Atkins’ Group CEO, Uwe Krueger, was named as CEO of the year and Atkins’ Chairman, Allan Cook CBE, won a lifetime achievement award at the Association for Consultancy and Engineering European CEO awards held in London last night (8 November). The awards were set up to recognise and celebrate the efforts of industry executives who demonstrate outstanding leadership and business best-practice in pan-European engineering and consultancy firms.
Upon receiving the award Uwe said: “It’s a really exciting time to be working in infrastructure. By sharing knowledge and expertise across our industry, we can continually find new ways to solve the challenges faced by our clients and by society at large. As global pressure mounts to deliver infrastructure more efficiently and cost-effectively digital innovation will become ever more important.”
During Uwe’s five-year tenure at Atkins, the company has achieved an eight per cent operating margin target and made several strategic acquisitions including the Products, Projects and Technology (PP&T) division of EnergySolutions which has expanded Atkins’ energy offering, and Howard Humphries signifying the company’s growth into East Africa. Alongside this, Atkins recently launched an advisory business called Atkins Acuity.
Project highlights have included: the world’s first multi-turbine floating offshore windfarm at the Dunraey Tri Project, the award-winning refurbishment of Birmingham New Street station, the creation of a cultural hub for Dubai in the Atkins-designed Dubai Opera, Project NEON – considered the most ambitious project in Nevada Department of Transportation’s history, and the major expansion of Hong Kong International Airport.
Reflecting on his award win, Allan said: “I am still as passionate about the importance of engineering today as I was at the start of my career. We face many challenges as an industry including the vital need to encourage and inspire young people, from all backgrounds, to consider a career in engineering.”
Allan has been Chairman of Atkins since 2010 and plays a leading role in UK Government engineering-related circles, promoting the profession and, in particular, women in engineering. Allan actively encourages young people to pursue engineering via apprenticeships or university. Over the past three years he has also been a major driver of the collaborative initiative between UK Government and the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP), working with Ministers, officials and the CEOs of the UK’s major defence contractors to bring about a transformation in innovation, sharing of long term market data and building consortia in order to increase the UK’s defence exports.
Prof Dr Uwe Krueger
Prof Dr Uwe Krueger has been chief executive officer of Atkins since August 2011. He is a physicist and graduated from the University of Frankfurt with a PhD in complex system theory. He studied at Columbia University (New York), the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris) and at Harvard (Boston). Uwe has spent the majority of his career leading international engineering and consulting organisations.
Uwe began his career at A T Kearney, followed by leadership positions at Hochtief AG in central and Eastern Europe and at Turner International in Dallas, USA. More recently he was chief executive officer of Swiss company, Oerlikon. He joined Atkins from Texas Pacific Group and Cleantech Switzerland. He is currently on the Board of Aggreko plc (UK), ONTEX S.A. (Belgium), SUSI Partners (Switzerland) and the Swiss Nuclear Decommissioning Commission (Switzerland). He lectures at the University of Frankfurt/Germany as an honorary professor of physics.
Allan Cook CBE
Allan Cook was appointed a non-executive director of WS Atkins in September 2009, taking up the post of chairman on 1 February 2010. He is a chartered engineer with more than 40 years’ international experience in the automotive, aerospace and defence industries. He was chief executive of Cobham PLC until the end of December 2009. Prior to this he held senior roles at GEC-Marconi, BAE Systems and Hughes Aircraft. He was deputy chairman of Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Limited until December 31st 2015 and is a member of the operating executive board of J F Lehman & Company.
Allan is chairman of the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA) and is Industry co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP). Until August 2016 he was the lead Non-Executive Member of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). He was chairman of the UK Trade & Investment’s Advanced Engineering Sector Advisory Board until October 2013, and chairman of FINMECCANICA UK Ltd and chairman of Selex ES until the end of December 2014. He is past president of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and past president of the Society of British Aerospace and Defence Companies (SBAC). He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering where he is Vice President and serves as a trustee for the Academy. He also chairs the Academy’s employer-focused Diversity Leadership Group. Allan became a Fellow of the China 48 Group Club in December 2015. He was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2008, and received an honorary Doctorate in Science from Cranfield University in 2016.