performance and collaboration. The firm ranks third in top Technical Excellence and World View firms and 10th for Engineering Equality.
6. Pell Frischmann
Coming in at number seven in the top World View firms consultant Pell Frischmann is headquartered in London but has six other regional offices and operations throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It recently received the Queen’s Award for International Trade. Established in 1926 late last year it struck a deal with a German investment trust to preserve its independence. It sums up its ethos as ‘excellence through innovation’.
7. London Bridge Associates
Consultant London Bridge believes in delivering value. It has come up fifth for top Future Engineer firms. Set up in 2000, by a group of employees from Taylor Woodrow when it decided to close down some of its geotechnics businesses. It remains employee owned and has its head office in Surrey. It now employs over 50 staff and a large part of its work comes from repeat business.
Small firm (From 10 to 100 staff)
8. Costain Group
Founded in Liverpool in 1865 contractor Costain has grown to a firm of over 4,000 employees with its headquarters in Maidenhead, Berkshire. It floated as a public company in 1933 with a share capital of £600,000. It sums its ethos up as safety, customers and solutions and also promotes a culture of ‘Costain cares’. It has taken second place in our top Technical Excellence firms as well as coming fourth for Future Tech.
9. JBA Consulting
Opening its business in 1995, consultant JBA has remained independent and employee owned. It features fifth in top Future Tech firms and sixth for top Future Engineer companies. Its primary focus is on environmental sustainability and the firm cites its ethos as innovation, excellence and collaboration. Headquartered in Skipton and has over 20 offices in the UK and Ireland but also works further afield, having previously completed projects in the US, Australasia, and South East Asia, among other locations.
10. Westlakes Engineering
Consultant Westlakes has three UK offices – in Manchester, Whitehaven (Cumbria), and Preston and works in a broad field of civils. Its services range from civils and structures to architectural and environmental and it has particular expertise in the nuclear sector – from new build to decommissioning. Established in 2004 the firm believes in quality and being responsive and agile. It ranks first in the top Future Engineer firms and sixth in Engineering Equality.
Surrey headquartered Atkins sums its ethos up as follows: ‘plan, design and enable’. The 1938 established firm started in London and now has offices in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and North America. It features sixth in the top Technical Excellence firms and eighth in World View. It has over 18,000 employees. It operated as a private company until its London Stock Exchange listing in 1996. clients range across the public, regulated and private sectors.
12. WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
Consulting giant WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff is headquartered in Montreal, Canada and employs 34,000 people. Its heritage in the US dates back to 1885. Notable changes in recent years include its acquisition by Canadian parent Genivar in 2012 and the purchase of Parsons in 2014. Its ethos is ‘pride in possibility’. The firm features eighth in the top Engineering Equality firms.
13. AKT II
AKT II has taken the number one spot in top Future Tech firms and comes in fourth for Technical Excellence too. The 150-strong structural engineering consultant believes in operating a flexible management and team that does not work in silos and its ethos is to innovate, engineer and deliver. It has worked on schemes in more than 40 countries worldwide from its London headquarters.
Medium firm (From 100 to 250 staff)
Consultant Thomasons takes the top spot in our best Technical Excellence firms and works in structures and across civils. Established in 1947 it has eight offices – in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Guildford and Southend on Sea. Its ethos is to be innovative, professional and dependable, which has helped it create long-standing client relationships, some lasting as long as 50 years.
Copenhagen headquartered consultant Ramboll has 13,000 employees in 300 offices in 35 countries. It was founded in 1945 and is foundation owned, which aims to create a long term focus, rather than short term profits. Its ethos is creativity, insight and integrity.
In recognition of US consulting giant Aecom’s reach it appears ninth in our top World View firms. Its predecessor firms date back more than 110 years but it became Aecom in 1990 and now has 92,000 employees. Its ethos is people, clients and excellence.
17. Bam Nuttall
Contractor Bam ranks eighth in the top Future Engineer firms and its ethos today is to be respectful, trustworthy and inclusive. Headquartered in Surrey, its history dates back to 1865.
18. Royal HaskoningDHV
Number six in our top World View firms Dutch consultant RoyalHaskoningDHV was established in 1881 and its ethos is about ‘enhancing society together’.
Sixth in the top Future Tech firms, US consulting giant Jacobs dates back to 1947. It says its business fosters a ‘culture of caring’.
20. Skanska UK
Ranking 5th 10th respectively in the top Engineering Equality and Future Tech firms, contractor Skanska strives to be sustainable, collaborative and ethical. Stockholm and Hertfordshire headquartered it was established in 1887.
21. Tony Gee and Partners
Surrey based consultant Tony Gee’s history dates form 1974. It ranks seventh in the top technical Excellence firms and sums itself up as innovative, supportive and flexible.
22. Clancy Consulting
Cheshire based Clancy made number three in the top Engineering Equality firms. Set up in 1972 it has offices in the UK and in India, Oman and Kuwait and focuses on being professional, its people and passion.
From its offices in London, Norwich and Cambridge consultant Conisbee focuses on structures and was established in 1982. It features ninth in our top Technical Excellence firms and its ethos is quality, sustainability and service.
24. Hewson Consulting
Second in our top World View firms, Guildford headquartered Hewson has been operating since 2005 and its focus is on creative engineering solutions.
Established in 1990 Mace has its headquarters in London and operates from over 60 offices worldwide. Its ethos is around safety and being collaborative and innovative.
Sydney headquartered consultant GHD originates from 1928. It has seven UK offices as well as multiple locations abroad and its ethos is teamwork, integrity and safety.
27. Black & Veatch
Set up in 1915, consultant Black & Veatch focuses on water, energy and telecoms. It appears fifth in out top Technical Excellence and says its ethos is to consult, deliver and manage.
28. Floodline Consulting
Floodline appears at number seven in our top Future Engineer firms. The consultant was set up in 2011 and believes in ‘building with nature’.
29. VolkerWessels UK
Featuring at eight in the top Technical Excellence firms, contractor VolkerWessels has been operating since 1921. It is headquartered in Hertfordshire and comprises six operating companies.
Nottingham headquartered consultant BWB considers itself passionate, curious and collaborative. It has operated since 1990.
31. Peter Brett Associates
Appearing fourth in both the top Future Engineer and Engineering Equality lists, Reading based Peter Brett focuses heavily on its personnel. Its ethos is to be seen as personal, trusted and an adviser.
Rating top in the World View firms, international consultant Rendel has a heritage dating back to 1838. Its focus is on continued client satisfaction.
33. Davies Maguire and Whitby
Set up in 2010, London based consultant Davies Maguire and Whitby says its ethos is to be motivated, creative and personable’.
34. Scott Hughes Design
Manchester based ‘innovative design engineer’ Scott Hugh appears at numbers seven and eight respectively in the top Engineering Equality and Future Tech firms.
York based consultant TSP’s history dates back to 1930. It features at number seven in the top Future Tech firms and its ethos is people, innovation and excellence.
36. Curtins Consulting
Dating back to 1960, Liverpool based consultant Curtins has grown to inhabit 13 UK offices. Its ethos is to be inspiring, responsible and rewarding.
37. Waterman Group
London based consultant Waterman considers itself a go to consultant. It predominantly works in structures and was established in 1952.
38. Eastwood and Partners
Sheffield based consultant Eastwood has operated since 1972 and focuses on building longstanding client relationships.
39. Byrne Bros Formwork
Contractor Byrne Bros dates back to 1969 and is headquartered in Teddington. Its business focuses on people, delivery and relationships.
Transport planning consultant has offices in London, Manchester, Leeds and Basingstoke. Set up in 2005 the firm says it is focused on being effective, professional and fun.
41. Beckett Rankine
Marine consultant Beckett Rankine says its ethos is to ‘enjoy our work’. The Westminster based firm was set up in 1986.
Structures consultant Engenuiti is based in London and is relatively young having set up in 2010. Its focus is care, passion and excellence.
43. HR Wallingford
Consultant HR Wallingford uses its profits to fund its extensive research. Based in Oxfordshire and with a history dating back to 1947, the consultant’s ethos is to be fluid thinking and deliver smart solutions.
44. Idom Merebrook
Spanish headquartered Idom Merebrook has six regional UK offices and was set up in 1957. Innovation, excellence and commitment are how it sums up its ethos.
45. JPP Consulting
Northampton consultant JPP features ninth in our top Future Engineer firms and was set up in 1973. Its ethos is quality, innovation and value.
Featuring at number 10 in our top Future Engineer firms, structures consultant WestonWilliamson focuses on being collaborative, dedicated and talented. It has offices in the UK and abroad.
47. Ardent Consulting Engineers
London based consultant Ardent has been operating since 2005. Its focus is on being professional, dependable and delivering quality.
48. Robert Bird Group
Australia headquartered consultant Robert Bird has been operating since 1982. It also has offices in the UK, the UAE and South East Asia.
49. Vinci Construction UK
Vinci’s history dates back to 1918. The UK arm operates out of Watford and is the largest British subsidiary of the French giant of the same name. Its ethos is to be honest, innovative and disciplined.
50. Campbell Reith Hill
London headquartered consultant Campbell Reith Hill was established in 1960 and has offices in the UK and Dubai. Its ethos is innovative, dedicated and decisive.
51. BCS Design
Leeds based consultant BCS was set up in 2003 and since early 2015 has been part of Capita.
Established in 1923, Colas designs and builds a range of transport infrastructure projects and has R&D at its core. Its ethos is innovative, agile and excellence.
53. Pick Everard
With a history dating back to 1866, Leicester based consultant Pick Everard today states its ethos as collaborative, passionate and reliable.
54. Pinnacle Consulting Engineers
Norwich based Pinnacle was established in 1996 and believes in being innovative, challenging and fair.
55. Van Elle
Established in 1984 geotechnical contractor Van Elle is based in Nottinghamshire and is focused on safety, innovation and teamwork.
56. Expedition Engineering
Number three in our top Future Tech firms, London based consultant Expedition says its ethos is to be trailblazing, collaborative and sustainable.
Oxford headquartered consultant/contractor Amey has over 21,000 staff and was set up in 1926. Its ethos is professional, collaborative and innovative.
58. Flint & Neill
Established in 1958, London headquartered structures consultant Flint & Neill considers itself the consultant of choice. Its focus is on bridges, tunnels and buildings.
59. Jackson Civil Engineering
Privately owned contractor Jackson was established over 60 years ago and now operates from seven offices in England.
60. Waterco Consultants
North Wales based Waterco has operated since 1998 and focuses on water engineering, drainage design and flood risk.
61. Caley Water
Set up in 2005 consultant Caley is based in Edinburgh. Its ethos is communication, clarity and effectiveness.
62. Novus Rail
Blackpool based consultant Novus focuses on the rail sector. Set up in 2001 it describes itself as effective, reliable and trustworthy.
Describing itself as lean and keen, consultant WME was established in 2011 and has offices in London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
64. Alan Wood & Partners
Set up in 1968 Hull, civil and structural consultant Alan Wood has seven regional offices. Its ethos is to engage, manage and deliver.
65. RPS Group
Oxfordshire based consultant RPS has been operating since 1970. Its ethos is quality, professional and people and it works abroad as well as in the UK.
66. Steer Davies Gleave
Employee owned consultant Steer Davies Gleave is based in London and has operated since 1978. Focused on the transport sector the firm’s ethos is strategic, friendly and collaborative.
67. FJD Consulting & Design
Birmingham based consultant FJD is a primarily rail focused business. It was established in 2012.
68. Walters UK
Welsh contractor Walters is over 30 years old and employs over 300. Based in Hirwaun its ethos is professional, collaborative and innovative.
Established in 1888 consultant Mouchel says its ethos is enthusiastic, collaborative and innovative. Operating in the UK, Middle East and Australasia it is now part of Kier.
70. Bouygues Travaux Publics
French contracting giant Bouygues describes its ethos as excellence, people and passion. Established in 1952 it made its move into the UK market in 1997 and has made notable acquisitions since.
Confident, imaginative and resourceful is how consultant WYG considers its ethos. The 1959 established Leeds based firm has offices across Europe as well as in Africa and Asia.
72. HBPW Consulting
Established in 2001 in Retford, Nottinghamshire, consultant HBPW works predominantly across buildings, rail and bridges.
Family owned contractor Osborne was established in 1966 and is headquartered in Reigate, Surrey. Its ethos is improving people’s lives.
Structural and civils consultant Techniker is based in London. It aims to deliver designs with ‘imagination and a holistic understanding of architectural aspirations’.
75. Abbey Pynford
Hertfordshire based geotechnical contractor Abbey Pynford states integrity, innovation, quality and health and safety as its ethos.
Consultant Clarkebond has offices in London, Bristol and Exeter. Set up in 1946, it encourages individual and professional ambition.
77. Interserve Construction
Contractor Interserve traces its earliest incarnation back to 1884. Headquartered in Birmingham it now operates in over 40 countries. Its ethos is ingenuity, sustainability and collaboration.
78. Taylor & Boyd
Set up in 1962, Northern Ireland based consultant Taylor & Boyd says its ethos is quality, competence and excitement.
79. Alun Griffiths
Welsh contractor Alun Griffiths was founded in 1968 and is still privately owned. Its ethos is autonomy, empowerment and mastery.
International consultant ByrneLooby works in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It was set up in 1998.
Bristol based consultant and contractor Hydrock describes its ethos as fun, entrepreneurial and committed. Set up in 1995. It has over 500 people across 17 offices in the UK.
82. Furness Partnership
‘Driven by design’ consultant Furness was established in 1986. It is headquartered in London and also works in Europe and the Middle East.
83. Thomas Consulting
Consultant Thomas is headquartered in Lancashire and focuses on civil, structural, geotechnical and contamination engineering.
84. RSK Group
Cheshire based consultant RSK was established in 1989. It has offices around the UK as well as Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
85. Sir Robert McAlpine
One of the most seasoned contractors, Sir Robert McAlpine’s history stems from the railways of the 1880s. Today it believes in proudly building Britain’s future heritage.
86. Raymond Brown Construction
Hampshire based contractor Raymond Brown was set up in 1983. Working across the civils sphere its ethos is passionate, proud, happy.
87. Turner & Townsend
Independent programme and project management consultant T&T started life as a QS partnership in the UK and has grown to having 90 offices in 38 countries.
Set up in 1980, Chesham based consultant JNP also has four regional offices. It sums itself up as proactive, responsive and efficient.
89. Phil Jones Associates
Birmingham based consultant Phil Jones focuses on transport planning and urban design. It also has offices in London, Bristol, Exeter and Reading.
90. Dougall Baillie Associates
Scottish consultant Dougall Baillie is all about being comprehensive, knowledgeable and solution-focused. It began operating in 1985.
91. TPS Consult
Croydon based TPS sums itself up as caring, delivering and improving. It was set up in 1991 and is part of the Carillion Group.
92. Lagan Construction Group
Third generation private family contractor Lagan is headquartered in Belfast and has operated since 1962. Its ethos is people delivering expertise.
93. Stuart Michael Associates
Independent consultant Stuart Michael is headquartered in Newbury, Berkshire and has regional offices in the South West. It was set up in 1988.
94. Danaher & Walsh Group
Leicester based Contractor Danaher & Walsh covers civils as well as plant hire. A family business established in 1969 its ethos is integrity, trust and quality.
95. Clugston Construction
Scunthorpe headquartered, contractor Clugston believes in being safe, open and collaborative. It was founded in 1937 on Humberside.
International consulting giant Sweco has a total Northern European staff of 14,500, bolstered late last year by its buyout and rebrand of Grontmij.
Set up in 1983 environmental consultant MJCA believes in high quality service. It is based in Atherstone, Warwickshire.
Contractor Cleshar, set up in 1992, is headquartered in London and sums itself up as flexible, honest and transparent.
99. Scott White and Hookins
Winchester headquartered, this consultant’s ethos is innovation, quality and value. It was established in 1963.
100. Dyer & Butler
The Southampton headquartered a multi-disciplinary contractor predominantly operates in transport and water engineering.
All NCE100 companies join the NCE100 Club and will participate in a series of industry best practice sharing events over the next 12 months.
1. AKT II
3. Expedition Engineering
4. Costain Group
5. JBA Consulting
8. Scott Hughes Design
9. Opus International Consultants
10. Skanska UK
2. Costain Group
4. AKT II
5. Black & Veatch
7. Tony Gee and Partners
8. VolkerWessels UK
10. Opus International Consultants
2. Hewson Consulting
4. Mott MacDonald
5. Opus International Consultants
6. Royal HaskoningDHV
7. Pell Frischmann
2. Opus International Consultants
3. Clancy Consulting
4. Peter Brett Associates
5. Skanska UK
6. Westlakes Engineering
7. Scott Hughes Design
8. WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
1. Westlakes Engineering
2. Opus International Consultants
4. Peter Brett Associates
5. London Bridge Associates
6. JBA Consulting
7. Floodline Consulting
8. Bam Nuttall
9. JPP Consulting
Does this list really represent the industry? How was it selected, I run a Civil Engineering Consultancy and we were not even asked to contribute.
Looking at the sectors they don’t appear to me to be a fair representation:
29 Enterprise, 21 Large, 23 Medium, 25 Small, yet only 2 Micro.
Why not have 20 from each to not discriminate?
RIBA Architects work in 70% Small and Micro. So what does this say about the long term sustainability of civil engineering in the UK without the next generation of Consultants/Contractors? As companies become larger they become less efficient, less focused and less innovative forcing up delivery costs for the Government.
Clearly it does not take an engineer to see that the Micro Consultancies are under-represented. The quality of a company is not determined by the size of a company or its budget – it is only a reflection of the amount of marketing budget likely to available to spend on adverts in NCE.
If you want an accurate and independent view one needs to Google “civil engineering consultant” and those that have a reputation for civil engineering, as opposed to multi-discipline large project management will be clear.
or a new account to join the discussion.
£40,000 – £49,999
Gemech Engineering Limited
12 May, 2016 By Hannah Bottom