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Atkins is a professional services firm providing engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services, based in Epsommarker, United Kingdom. Formerly known as WS Atkins, it was founded in 1938 by Sir William Atkins. Atkins employs approximately 17,000 staff based in 180 offices in 25 countries. Projects have been undertaken in more than 150 countries. For the year ended 31 March 2008, Atkins generated annual turnover in excess of £1.3 billion.

Atkins is the largest engineering consultancy in the UK,­ the largest multi-disciplinary consultancy in Europe, the largest UK engineering consultancy in the Middle East and the world's eighth largest global design firm. Atkins is also the highest fee earner in the league of UK engineering consultancies for the past nine years.

The company's motto is Plan, Design, Enable.


Burj Al Arab
The original company, WS Atkins & Partners, was established by the late Sir William Atkins in 1938 with offices in Westminstermarker in London. In its early years the practice specialised in civil and structural engineering design work but expanded rapidly after World War II into specialist services in town planning, engineering sciences, architecture and project management.

In 1996, WS Atkins was admitted to the London Stock Exchange and began trading as WS Atkins plc. Since that time, the group has acquired a number of companies, including Faithful+Gould (a cost and project management consultancy firm), Ventron Technology (a specialist process plant contractor), McCarthy's Consulting Engineers (a firm operating in the Republic of Ireland), Boward Computer Services (computer consultancy), Hanscomb Inc. (construction consultants), MSL Engineering Limited and MSL Services Corp and Boreas (oil and gas service engineers), Novaplan AB (a Swedish masterplanning and design practice), Intelligent Space (a pedestrian movement consultancy) and MG Bennett & Associates Ltd (a multidisciplinary engineering design company based in Rotherham).

The project that Atkins is most widely associated is the Burj al Arabmarker, which was completed in 1999.

The company has been trading under the Atkins name since 2002.

The company experienced a number of financial difficulties in 2002 and the previous Chief Executive, Robin Southwell resigned, along with Finance Director Ric Piper, who was also told his new job at Trinity Mirror was no longer open to him. Keith Clarke replaced him, joining from Skanska.

Atkins was one of the five shareholders in Metronet, the tube maintenance company which failed in 2007 leading to Atkins having to write off its investment.

In 2009 Atkins was appointed the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Games: services in which the company will provide for the event include building services design, civil engineering and structural engineering, acoustics, fire protection engineering and accessibility advice.
Bahrain World Trade Centre


Highways and Transportation

Atkins is the UK's largest provider of highway and transport solutions. Services include transport planning studies and advice, design and site supervision activities and network management and maintenance. Principal clients include the Highways Agency and local authorities in the UK.

Design and Engineering Solutions

Design and Engineering Solutions is divided into various business sectors, namely Defence, Aerospace, Communications (DAC), Design Solutions (DS), Energy, Water & Environment and Design & Programme Management (DPM)

However, it was announced on 15th December 2008 that Design and Programme Management (DPM) and Design Solutions (DS) will be combined to create a new Design and Engineering business to be led by Paul Dollin

From the 1st April 2009 the Design and Engineering Solutions layer of the heirarchy was removed, with the heads of DAC, DS, Energy and Water and Environment now sitting on the Board in their own right.

China and the Middle East

In China, Atkins focuses on urban planning and design and architecture services. In the Middle East, Atkins provides services such as highways, rail and oil and gas in the Gulf Co-operation Council countries and beyond. Atkins has global design capability in both the Middle East, Pakistanmarker and India.


Atkins is the largest UK based international rail consultancy and provide rail engineering services predominantly to the UK market. Atkins Rail also operate in Scandinavia and the Far East, specifically in signalling, telecommunications, electrification and planned civils and rolling stock. Atkins also provides specialist services to the rail industry in the areas of property, transport planning, environmental management, human factors and asset management. Atkins are providing design programme management and detailed design services for the Dubai Metro and geotechnical and tunneling services for the Gautrain Link in South Africa. Atkins is undertaking a multidisciplinary design consultancy for the centre west section of Crossrail (Royal Oak to Farringdonmarker) in a joint venture with Arup.

Management and project services

Management and Project Services encompasses a range of activities delivering project, cost and programme management, IT and management consultancy in both the public and private sector. Faithful+Gould is the world's second largest project and cost consultancy operating in the transport property and industry sectors. Management consultants provide management and IT consultancy services including programme and project management, change management, performance improvement, strategy and planning and IT solutions.

Asset management

Atkins provides independent facilities management services to the public and private sectors focusing on niche markets such as the UK Ministry of Defence and private sector clients.

Equity investments

Atkins also holds equity investments in PPP/PFI joint ventures, including TranSys which provides the Oyster card contactless payment system to Transport for London.

Training and Professional Accreditation

Atkins offer an accredited training programme with several professional bodies. Some key ones include:


Some of the notable past and current Atkins projects are as follows:

  • Burj Al Arabmarker Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • DIFC Lighthouse Towermarker, United Arab Emirates
  • DSEC Commercial Tower, United Arab Emirates
  • Bahrain World Trade Centremarker, Bahrain
  • Jinji Hotel, China
  • Tianjin Towers, China
  • The Regatta, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • The Centaurus Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Songjiang Quarry Hotel, China
  • The Hub, 500 Aztec West, Bristol, UK
  • Bay Pointe Cardiff, UK
  • St. Germans Pumping Station, East Anglia, UK
  • Dubai Light Rail Transit,Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Gautrain High Speed Rail, South Africa
  • Birmingham New Street Station redevelopment, UK
  • Makkah Metro, Saudi Arabia

and other solutions provided by Atkins are as follows:

  • Terminal area masterplan and terminal building design for Yinchaun Hedong Airport (China)
  • Design, engineering and planning consultancy for the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (UK)
  • Wing design and analysis for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft (UK)
  • Masterplanning and detailed design services for the Durrat Al Bahrain resort (Bahrain)
  • Local transport planning policy evaluation for the Department for Transport (UK)
  • Planning and infrastructure support for the London 2012 Olympics Park (UK)
  • Highways management services for Cambridgeshire County Council (UK)
  • Managing Agent for HBOS’s property portfolio (UK)
  • Project management and cost estimating for the construction of the World Trade Center Memorial and Visitors Center, New York (USA).

Latest Awards

Highlights of Atkins's recent award successes:

  • HSBC Rail Awards 2008 - Winner: Rail Safety and Security Excellence of the Year (awarded Feb 09)
  • UK's Sunday Times '20 Best Big Companies' 2009 – Atkins was ranked as the 10th Best Big Company to Work For
  • Building Awards - Engineering Consultancy of the Year 2008
  • UK's The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2008/09 - Atkins was ranked 69th
  • UK's The Times Top 50 Where Women Want to Work 2007 and 2008
  • British Construction Industry Awards 2008 - Winner: Civil Engineering category
  • Highways Magazine Excellence Awards Winner: Consultant of the Year 2008, Environmental Initiative Award and IHIE Excellence in Employee Development (UK)
  • National Graduate Recruitment Awards - Winner: Construction Sector - Target Magazine (UK)
  • Structural Steel Design Awards Winner: High Standard of Design for Newport Bridge British Constructional Steelwork Association Ltd (UK)
  • edie Environmental Excellence Awards 2007 Winner: Best Consultancy to Work For 2007, Best Consultancy for Contaminated Land, Best Consultancy for Waste and Recycling and Best Environmental Consultancy (UK)
  • Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing Awards 2007 Winner: Training Award, Innovation of the Year, Consultancy of the Year and Supreme Judges Award (Middle East Region)
  • Construction Industry Awards 2007 Winner: Consultancy of the Year - Faithful+Gould Contract Journal (UK)
  • Order of Distinction Award for Occupational Safety. This represents 19 years of RoSPA compliance (UK)
  • National Energy Awards Winner: Educational Awareness Category UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development 2007 (UK)
  • 2007 Premises and Facilities Management (PFM) Awards Winner: Partners in Facilities Management (UK)

See also

Engineering & other related disciplines


A construction site house with name of Atkins

External links

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