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Data is the lifeblood of countries, cities and organisations and is fast becoming a vital component of improving citizen experiences in everyday life. More than ever people are demanding faster, slicker and improved ways of navigating their city, whether this is focused on the accuracy of a bus timetable, the first experience of a new public space in the city centre, through to the investment in new offices and shops, or the speed of laying fibre optic broadband - improving the city’s connection to the rest of the world.

UK & Europe,

Funding the Northern Powerhouse

Julie Hurley
05 Jul 2017

05 Jul 2017 022642
The establishment of Transport for the North (TfN), is an exciting prospect for the north of England. It has the potential to bring about transformational change which will drive forward and capitalise on the region’s strengths and successes, and see it become one of the world’s most competitive economies.

UK & Europe,

The Inclusive Growth agenda has been about encouraging the acceptance and use of a new framework for economic success – where as many people as possible can contribute to and benefit from economic growth – and a rejection of the persistent ‘grow now, then distribute’ or ‘trickle down’ model of development. This growth is about tackling place-based and social inequalities, and not about maximising the total change in gross value, revenue or job numbers – rather the quality and distribution of these.

UK & Europe,

The hydrogen solution

Paul Yates
29 Jun 2017

29 Jun 2017 104925
To achieve the ambitions of the Paris Climate Accord we’re required to look at new, innovative approaches to energy supply. This is undoubtedly a challenging task however, research is pointing more and more towards hydrogen being one of the answers when it comes to decarbonising our economy.

UK & Europe,

Middle East & Africa,

Kevin Longenbach brings 36 years’ experience in the tolling industry to bear—creating the definitive the top ten list of benefits for Public Private Partnerships.

North America,

Atkins participated in the high level infrastructure trade mission led by HKTDC. Atkins is a strategic partner for HKTDC for OBOR initiatives. Catherine Li represented Atkins at the trade mission. Catherine’s role in AP, external roles in CBBC/British Chamber related to OBOR.

Asia Pacific,

Only two years ago, the government announced the first wave of funding to test connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in the UK. £20 million was split across three projects with VENTURER, an Atkins’ led consortium, being one of the first UK projects to explore the feasibility of driverless cars.

UK & Europe,

Large, highly-visible infrastructure projects typically receive the most attention from the public. We watch new structures being built, wondering what the finished product will look like and how it might improve our lives. In airport construction, that usually means new passenger terminals, runways, or ground transportation hubs—the visible structures we interact with that can make or break our traveling experience. But what about the behind-the-scenes infrastructure that airports rely on to run safely and efficiently? What would happen if the runway lights suddenly went out while aircraft were preparing to take off or land?

North America,

Atkins’ CEO, Uwe Krueger, recently took part in the McKinsey Global Infrastructure Initiative Summit in Singapore.

Group, North America, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific, UK & Europe,

Exploration of how the Digital Railway can galvanise positive change in supplier relationships in the rail industry.

UK & Europe,

In a time of great change it can be hard to keep up and be sure that we are in a good place.. This is difficult enough at an individual level, but at an organisational level, change, whether desired or enforced is a whole different matter.

UK & Europe,

I recently shared with the National College for High Speed Rail a blog post exploring my experiences as an apprentice, and how they have informed my career to date – please see the full article below.

UK & Europe,

Deliver a new era with 3D point clouds

Dillon Fugate
23 May 2017

23 May 2017 010000
3D data collection is a critical tool for A-E firms to reduce field time and produce accurate project drawings and models. What are the different ways to capture 3D data, and how do they enable A-E firms to deliver projects safer and more efficiently?

North America,

The WannaCry worm, which has hit the NHS in England and Scotland, highlights the growing menace of ransomware and the risks surrounding unpatched systems and unsupported operating systems. The risk to healthcare providers specifically, and critical national infrastructure (CNI) more broadly is evident, so how can organisations better protect themselves? Richard Piggin shares his thoughts.

UK & Europe,

How can designers start solving the unsolvable problems from just a few years ago; how can we stretch the limits of what is possible? While technology can make our jobs easier it’s also a moving target and we must evolve with it. Nowhere is this more imperative than when facing the challenges presented by the U.S. military.

North America,

Xiongan: New city fundamentals

Mark Harrison
05 May 2017

05 May 2017 092829
Since the Chinese government announced on 1 April 2017 that it would create ‘Xiongan New Area”, the future metropolitan annex to Beijing has become the most talked-about place in China.

Asia Pacific,

How to live with water

Jamelyn Austin Trucks
27 Apr 2017

27 Apr 2017 074611
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the City of New Orleans made improving and modernizing its water management and flood protection systems a top priority. This culminated in the development of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, an ambitious, 50-year program aimed at redesigning the city’s urban landscape to better manage its water resources, reduce flooding, and diminish its rate of land subsidence.

North America,

In the early hours of 13 March, 1989, a space weather event caused a nine-hour power outage in Quebec, Canada. A solar wind storm induced such intense currents to flow in Hydro-Québec’s power lines that circuit breakers across the network began to trip. Ninety seconds later, the entire power grid had been rendered inoperable. This one space weather event caused CAD$10 million worth of damage and left six million people without power over night.

North America,

A greener road for Austin's 183 south

Daniel McDuff
25 Apr 2017

25 Apr 2017 023908
When you think of a road, what do you picture? The beginning of a journey? Do you picture dread-inspiring traffic? Or perhaps smog floating on hard, black pavement? Austin’s 183 South project envisions a green road—a path to something better.

North America,

As infrastructure project sophistication increases exponentially. Our built environment requires projects with massive scope, scale, design life, sustainability and resilience. Can we design our way out of the design risks involved?

North America,

One Belt One Road (OBOR) is arguably one of the biggest stories in today’s Asia business sector, covering 60 countries and accounting for about 65 per cent of the world’s population, one-third of the world’s GDP, and about a quarter of all the goods and services the world moves. It consists of the 'Belt', the land-based 'Silk Road Economic Belt', connecting China through to the Middle East and Europe; and the oceangoing '21st Century Maritime Silk Road' that extends through Southeast Asia, the Oceania and North Africa through several contiguous water bodies.

Asia Pacific,

As Ofwat opens up the water sector to promote more competition through direct procurement, meaning that water companies can go to the market for project financing, Atkins’ Guy Ledger considers how this might affect companies and investors.

UK & Europe,

A dozen managers and experts from global transport agencies met this month in Rhode Island, USA for a Technical Committee meeting of the World Road Association (WRA). The meeting also provided an unmissable opportunity for Atkins to take the initiative in organizing an international summit on the subject of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and what they mean for future highway and transport policy, road design and the planning of cities.

Asia Pacific, North America,

Keep it CIMple

Donna Huey
12 Apr 2017

12 Apr 2017 030826
Civil Integrated Management (CIM) Processes Expedite Program Delivery, Eliminate Cost Overruns and Reduce Claims & Litigation in Project Delivery

North America,

The most energy efficient built environment we can provide as designers is a building with no occupants. If there are no students, there’s no need for ventilation to reduce the CO2 levels, no need to consider high daylight factors with addressable dimmable lights, no need to ensure that the thermal strategy can maintain a suitably clement classroom.

UK & Europe,

From campus to conversation

Alida Bata
11 Apr 2017

11 Apr 2017 080000
How we move knowledge from person to person, business to business and machine to machine is revolutionising not only our economy, but our universities and how we design them. Knowledge can no longer be created and kept in a single faculty. Sharing, translating and combining that knowledge with other disciplines and businesses is what adds ‘exchange value’, a concept driving today’s knowledge economy.

UK & Europe,

When it comes to consumer products, the days of ‘one size fits all’ are long gone. Now, we’re used to companies offering us a seemingly infinite number of choices, all intended to excite and delight us as customers.

UK & Europe,

Touch, pause, engage!

Kirsty Pesticcio
11 Apr 2017

11 Apr 2017 080000
The role of universities as service providers and stimulators of community and social empowerment is a powerful thought, and a powerful catalyst for change. As a place of research and studies, universities are ideally positioned to enact change, but it begs the question: How can this be done most effectively?

UK & Europe,

A space to call our own

Luke Baker
10 Apr 2017

10 Apr 2017 090000
Staff attraction and retention has always been a worry for universities. With only a limited number of brilliant researchers and lecturers out there, universities can’t afford to lose good people because of outdated facilities and lacklustre estates.

UK & Europe,

University campuses are intended as social places, yet too often the experience is highly isolating. Moving away from home, and the securities of that environment, means that students are often left without a safety blanket, especially if they begin to struggle. This experience can lead to decreased wellbeing, and eventually to students spending less time on campus as they search out the social interaction, experiences and support they need elsewhere.

UK & Europe,

Sticky campus. This phrase, originating from Australia and New Zealand, has now become useful in the UK as an explanation for why we need to develop a wider identity in campuses. The requirement has grown because of the voice of the student as consumer: students have been empowered by their purchasing power when selecting universities, and are choosing places which appeal aesthetically as well as academically.

UK & Europe,

A creative space for everyone

Helen Newman
10 Apr 2017

10 Apr 2017 080000
When you look back at your university experience, how much of what you remember took place in a lecture hall? Often our best and most lasting memories of university are of what happened outside the classroom – when we were meeting new people, making friends and creating things we never thought possible with our hands and minds.

UK & Europe,

The importance of the local road network to the national economy is well recognised. Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) indicate that £1.2 million was spent on maintenance of local authority managed ‘A’ roads in 2016. The general condition of local roads is a priority issue, significantly impacting the journey quality and safety of all road users, from vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists to drivers.

UK & Europe,

I applaud the new presidential administration’s focus on the U.S.’s infrastructure at the federal, state and municipal level as well as the acknowledgment that now is the time for action through investment.

North America,

As the pace of change for technology increases, we can see the impact in many areas of engineering. One clearly visible trend is the more frequent use of large diameter Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs).

Asia Pacific,

Earlier this year, NHTSA announced that it is undertaking the process to make a rule requiring new light vehicles to have DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communication), which would allow communications to, from and between vehicles to enable the reduction of roughly 80 percent of non-impaired crashes.

North America,

Since moving to Singapore from Hong Kong in the middle of 2016, it has become increasingly clear to me that this is a city with a mission.

Asia Pacific,

Back to the Point from which I started

Bill Pearce
22 Mar 2017

22 Mar 2017 095235
The United States Military Academy (USMA) sits along the banks of the Hudson River at West Point in a semi-mountainous and hilly area just north of New York City. Founded in 1802, the academy has been our nation’s premier source of leaders in both the military and civilian sectors for over 200 years. The academy’s mission, “to educate, train, and inspire” the next generation of U.S. Army officers, is serious business for the academy leadership. I’m proud to be a part of the team helping to support that mission; because for me, it’s personal.

North America,

With World Water Day this week, we’ve turned our attention to the work that is being done across the world to manage our precious water resources.

UK & Europe,

Over the next four years, the Government has committed to invest £13 billion in transport in the Northern Powerhouse with an ambition to change the trajectory of the region and in particular, its cities.

UK & Europe,

Bus services for new developments

Matt Gamble
21 Mar 2017

21 Mar 2017 033452
On my bookshelf is a copy of ‘Bus Operation,’ published in 1947 by L.D. Kitchin. Discussing route planning, he states that “the shape and general layout of a new or rebuilt town is a matter of vital consequence to the bus operator.” While so much has changed in the provision of public transport since 1947, these words would be equally relevant to a 2017 edition of the same book.

UK & Europe,

The evidence is clear, walking and cycling are good for your health.

UK & Europe,

The North is facing a point of inflection – political and fiscal devolution, the new dynamics of Mayors, as well as a pressing agenda of transport reform - all make for a critical point in the evolution of the North as a sub-national economic area.

UK & Europe,

A true Powerhouse needs to work for everyone, not just those in the largest urban areas. It can often be interpreted that the concept of the Northern Powerhouse only involves the big cities, such as Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Liverpool. But smaller towns can’t be overlooked. They too are where people live, work, and contribute to our wider growing economy; they have a key part to play in the Northern Powerhouse story.

UK & Europe,

The need for housing continues to be one of the most pressing priorities for local authorities. But the scale of the developments required means that it’s not simply a case of identifying a plot of suitable land, engaging a development partner and then getting on and building them. People want homes, not houses; places and communities, not just spaces. And this means providing the supporting infrastructure that underpins a better quality of life and local commerce and enterprise, such as schools, shops, roads and public transport.

UK & Europe,

With World Water Day approaching on 22nd March, it’s hard not to turn our attention to the MENA (Middle East and North African) region. The MENA is the scarcest region in the world when it comes to water – it has 5% of the world’s population, but only 1% of the world’s renewable water sources.

UK & Europe, Middle East & Africa,

Are we making the most of big data?

Lila Tachtsi
20 Mar 2017

20 Mar 2017 120000
Mobile technology has changed the way we do business, purchase goods and engage with services. With over 20 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020, an unprecedented volume of information is being generated. But I wonder, are we making the most of this rich data?

UK & Europe, Group, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World,

The problem with cyber insurance

Philip Barton
17 Mar 2017

17 Mar 2017 090015
It is nearly two years since the last UK Government published “UK Cyber Security, the role of insurance in managing and mitigating the risk”. The global insurance industry has not fully exploited its role in the time since, so what of the report?

UK & Europe,

Exploring the energy market in Kenya

Aubrey Keller
14 Mar 2017

14 Mar 2017 023652
Atkins’ acquisition of Howard Humphreys, a multidisciplinary engineering consultancy based in Kenya and Tanzania, has the potential to open up access to any number of infrastructure projects across East Africa. We hope energy projects will play a key role and to help facilitate that I recently moved from the UK to live in Nairobi.

Rest of World,

Paving the way for technology

Jim Hanson
14 Mar 2017

14 Mar 2017 020628
We need to rethink our approach to the nation’s transportation challenges.

North America,

With the demands of London constantly changing as it continues its evolution as an iconic, attractive, diverse and inclusive global city, how can it continue to ensure its core physical and digital connectivity, both between and within London, remains attractive?

UK & Europe,

‘Big’ innovation in aerospace

James Domone
09 Mar 2017

09 Mar 2017 094330
James Domone shares his thoughts on the ‘big’ innovation required by the Aerospace industry in order to meet tough new environmental targets for all aircraft.

UK & Europe,

An American mecca for great cuisine, vibrant music, and fascinating history, New Orleans has been a favorite of tourists and business travelers for decades, lessened only by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But today, as the national economy improves and destination travel in the area explodes, our client, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) faces a monumental task of upgrading its aging facilities while keeping up with skyrocketing passenger growth.

North America,

Watching as new themes and trends emerge globally across the industry, I wanted to take a moment and make five Intelligent Mobility predictions for 2017…

Group,

With Brexit to be triggered shortly, nurturing London's diverse creative economy will be crucial to securing the capital's future growth.

UK & Europe,

Existing land (road and rail) transport infrastructure and operational concepts are not able to cope with current levels of transport demand.

UK & Europe,

Our associate director of ecology, Jules Price, believes that ‘smart ecology’ – what she sees as the appropriate use of technology and smart thinking - is helping change perceptions as well as practices.

UK & Europe,

In previous years, several films have depicted self-driving cars as the status quo (Knight Rider, Logan’s Run, Fifth Element, to name a few). But now fantasy is becoming a reality with the production of a growing number of prototypes that will change the way we travel in future.

UK & Europe,

The development of SMRs gives UK plc the opportunity to develop home grown intellectual property, create skilled jobs and to be an exporter of technology which can be sold around the world.

UK & Europe, North America, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific,

People will tell you that their key to success was putting their head down and working hard, staying the course when things get challenging, or saying “yes” to everything. Maybe the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that my success is due to the people I’ve worked with.

North America,

In January Atkins collaborated with five Nevada state agencies to organize and host the GO-NV Summit, which explored new technologies revolutionizing the transportation industry.

North America,

Singapore is soon set to approve the use of Personal Mobility Devices such as electric scooters and hoverboards on foot and cycle paths. Could other cities follow suit or are such devices a passing fad?

Asia Pacific,

How to build the perfect playground

Chris Raven
14 Feb 2017

14 Feb 2017 103000
My five step process for achieving a successful design project, using Ivybridge Primary School as an example.

UK & Europe,

The skills we need for a better London

Phil R Davis
13 Feb 2017

13 Feb 2017 103000
It's an exciting time for STEM skills. There is an almost universal acceptance that we have a STEM skills shortage in the UK, and our pending departure from the European Union means we must become better at 'growing our own' if we are to maintain and grow our industrial output.

UK & Europe,

Using digital design tools presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to increase certainty. As an industry, we need to be more responsive to new ways of working and technologies which enable this.

UK & Europe,

The flipside of challenge is opportunity,creating innovative people-driven solutions to help our clients provide a safer, more reliable, more efficient and more comfortable travel experience for rail passengers.

UK & Europe,

Engineering isn’t ‘masculine’, nor is it dirty work. Provide engineering with the status is deserves and an influx in women will follow, and what’s more, it will come naturally, and without undermining the women who already work in the sector.

UK & Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America, Asia Pacific, Rest of World,

The industrial strategy was published exactly seven months to the day since we voted to leave the EU. Despite our well-known productivity challenges, I’m not sure it would have been conceived was it not for Brexit. But with many uncertainties ahead in the next few years and a pressing need to find relevance in the global marketplace independent of the EU for the first time in almost half a century the requirement for a plan is clear.

UK & Europe,

To make London a city that truly benefits everyone, we need to focus the planning, design and delivery of our infrastructure on outcomes. This means recognising that infrastructure is a means to an end - an enabler of everyday life - and is there to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

UK & Europe,

Funding an infrastructure revival

Roddy Adams
27 Jan 2017

27 Jan 2017 101132
One of the inevitable, and at times depressing, features of working in the infrastructure space is its propensity to become a political football.

Group, North America, Asia Pacific,

Almost exactly one year after the attack on three Ukrainian distribution substations, another campaign has targeted the country’s power transmission system. Ukrainian officials have attributed the attack to Russian perpetrators once again. Richard Piggin shares his thoughts on how this represents an escalation of cyber attack sophistication against a nation’s critical national infrastructure, as well as how the impact of such attacks can be mitigated in the future.

UK & Europe,

Wellbeing on the move

Caroline Paradise
23 Jan 2017

23 Jan 2017 040000
As architects and designers we need to rethink the world around us. If we design to make movement around a building, home or public space enjoyable and part of people’s daily routine then we can make a big difference in helping to change behaviour.

UK & Europe,

Yes, it feels great when you read in the Copenhagenize Index that Copenhagen has outpaced Amsterdam as the world’s most bicycle-friendly city. Not least, because Amsterdam normally is a goalpost for us in Copenhagen. But if Copenhagen is to stay at the top of the list as a leading cycling city, the next step in the development of a future-proof bicycle infrastructure will be at the drivers' expense.

UK & Europe,

The notion of value and how to codify it is a serious issue that is having a major impact on the delivery of much-needed homes, particularly in London.

UK & Europe,

“The advantages of the most energetic and active town life, with the beauty and delight of the country, may be secured in perfect combination”.

UK & Europe,

Masdar’s Global Gen Z Sustainability Survey, launched at COP22, revealed much insight into young citizens’ perspective: they see climate change as the biggest threat over the next decade. Masdar have asked people all around the world to explain, in their view, what will be the most important technological development over the next 10 years that will have the greatest impact in reducing climate change risks. These are my thoughts...

Group, UK & Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America, Asia Pacific, Rest of World,

Celebrating city wildlife

Claire Wansbury
22 Dec 2016

22 Dec 2016 050000
A daily dose of the nature on our doorstep may not have the awe inspiring impact of the stunning imagery of Planet Earth II, but in its own quiet way it does us all a power of good!

UK & Europe,

With another storm likely to hit this weekend across the UK, leaving a trail of carnage and destruction, we can only wonder if the UK is ready for another stormy winter and whether the lessons learnt from last winter have been enacted.

UK & Europe,

The complexities of the modern day world are becoming increasingly difficult to negotiate, and so too is the importance of meeting demanding needs. The UK population is projected to reach 70 million by mid-2027, and the consequences of this on our transport infrastructure will be profound. It would be fairly difficult to overstate how important our ability to respond to these demands is. Reinforcing this sentiment are current and future projections of journey capacity and congestion.

UK & Europe,

Designing healthier schools

Philip Watson
20 Dec 2016

20 Dec 2016 010000
By incorporating principles of good design for wellbeing – and prioritising what will actually have the biggest impact on student’s health and happiness – we could start to make real strides to actively improve, instead of reactively treat, wellbeing in our schools.

UK & Europe,

A 12 year old boy recently asked me, if driverless cars are so safe, why aren’t we using them already? It’s a good question when there is so much media coverage about Google bubble cars crisscrossing town centres, and high performance saloons gliding around car parks… Yet the notion of us letting go of the wheel seems just too ‘unnatural’. Are we really happy to let big brother take over?

Middle East & Africa, North America, UK & Europe,

Ian Buffey shares his insight into a new report he helped develop which looks at what can be done to reduce the risk of a cyber-attack causing significant damage to our nuclear power infrastructure.

UK & Europe,

In this series of three articles, we will explore how the rail sector responds to the very real demands of harnessing new technology, improving the customer experience, encouraging innovation and developing new funding models.

Group, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe, Asia Pacific,

With the disruption that storm Angus left behind last week, it provokes the question – are we doing enough to prevent flooding and tackling it at source? Last week during the height of the storm, we had 103 flood alerts in place; a high of 2 inches of rain in Exeter; and flooded properties and roads in Devon.

UK & Europe,

The Houses of Parliament Office of Science and Technology has found that areas with more accessible green space are associated with communities with better mental and physical health. They also found a clear correlation between the risk of mortality caused by cardiovascular disease and the level of ‘greenness’ of a residential area.

UK & Europe,

In the first of a series of jointly authored articles, Caroline Bimson, Atkins’ Director of Education and Amanda Derrick OBE, Director, Connect Digitally, ask the question: “Why is public sector transformation so often high in ambition but poor in execution?"

UK & Europe,

A lot of people are worried about the availability of skills in the United Kingdom, in particular the skills profile in the North of England. There’s a shortage of skilled labour across the economy and investments in infrastructure in the North of England are likely to drive further demand. In addition, Brexit is driving a focus upon UK labour to supply projects, whereas we know that we are already highly dependent upon labour from outside the UK to deliver the current pipeline of infrastructure.

UK & Europe,

More than a station

Liam Harrison
30 Nov 2016

30 Nov 2016 094108
In a time of unprecedented investment in infrastructure, it’s not surprising that every city, as well as every rail operator and owner, is looking for their station to deliver more. Stations aren’t just stations anymore; they’re catalysts for growth or regeneration and the foundations for new cities, regions and economic hubs.

UK & Europe,

Energy and the Northern Powerhouse

Paul Yates
29 Nov 2016

29 Nov 2016 111007
Energy is the cornerstone of our everyday lives. It keeps our homes heated, ensures the lights come on and powers all the gadgets and appliances we simply couldn’t do without. It powers our public transport, it underpins our businesses and industries, and keeps our towns and cities functioning. It drives our economy and keeps our society functioning.

UK & Europe,

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) need security. Although the media focuses on vehicle attacks such as recent Chrysler/Jeep and Tesla vulnerabilities, few realize the breadth of the infrastructure threat.

North America,

It’s widely acknowledged that infrastructure has a starring role to play in a successful Northern Powerhouse. But we have to work hard to ensure that top-down investment does deliver the desired bottom-up growth, as this is not always guaranteed.

UK & Europe,

In this series of three articles, we will explore how the rail sector responds to the very real demands of harnessing new technology, improving the customer experience, encouraging innovation and developing new funding models.

Group, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe, Asia Pacific,

Our Technology Director, Russell Cameron, looks at the challenges and opportunities created by the increasing digitisation of infrastructure projects.

UK & Europe,

In this series of three articles, we will explore how the rail sector responds to the very real demands of harnessing new technology, improving the customer experience, encouraging innovation and developing new funding models.

Group, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe, Asia Pacific,

You can please everyone

Scott Dickson
16 Nov 2016

16 Nov 2016 083000
Sometimes the skills required to make a great design that speaks to as many people as possible aren’t design related at all. The ability to listen and see similarities or dissimilarities in briefing requests is more important than design skills. Being able to transform what, at first glance, might seem like opposing points of view into a single unifying design is only possible if the designer can place the views of others above his own.

UK & Europe,

The value of a vocational approach to future learning needs to be given the credit it deserves. Not everyone wants to go to university, nor is suited to it, while many will not thrive in traditional school associated sixth forms. As such, the allure of learning in an environment that can equip you with the attributes and skills employers are looking for should not be underestimated.

UK & Europe,

Reuse, recycle, refurbish

James Harrison
15 Nov 2016

15 Nov 2016 090000
You wouldn’t not recycle your paper in the office, so why would you not recycle your building estate?

UK & Europe,

Enterprising education

Luke Baker
15 Nov 2016

15 Nov 2016 083000
The relationship between further education and business is a long and fruitful one. Each year, around three million people are trained by colleges across the UK, including almost 300,000 apprentices or, to put it another way, half of all construction, engineering and manufacturing apprentices. The average college also works with around 600 businesses to provide training for their staff – clearly business and further education do an awful lot for each other.

UK & Europe,

An education in masterplanning

Claire Wakelin
15 Nov 2016

15 Nov 2016 080000
Imagine you’re starting a college campus from scratch. You have a constrained site, a limited budget, multiple stakeholders – all with different needs – and a hard deadline to meet. How do you take all of this and create a masterplan that is deliverable but doesn’t lose the college’s vision along the way?

UK & Europe,

The devolution agenda has become a staple part of our new vocabulary. It has moved beyond rhetoric to the point of no return.Collaboration and seeking to work together across regions in whatever form is now critical to ensure that the benefits and outcomes of devolution are realised.

UK & Europe,

The blame game

Joanne Farrar
09 Nov 2016

09 Nov 2016 030000
The problem is crystal clear – we’re not building enough houses to meet demand. Unfortunately the solution is not as straight forward, and is complicated further by attempts to pin all the blame on specific parts of the supply chain.

UK & Europe,

Preserving Our Changing Tidal Wetlands

David Loy
07 Nov 2016

07 Nov 2016 102305
The vulnerable yet essential tidal wetlands in Tampa Bay show evidence of transformations that may indicate climate change.

North America,

The most successful forms of innovation are created by making small changes to the way we think and approach a problem.

UK & Europe,

Making the Destination

Larry Levis
31 Oct 2016

31 Oct 2016 021910
The growing challenge for the cruise industry in port development is to strike the right balance between offering an exciting recreational experience, good shopping and dining opportunities, and preserving the authenticity and local experience of the destination—all while seamlessly moving 10,000 guest-tourists through the location.

North America,

With populations and economies growing in cities across the World, and public expectations for journeys that are safer, quicker, more reliable, sustainable and resilient, urban transport networks needs to better connected and integrated than ever before.

UK & Europe,

Manufacturers are pushing ahead at pace with autonomous vehicles while technology appears to run ahead of human trust. So what part can security play in building this?

UK & Europe,

If you are working in the transport sector, it is very likely that you have heard the term ‘Intelligent Mobility’.

UK & Europe,

CAVs in the developing world

Rebecca Tommey
20 Oct 2016

20 Oct 2016 035600
First world investment in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) continues at a staggering pace, with announcements made almost on a daily basis around new technology developments or deployment demonstrators. However, limited research has been undertaken to fully understand the impact of adopting CAVs in the developing world.

UK & Europe,

Across the skylines of Southeast Asia, we’re seeing mega-towers growing at a rapid rate. Are some right to dismiss them as expensive, unsustainable vanity projects? Or are they justified by having the ability to counter the challenges of urban development that the West has, until now, simply ignored?

Asia Pacific,

What’s the most important quality for leadership? Experience? Honesty? Or maybe attitude? In 2010, IBM interviewed more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries for a Global CEO study. Their answer: Creativity.

North America,

Building to improve student wellbeing

Philip Watson
07 Oct 2016

07 Oct 2016 010000

UK & Europe, North America,

The water and environment sector is transforming, largely, in my view, due to the role that digital services are increasingly playing in our day to day life. The increased use of digital services is profoundly influencing society daily, so it’s little wonder that it’s now also affecting the water industry, which is a powerful journey to be starting.

UK & Europe,

Renewable energy might not grab many headlines now but there are rapid advances being made.

UK & Europe, North America, Asia Pacific,

The value of knowing what lies ahead

Joey Paskey
27 Sep 2016

27 Sep 2016 082246
Co-authored by Joey Paskey and Brad Slocum

North America,

Designing for wellbeing in a school environment is as much about designing for teachers as it is for students. We need to design schools that encourage teachers to move, to connect to one another and their surroundings, and to feel ownership about the building where they spend much of their time.

UK & Europe,

‘Every day is a school day’ was a common phrase shared by the team on the Birmingham Gateway Project (BGP), as it delivered the transformation of Birmingham New Street Station. It not only reflects the common approach adopted throughout the design and engineering of the new station, but captures the spirit of learning which should be at the heart of the development of all stations of the future.

UK & Europe,

The publication of the National Flood Resilience Review this week, which includes plans for improved rain and flood modelling; a £12.5 million increase in temporary flood defences; and a call to strengthen the protection of our infrastructure, has sparked much debate.

UK & Europe,

Taking new technology, good ideas and fundamental research through to deployable systems and new capability is fraught with difficulties. Most innovations do not actually make it through the ‘valley of death’. The problems are well documented: lack of funding, lack of real user involvement, lack of resources, etc. But is there a solution to this challenge?

UK & Europe,

Industrial control systems, which comprise a core part of our critical national infrastructure, are tempting targets for cyber-attack. Cyber security is therefore key, but how can good system design help to increase resilience and offer free cyber protection?

UK & Europe,

There are now more people using the railways than at any time since the 1920s and more capacity is needed. New lines, such as HS2 and Crossrail, are part of the solution, but squeezing more out of existing routes and boosting their green credentials is equally important.

UK & Europe,

Living data needs a living database

Harshal Desai
08 Sep 2016

08 Sep 2016 033435
The Eastman Kodak Company revolutionized the photography business when they created the first digital camera in 1975. As an avid landscape photographer, I was quickly amazed at the possibilities revealed through the digitization of our world through photographs. There would be no more clunky bundles of film containers, just beautiful 1s and 0s.

North America,

Making London liveable again

Janet Miller
05 Sep 2016

05 Sep 2016 090000
Once again London has been ranked outside of the top 50 most liveable cities by The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking 2016 report. We need to face up to and unpick the reasons behind London’s low position.

UK & Europe,

Andrew Munday suggests the fourth industrial revolution cannot succeed without mechanical engineers.

UK & Europe,

Donna Huey recently discussed resilience and interdependency with The Construction Specifier. The following article was originally published by The Construction Specifier .

North America,

The human touch

Janus Rostock
31 Aug 2016

31 Aug 2016 090000
Janus Rostock discusses the Dubai Opera and the importance of the human scale in design.

Middle East & Africa,

In Arizona, the beginning of the summer is hot and dry. But come mid- to late-summer, the weather patterns change as tropical moisture moves in from the south. This is called the Monsoon season, which typically lasts from June until September. It subjects the state to impressive amounts of lightning, relentless downpours, damaging winds, and towering walls of dust. In fact, many parts of the state receive about half their annual rainfall during these few months.

North America,

Having worked for several decades on projects that were driven in part by the need to ensure resilience, I find it extremely encouraging that resilience is now high up on OFWAT’s and, Water UK’s agenda. OFWAT is seeking to address the impacts of climate change and population growth, by setting out its own road map for developing regulation. For example, it is reassuring to see that OFWAT is seeking to drive up-stream competition and break down barriers optimising the utilisation of scarce water resources. This will, for the first time, incentivise the transfer of water between companies.

UK & Europe,

Andy Wall shares his thoughts on what good and bad cyber security design looks like.

UK & Europe,

Digital differentiators

Ronan Clifford
15 Aug 2016

15 Aug 2016 010000
In a country as small as Qatar, with numerous construction consultancies in-county, differentiators become vital if a firm is to retain its foothold in the highly competitive market, more so during a construction lull.

Middle East & Africa,

Despite individual views on Brexit it’s vital that our sector has a clear voice.

UK & Europe,

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is the first government department to launch a five year sector cyber security strategy. This sets expectations for industry, government, and regulators in light of increasing cyber threats and significant technological change. It specifies how risks will be addressed, by whom, when and how success is to be measured. It is transformational, and has substantial implications for the nuclear sector, particularly in the supply chain.

UK & Europe,

The anatomy of a building services engineer

Middle East & Africa, UK & Europe,

At Atkins, we strongly believe that diversity is at the heart of achieving business success and shaping the future of transportation.

UK & Europe,

Motor City Mitigation

Stacy Wright
01 Aug 2016

01 Aug 2016 033037
For many years, Detroit has had the unwanted distinction of being the most well-known example of urban decline and depopulation in the United States. As the city’s automobile industry struggled, most production moved out of Detroit taking the city’s prosperity—and a big portion of the population—with it.

North America,

The green effect

Neil Manthorpe
29 Jul 2016

29 Jul 2016 080000
A look back on what we learned from London 2012 about green infrastructure (GI) and how this can be applied to secure the future success of London.

UK & Europe,

The 2+2=6 effect

Ben Kirk
27 Jul 2016

27 Jul 2016 080000
An Olympic effort: A look back on what we learned from London 2012 about working in partnership to deliver major infrastructure in the capital

UK & Europe,

An Olympic effort: A look back on what we learned from London 2012 about delivering major infrastructure in the capital

UK & Europe,

Inspiring London's future engineers

Liam Harrison
25 Jul 2016

25 Jul 2016 080000
An Olympic effort: A look back on what we learned from London 2012 about bringing young people into engineering and how we can continue to build on this progress today.

UK & Europe,

Towards a UK national grid for water

David Bullick
22 Jul 2016

22 Jul 2016 123000
Every time the UK starts to enjoy a ‘barbeque summer’, the mainstream media raises questions around water availability with talk of hosepipe bans, fixing leaks in the networks and the transfer of water across the UK.

UK & Europe,

A systems approach for regional infrastructure strategies

UK & Europe,

Positive legacy of Seveso

Ben Axelsen
21 Jul 2016

21 Jul 2016 090000
Seveso 40th anniversary: COMAH regulations 2015 highlight positive legacy

UK & Europe,

Hyperloop must be built in Europe?

Chris Docker
20 Jul 2016

20 Jul 2016 090000
Hyperloop, with its promise of ultra-low maintenance has arrived, to throw the transportation market into upheaval in much the same way as Uber did for taxis.

UK & Europe,

Inspiring STEM interest

Gardner Chambliss, P.E.
06 Jul 2016

06 Jul 2016 085000
On a Saturday morning, a group of middle school students from all over Atlanta, GA gathered to compete in one of the most unique STEM events around—the G3 Drones for Good Challenge.

North America,

The ugly truth about UK office spaces

Philip Watson
30 Jun 2016

30 Jun 2016 053000
Recently The Telegraph reported on an Ipsos poll of 12,000 people that found employees in the UK feel ‘uncomfortable, uninspired and unable to concentrate at work’. Philip Watson shares his thoughts on why we need to start taking wellbeing considerations in building design seriously in the UK.

UK & Europe,

Learning from experience

Sanna Shabir
23 Jun 2016

23 Jun 2016 043000
It’s that time of year again – National Women in Engineering Day is here! It seems like every year we have more to talk about and more to celebrate. I was able to take some time out to talk to Vicky, an associate acoustician, about our experiences as female engineers, and how things have changed in the last decade.

UK & Europe,

How things have changed

Vicky Stewart
23 Jun 2016

23 Jun 2016 010000
When I joined Atkins, I thought that I must be different from other girls, as I was working in a predominantly male field. But I have come to realise over the years that it shouldn’t be about gender but about having a passion, no matter what gender. I have been volunteering in schools since 2008, as it is important to me that young people, especially girls, aren’t put off science and engineering. Through this volunteering I have had the opportunity to see that its companies like Atkins which have taken the lead in society to encourage better diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers.

UK & Europe,

Game-changing women in engineering

Atkins
23 Jun 2016

23 Jun 2016 070000
To celebrate the UK's National Women in Engineering Day, we speak to six Atkins' women around the world about the people that inspired their own careers, and how they helped turn impossible ideas into a reality.

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Group, North America, UK & Europe,

Effective software acquisition

Andy German
15 Jun 2016

15 Jun 2016 110412

UK & Europe,

Donna Huey recently sat down with Informed Infrastructure to discuss stress-testing for sustainability

North America,

Prefab redux

Atkins
02 Jun 2016

02 Jun 2016 032136
From housing to schools to military bases, offsite construction methods are opening up a realm of new possibilities in building design.

UK & Europe, Asia Pacific, North America,

The concept of Green Infrastructure (GI) for stormwater management has existed for many years and is now a well-established approach and essential part of numerous land development guidelines and regulations worldwide.

North America,

Why do you mentor?

Karen Blanc
19 May 2016

19 May 2016 105238
Why do we mentor? Mentoring is all about other people, but of course there's something in it for mentors too.

UK & Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America, Asia Pacific, Rest of World,

Cyber resilience is about leadership: Creating a cyber resilient organisation has to start at the top and work down.

UK & Europe,

Contamination management is one of the nuclear industry’s paramount concerns. Finding a suitable way of managing and repairing containment solutions where contamination could be a possible problem is equally important, and equally challenging.

UK & Europe, North America, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific,

Wellbeing: Building Inspiration

Atkins
12 May 2016

12 May 2016 090000
Part 2: The case for people-centred architecture is gaining momentum

Middle East & Africa, UK & Europe,

Information technology platforms are needed to support every aspect of the railway, from signalling and traction power control systems, asset information and condition monitoring to customer and journey information.

UK & Europe,

Wellbeing: Putting People First

Atkins
10 May 2016

10 May 2016 034204
Part 1: Could better buildings hold the key to health and happiness?

UK & Europe,

How do we use compressed air and hydrogen as bulk energy storage?

UK & Europe, North America, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific,

Carbon capture, storage and utilisation (CCS) is something of a "buzz" technology at the moment.

UK & Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America, Asia Pacific, Rest of World,

The road ahead

Atkins
28 Apr 2016

28 Apr 2016 100000
Stories about automated vehicles are seldom out of the news these days. But what about the roads themselves? Will roads need to change to make autonomous driving a reality? Or could intelligent vehicles eliminate the need for complex highway infrastructure entirely, making road provision a much simpler business?

Group, UK & Europe, Middle East & Africa,

Riding the waves of change

Guy Ledger
25 Apr 2016

25 Apr 2016 021700
Guy Ledger talks about water competition

UK & Europe,

A telling debate

Janet Miller
15 Apr 2016

15 Apr 2016 120000
With the city’s mayoral election just a few weeks away, the future leader of London is at a critical point in their campaign – now is the time when a clear vision for the future, and a firm grasp on the risks that threaten that vision, make all the difference.

UK & Europe,

SXSW began as a music festival thirty years ago, but has quickly evolved into the modern day world’s fair—a collaborative event with business cards in constant rotation and the smell of start-up success in the air.

North America,

Drones as a measured survey tool

Cory Hope
12 Apr 2016

12 Apr 2016 105124
Cory Hope looks at how ‘drones’, or Unmanned Aerial Systems, are increasingly being used for surveying, and how doing so helps to improve data accuracy, lower costs and reduce health and safety risks.

UK & Europe,

Making the most of digitalisation

Melina Christina
08 Apr 2016

08 Apr 2016 090000
Until a decade ago, the majority of the world’s data was produced by scientific, industrial, and administrative sources. Today, most data is generated from the daily activities of millions of people around the world, through simple actions such as messaging friends on social media or shopping online.

UK & Europe,

ITER: beyond the building

Atkins
07 Apr 2016

07 Apr 2016 090000
The dream form of energy – nuclear fusion – takes another step forward.

UK & Europe, Group,

The art of making

Helen Newman
06 Apr 2016

06 Apr 2016 090000
Below are six ways universities can start to get more from their spaces for making and innovation.

UK & Europe,

Looking forward, respecting the past

Neil McLean
05 Apr 2016

05 Apr 2016 010000
Safeguarding university identity while creating collaborative, shared research spaces.

UK & Europe,

Fit for purpose

Richard Johnston
05 Apr 2016

05 Apr 2016 090000
In this article I look at how we worked with one university to overcome a constrained site to create a spectacular facility for students, faculty, and the local community.

UK & Europe,

If that is so, what value do libraries and archives add to the experience of higher education and who actually needs them?

UK & Europe,

Welcome to the school of life

Helen Groves
04 Apr 2016

04 Apr 2016 120000
“Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.” Albert Einstein
For me, successful learning environments are broader than just bricks and mortar – they are a place for the spirit to flourish and the mind to be fed.

UK & Europe,

The City of Miami Beach is “ground zero” for sea level rise in the United States. On particularly high tides, you can watch as seawater bubbles up from yards and forms puddles in the streets.

North America,

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has stated within its London Infrastructure Plan that an additional 9000ha of accessible green space is required by 2050 in order to maintain today’s standards of Green Infrastructure (GI) provision in relation to the city’s population. A requirement that Atkins’s recently published Future Proofing London report supports because it is recognised that this will improve the liveability of London, thereby supporting businesses, property developers, infrastructure providers, and maintaining London’s global competitiveness.

UK & Europe,

The construction of linear transport infrastructure projects can often negatively impact wildlife through the loss of connectivity between habitats. This reduces options for foraging, breeding and nesting, with small isolated patches of land able to support fewer individuals.

UK & Europe,

New thinking is needed to tackle the looming capacity crunch for railway systems around the world.

UK & Europe,

Safety, cost effectiveness and reliability are the essential success factors for the UK signalling system. With changing requirements and standards to enable European Train Control Systems (ETCS) and the digital railway, how can clients confidently commit budget to improve performance today and meet the needs of tomorrow?

UK & Europe,

Rather than choose between north and south, when it comes to infrastructure investment it has to be both, says Nick Roberts.

UK & Europe,

The average UK household spends £324 per month on transport, according to the Office for National Statistics, and most of us probably don’t even realise it. But what if there was a smarter way of managing your transport needs?

UK & Europe,

My UK budget response 2016

Nick Roberts
16 Mar 2016

16 Mar 2016 040000
The National Infrastructure Commission was set up to take a long term and objective view of our infrastructure needs. The Chancellor’s agreement to take forward key recommendations such as HS3, the Trans Pennine tunnel, the expansion of capacity on the M62 and Crossrail 2 shows that the systems works.

UK & Europe,

Writing the energy handbook

Scott Gordon
15 Mar 2016

15 Mar 2016 020000
My personal passion for the last 25 years has been to make buildings operate safely and comfortable for occupants, as well as to streamline the amount of energy they consume

North America,

Atkins’ recently published Future Proofing London report considers four inter-connected risks to London’s continued economic prosperity. One of these highlighted risks is London’s economy becoming unbalanced and losing the diversity that has enabled the city to prosper. In my opinion, the diversity and flexibility of London’s economy are two of the key reasons for its success and status as a World City. London’s economy is not based purely on a handful of key business sectors but on a complex, constantly evolving, clustering of inter-related economic activities.

UK & Europe,

Janet Miller shares her thoughts on the topic of education and aspiration in the Northern Powerhouse

UK & Europe,

Building a sustainable Beijing

Mark Harrison
14 Mar 2016

14 Mar 2016 110000
Now is the time for Beijing’s authorities to take action if the city is to cope with its forecasted growth in population and jobs.

Asia Pacific,

The power of partnerships

Keith Sands
11 Mar 2016

11 Mar 2016 010000
Why the future of London depends on us all working together

UK & Europe,

A digital race towards innovation

Ben Dunlop
11 Mar 2016

11 Mar 2016 123200
We're seeing more and more companies competing for the government led 'Innovate UK' and future railway programme to support digital tech that improves customer experience.

UK & Europe,

Just how far will a mobile device and growing Intelligent Mobility allow us to operate on autopilot? And will it lead to improved safety, as well as improved mobility?

UK & Europe,

As the population of cities continues to grow, how will rail contribute to the growth of hubs?

UK & Europe,

Looking out for London

Richard Ainsley
09 Mar 2016

09 Mar 2016 110000
The future of London is in the hands of many stakeholders. From national to local government, the public and private sector, developers and infrastructure providers, and communities and individuals. All of us want to see London succeed and remain the much-loved city it has grown to become over the centuries. But if we really want to see London future-proofed by 2050, it’s time for us to start thinking big.

UK & Europe,

Transport connectivity and economic growth are both central to Transport for the North (TfN) and the likely approach to infrastructure that the newly devolved cities and city regions will take.

UK & Europe,

The nature of change is changing - so we need to take a fresh approach to business transformation within the bounds of company ethos and ethics.

UK & Europe,

An unexpected career in aviation

Kara Bymers
29 Feb 2016

29 Feb 2016 011900
While I had always found the aviation industry intriguing, I never really thought it was a career choice for me until I joined Atkins over nine years ago.

North America,

Would you take a lift with a stranger?

Lee Woodcock
26 Feb 2016

26 Feb 2016 025934
As the sharing economy ushers in new ways of living and working, are we ready for the reality of what that means? Would you share a lift with a stranger?

UK & Europe,

It’s important for those of us in STEM careers to give back to our communities—you never know how you might change someone’s life.

North America,

My career inspiration: robotics

Angela Belden
23 Feb 2016

23 Feb 2016 011900
How my career in engineering was inspired by participation in my high school's robotic club.

North America,

The Northern Powerhouse has the potential to redefine the economic, political, social and cultural development of the North of England. From my doctoral research on the cultural identity of the region I believe that one of the fundamental challenges for the Northern Powerhouse strategy is to work with the cultural complexity of the region.

UK & Europe,

An education in construction

John Edwards
22 Feb 2016

22 Feb 2016 113000
The Northern Powerhouse should look to the education sector for inspiration on how to build infrastructure quicker and more efficiently

UK & Europe,

Creating a Northern Cycle Network

Jon Guest
22 Feb 2016

22 Feb 2016 110000
The Northern Powerhouse agenda has the potential to change the economic path of the North of England. Many previous attempts haven’t managed to deliver the scale of change required. Ultimately, to really shift the path of the North’s economy we need some big ideas to move us forward!

UK & Europe,

Powering the powerhouse

Paul Yates
22 Feb 2016

22 Feb 2016 103000
One critically important, but perhaps under discussed, area of the Northern Powerhouse is energy. In particular, where will it be generated, what technologies will be used now and in the future and how will it be decarbonised? And most importantly, how will it be distributed effectively and efficiently across the Northern Powerhouse.

UK & Europe,

The North has a strong foundation in culture and heritage and a good way of life, so the idea of supplementing this with a more prosperous and growing economy that is competitive on the world stage is an obvious next step. I think most of us would agree.

UK & Europe,

Contactless in the UK

John Bradburn
18 Feb 2016

18 Feb 2016 020000
London transport network reaches 300 million contactless payments but what about the rest of the UK?

UK & Europe,

Delivering happiness

Simon Moon
18 Feb 2016

18 Feb 2016 090000
Why appointing a Minister of State for Happiness is actually a very shrewd move.

Middle East & Africa,

Running the rapids

Clark Barlow
17 Feb 2016

17 Feb 2016 011900
The success of a large scale, technically challenging project often relies on science performed on the small screen.

North America,

Winds of change

Mark Goudie
16 Feb 2016

16 Feb 2016 100740
Engineers naturally love a challenge, and work best when presented with a problem to solve.

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

People do projects

Paul Vry
15 Feb 2016

15 Feb 2016 102900
As engineers, we need to ensure that we are putting people at the heart of the approach to project delivery.

UK & Europe,

Critical thinking

Conor Crowley
12 Feb 2016

12 Feb 2016 125946
As engineers, we need to be careful to not rely on instinctive thought processes.

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Uber - it's a bit like Marmite

Lee Woodcock
11 Feb 2016

11 Feb 2016 010000
Why does Uber inspire a "love it or hate it" Marmite feeling?

UK & Europe,

Communities set to have a greater say in flood defence spending

UK & Europe,

My school, my office

Salim Hussain
09 Feb 2016

09 Feb 2016 090027
As an architect, I am intrigued by the comparisons between the professional workplace and learning environments and how the worker of tomorrow are being trained in the schools of today.

Middle East & Africa,

CAV predictions for 2016

John McCarthy
04 Feb 2016

04 Feb 2016 040000
Connected and Autonomous vehicles are rushing to become an ever more real part of our lives, but what does the immediate future hold?

UK & Europe,

The road to a competitive future

Prof Dr Uwe Krueger
01 Feb 2016

01 Feb 2016 090000
What does future infrastructure and investment mean for America as it approaches its 250th year?

North America,

People should always be at the heart of city building. Helping people move around quickly and efficiently is a big part of our job when designing regeneration plans, new communities or even completely new cities. Our work in Johannesburg, South Africa is a great example of how important public transportation can be.

UK & Europe,

What lessons can we learn from the recent malware attack on Ukraine’s power grid? And what impact will governments, banks and insurers’ increasing focus on cyber risk have on organisations operating critical national infrastructure control systems?

UK & Europe,

Resilience: From the Ground Up

Ernie Edgar
26 Jan 2016

26 Jan 2016 120000
The fourth goal of the 2020 SAME Strategic Plan is Resilience, which rightly reflects where we—as engineering professionals and as a nation—need to be in this time in our history. Our nation relies on the infrastructure that engineers plan, design and enable every day.

North America,

Compressed air energy storage - what is it and how can it keep help keep the lights on?

UK & Europe, North America, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific,

New technology isn’t just affecting the data available to us, it is providing a range of new technological solutions to transport needs that have the potential to transform the use and provision of transport systems.

UK & Europe,

Gas goes underground

Marco Clemente
20 Jan 2016

20 Jan 2016 095550
Increasing complexity of gas supply across international boundaries is creating a need for gas storage capacity many times greater than that what exists at present.

UK & Europe, North America, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific,

Storage potential

Mark Goudie
15 Jan 2016

15 Jan 2016 120258
Can energy storage help balance the energy trilemma of sustainability, affordability and security of supply?

UK & Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America, Asia Pacific,

The Northern Powerhouse initiative has the potential to change the economic path of the North of England. There are a series of exciting developments in areas across the North of England including plans for regeneration of city and town centres, devolution allowing locally led decision making, and new ways of supplying power to business and communities. All these can help unlock economic growth across the North of England. So where do skills fit in?

UK & Europe,

Prominent malicious attacks have brought the importance of robust UK cyber security to the attention of both the Government and the public. With a respected European agency recently publishing recommendations on how countries can better protect critical national infrastructure from cyber-attack, how does the UK measure up against these?

UK & Europe,

The art of influence

Priya Jain
12 Jan 2016

12 Jan 2016 090000
How do you craft a road map to increase your influence? In my experience, I’ve found 4 key elements that have given me an edge.

North America,

How we can make sure that the importance of human relationships is pervasive in engineering given the rise of digital engineering and technology

UK & Europe,

The big city connectivity challenge

Janet Miller
06 Jan 2016

06 Jan 2016 090000
Janet Miller shares her thoughts on the connectivity challenge facing our cities.

UK & Europe,

Ensuring the machine doesn’t stop

Andrew Cooke
06 Jan 2016

06 Jan 2016 090000
Why does the interconnectivity of increasingly digitised services make the risk of a meltdown more likely?

UK & Europe,

Partnering across borders

Fin Bonset
04 Jan 2016

04 Jan 2016 090000
Partnering across borders to build aviation excellence.

North America,

Digitally enabling electrification

Atkins
22 Dec 2015

22 Dec 2015 120000
Could open standards for data exchange transform the economics of rail electrification?

Asia Pacific, Group, Middle East & Africa, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Securing water, sustaining growth

Mike Woolgar
17 Dec 2015

17 Dec 2015 090000
Are there any notable links between economic resilience and water resilience?

UK & Europe,

Oh no, not another TOD article

Bertil de Kleynen
16 Dec 2015

16 Dec 2015 090000
Around the world economies are struggling to close a growing gap in infrastructure financing. The irony is however that infrastructure finance is available in trillions. How can we consultants help to bridge the available funding with the development need?

Asia Pacific,

How can we ensure we keep up with the security challenges facing our infrastructure and know we have done everything possible to protect our public services?

UK & Europe,

Is Storm Desmond significant?

Adam Cambridge
11 Dec 2015

11 Dec 2015 093922
What does the changing frequency and severity of storms, like Storm Desmond, mean for managing flood risk?

UK & Europe,

Why we can't afford to ignore geospatial

Anne Kemp
09 Dec 2015

09 Dec 2015 120000
Every day we create more and more data. We need to understand and use this data to improve our society, economy and the environment.

Asia Pacific, Group, Middle East & Africa, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

What London 2012 can teach the COP 21 about collaborative carbon reduction

UK & Europe,

Sustainable buildings

Atkins
01 Dec 2015

01 Dec 2015 090000
As global leaders work on new targets for greenhouse gas reduction we look at how high quality design is creating more sustainable buildings.

UK & Europe,

The rise of cities

Atkins
27 Nov 2015

27 Nov 2015 032300
As the population of the world’s cities soars towards four billion, the need for smarter infrastructure is becoming increasingly urgent.

Asia Pacific, Group, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Increased productivity and a more competitive, balanced and resilient economy cannot happen without investing in the nation’s infrastructure, from the roads and railways to move people around, to the energy to power homes and businesses, and the housing to provide a roof over people’s heads.

UK & Europe,

Now is the time for action on cyber

Andrew Cooke
24 Nov 2015

24 Nov 2015 090000
The Government has this week announced increased funding to enhance UK cyber security and a mandatory cyber health check for FTSE 350 firms. While the Government’s position on defending against such threats is encouraging, what more needs to be done to ensure our ongoing cyber security?

UK & Europe,

Breaking out of our city silos

Janet Miller
23 Nov 2015

23 Nov 2015 090000
Janet Miller shares her thoughts on how silos operate not only in business but also in our cities.

UK & Europe,

Effective reservist staff engagement

Chris Jones
20 Nov 2015

20 Nov 2015 110000
Although the benefits of employing Reservists and ex-Armed Forces people are widely known, many organisations struggle to engage with such staff and capitalise upon their skills. Atkins’ Armed Forces Champion Chris Jones shares his insight on how the company has approached this challenge and partnered with Defence to yield results that benefit the business’ bottom line.

UK & Europe,

The cool factor

Peter Newburn
19 Nov 2015

19 Nov 2015 090000
Traditionally, data centres are cooled using mechanical air cooled chillers, which provide chilled water to the computer suite cooling units. Rising energy costs and corporate policies to reduce energy consumption have meant many companies are on the lookout for innovative new ways to cool their data centres.

UK & Europe,

The issue of cyber security is increasingly at the forefront of many organisations’ minds, with key questions being whether we're behind the curve in cyber security expertise, if we're fostering the right specialisms or if we even know which specific skills we need to be talking about?

UK & Europe,

Pop up transit everywhere

James Datson
09 Nov 2015

09 Nov 2015 095529
The potential of “Pop-up transit” is now starting to feature in the thinking of authorities and operators responsible for managing some of the five billion or so bus journeys that we make each year in the UK. What may be exciting to these policy makers, regulators and procurers of mobility, is the emergence of Pop-up transit operators such as Bridj in the US, and Kutsuplus in Finla

UK & Europe,

Mind the gap

John Edwards
06 Nov 2015

06 Nov 2015 095351
The thinktank, IPPR (Institute of Public Policy Research) North, recently highlighted that less than half of the most deprived children in the North achieve a good level of development before their fifth birthday (see the BBC article here). The North’s relatively poor attainment in early years stands in stark contrast to attainment

UK & Europe,

The best of East to West

Dan Bishop
05 Nov 2015

05 Nov 2015 090000
Question:  What is the top visitor attraction for Chinese visitors to the UK?  Answer:  Buckingham Palace.  Well, it is in the middle of Central London and next door to many of the other attractions on the ‘10 places in the UK you really must go to’ hit list.  Ok, so the next question:  Where do they head to next? 

UK & Europe,

The human side of BIM

Atkins
04 Nov 2015

04 Nov 2015 120000
The stratospheric rise of the use of BIM in the design, construction and operation of infrastructure, buildings and other assets has changed the way that project teams work together, demanding new levels of collaboration. “When you are using BIM to its fullest ext

UK & Europe, Rest of World, North America, Middle East & Africa, Group, Asia Pacific,

The relationship between technology and infrastructure is fascinating. Tech has already changed and enriched the way we live and work. We’ve shown ourselves to be very adept at evolving our use of it at a personal level, but less so when it comes to the scale and complexity of urban infrastructure. And it’s the latter we need to crack if we want to deliver more for less, to do things which aren’t currently possible and to tra

UK & Europe,

Engineering value

Janet Miller
03 Nov 2015

03 Nov 2015 100000
Janet Miller shares her thoughts on tackling engineering challenges with limited resources.

UK & Europe,

Linking industry and academia

Dave Gent
02 Nov 2015

02 Nov 2015 090000
Investigating new ways to solve these problems is one of the reasons I recently chose to go back to university to complete a PhD, and I was lucky that Atkins agreed to support me in doing this. Yes, it is difficult to juggle work, home and academic life, but knowing that I will influence the decisions people make in the future and that I am investigating a problem that no one else has found a solution for,

UK & Europe,

Middle Eastern promise: prioritising safety

Atkins
30 Oct 2015

30 Oct 2015 072025
In the past two decades, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has undergone one of the most radical transformations ever witnessed, with the construction sector at the heart of this change.
With so much prolonged activity and a pipeline of projects intended to support the country’s ongoing econo

Middle East & Africa,

Dubai has moved another important step forward towards its smart city goals this month with the passing of the Dubai Open Data Law.
This will allow the sharing of non-confidential data between government entities and other stakeholders – an essential move which provides the legislative framework for Dubai to progress into a Smart City.
It catapults Dubai alongside the most progressive and developed cities on the planet. Wha

Middle East & Africa,

Interest in Intelligent Mobility is rapidly developing in the freight sector as operators, transport authorities and consumers look to new technologies and business models to achieve better outcomes.
To date, innovation in the freight sector has been a key focus of the operators themselves; improving cost efficiency, fuel efficiency, payload maximisation and journey time reliability.  This has undoubtedly had beneficial impacts, ho

Resilient cities

Zoe Green
23 Oct 2015

23 Oct 2015 094522
Resilient cities: Why should cities care about energy?
We take for granted that energy will be available in the form we need it, when we need it. However, our UK cities our increasingly at risk from blackouts on a comparable scale to those experienced in New York in 2012. Research published in October 2013 by the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology openly acknowledged that significant blackouts could occur in the

UK & Europe,

The energy storage question

Marco Clemente
22 Oct 2015

22 Oct 2015 072700
The UK has significant technology and policy gaps that need closing if it is to deliver on the legislated 15% electricity from renewables by 2020, and 80% by 2050. The lack of suitable planned energy storage capability is at the top of this list.
Cracking Energy Storage is therefore one of the ultimate ambitions for engineers working in the Power and Renewables sector today. Whilst gas, coal and other traditional fuels can be stored con

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, UK & Europe, Rest of World,

Energy from waste – underrated?

Craig Edgar
21 Oct 2015

21 Oct 2015 071000
The UK produces around 200 million tonnes of waste a year, about three tonnes for every man, woman and child in the country, and dealing with this waste in a responsible and sustainable manner is a major societal issue.
Although the recycling rate from households is now at almost 44% and overall the amount of rubbish going to landfill is falling, finding ways of using the remaining waste is a huge challenge for industry and government.

UK & Europe,

Ok! I admit it, 2015 isn’t quite as predicted 30 years ago in the film Back to the Future Part II and we still all need to use roads. However on the 21st October 2015 we will finally ‘arrive’ in the future of Marty McFly and Doc Brown and the exciting thing is that many of their experiences of the ‘future’ aren’t too far away from our lives today.
As part of the early careers team our job to

UK & Europe,

Our nuclear future?

Julianne Antrobus
20 Oct 2015

20 Oct 2015 062500
When we think about generating nuclear power, the immediate image that springs to mind is of a large nuclear reactor, always somewhere near the coast, producing between 1,000 and 2,000 megawatts (MW) of power – enough energy to power millions of homes.
High capital cost is one of the reasons why it is becoming harder to finance and invest in new large scale nuclear plants and that, in many people’s eyes, makes large scale nu

UK & Europe,

Transforming the future of coal

David Esslemont
19 Oct 2015

19 Oct 2015 061500
Coal is the world’s single largest fuel source for generating electricity and has been used as a fuel for thousands of years.
The International Energy Agency says that coal provided 41% of the world’s electricity in 2013, and 29% of the total global energy supply. China, the USA, India, Russia and Japan account for 77% of total global coal use, and in the UK 31% of our energy is met through coal.
And it’s becaus

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

No matter what state you live in, the practice of highway tolling is essential to supplement revenues for our crumbling transportation infrastructure. There are currently dozens of electronic toll collection (ETC) systems in operation – some that work across state lines, and many that do not. 45 million travelers use ETC in the US and nearly $13 billion in tolls are collected through this method.
As part of MAP-21—the Moving

North America,

The increasing digitisation of our national infrastructure offers many benefits to organisations and their customers. However, some fear that the systems used to control physical functions of this infrastructure, often now referred to as operational technology, could have the potential for a serious cyber-incident. The massive damage caused by a sophisticated cyber attack on a

UK & Europe,

Active travel counting conundrums

James Datson
12 Oct 2015

12 Oct 2015 065000
For decades local authorities have invested heavily in collecting motor vehicle count data on their networks. Such data is the life blood of our transport models and is vital to help traffic managers make decisions on how they manage the highway. But to date many authorities have struggled to make the case for monitoring the behaviours of an often equally important user – the cyclist and pedestrian even though understanding these users could h

UK & Europe,

Devolution revolution

Jason Pavey
09 Oct 2015

09 Oct 2015 030200
The ‘devolution revolution’ is finally upon us and we must collectively grasp the opportunity it presents.
‘Transport devolution: the ticket to greater productivity’ was the topic of two fringe debates at the recent Labour and Conservative Party Conferences sponsored by Atkins, TfL, TfGM and

UK & Europe,

Time to wise up

Mark Smith
09 Oct 2015

09 Oct 2015 023700
We need more women to choose engineering The autumn season is here and in the early careers team that means one thing, the attraction of graduates to our 2016 vacancies. This year we have nearly 400 graduate vacancies available across the UK and one of the ways we advertise these new opportunities to students is by attending the university’s annual graduate recruitment fairs. However a recent article in the

UK & Europe,

The North of England is made up of more than 70 shire district, metropolitan district and unitary authorities. Despite being geographic neighbours they have strong individual identities, there are many deep-rooted local rivalries and they all have their own locally-elected representatives. A successful Northern Powerhouse will rely on all of these authorities to work together as one, which given the preceding points might appear a tall order.

UK & Europe,

Speaking about STEM

Dave Gent
06 Oct 2015

06 Oct 2015 115352
These days the promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers is big news. It has been gaining prominence for a number of years and in my days as a graduate engineer I spent a lot of time volunteering in schools, promoting the industry as a STEM Ambassador. I found it to be a very rewarding experience, whether it was a project planning exercise involving the economical use of building blocks or as a guest ‘enginee

UK & Europe,

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has for long seemed quite fantastical. The idea of catching and setting aside carbon emissions may at first appear like pie in the sky, but getting CCS right and diverting CO2 away from the atmosphere could have a major impact on reducing global carbon emissions.
What is CCS? Put simply, it involves separating carbon dioxide from the flue gas of fossil fuel power stations – thus rendering the

UK & Europe, Middle East & Africa, North America, Asia Pacific, Rest of World,

I frequently read articles and heated commentary in the media related to connected and autonomous vehicles, but it’s not always clear that these are two distinct technologies. The terms are often used incorrectly, which creates misconceptions about one or the other—and this confusion can actually stall progress when implications are incorrectly applied where they do not belong.
So what’s the difference? Which one helps me ge

North America,

When Masdar took on the idea of driverless pods for its zero carbon city in Abu Dhabi, it still seemed closer to the cartoon world of The Jetsons than something that would be hitting our streets anytime soon.
Technology moves at an incredible pace, however, and it is rapidly catching up to make the idea of driverless vehicles a reality. Major automotive manufacturers are now investing serious money to keep at the head of the herd (or at

Middle East & Africa,

Bank of England on climate change

Nick Roberts
01 Oct 2015

01 Oct 2015 061700
As someone with a professional background in earth and environmental sciences, climate change is a topic close to my heart. Debate is clearly part of a healthy society, but that doesn’t remove my frustration that there is still too much debate on whether it’s really a problem rather than what we’re going to do to tackle it.
That’s why I was particularly pleased to see Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England

UK & Europe,

There are a variety of ways connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV’s) are currently being tested to advance their widespread progression to our roads. There are many parties involved—all playing a role in the process. The following testing methods are helping to ensure this technology will be highly functional in large-scale deployment environments.
Pilot Deployment Testing
Pilot programs provide the opportunity to test i

North America,

The ‘sharing economy’ is now synonymous with brands such as Uber and Airbnb, but in many ways the concept is not new; we as a civilisation have been sharing resources for millennia.
In more recent times, the industrial revolution of the 19th Century developed shared transport systems, the rail networks, which the manufacturing revolution of the 20th Century scaled and developed into personal transport systems, the car. The

UK & Europe,

City building: the key questions

Margot Adelle Orr
25 Sep 2015

25 Sep 2015 074300
I lead multidisciplinary masterplan projects that focus on the development of large-scale mixed-use sites which often include residential units, offices, retail and leisure facilities, and community infrastructure. My team’s input involves establishing the project vision, urban design, planning, environmental assessments, economics, engineering and programme management; ultimately leading to the delivery of fully functional pieces of the

UK & Europe,

Going driverless out east

Jonathan Spear
23 Sep 2015

23 Sep 2015 041200
Whilst the UK is in a leading competitive position to support Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology development and testing, others across the world are not standing still. In Asia, Japan’s Nissan has set 2020 as the target year to have fully self-driving AVs available on the market, subject to regulatory approval. South Korea’s Hyundai is aiming for a step change in driver assistance systems from 2020 and commercialised applications

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, UK & Europe,

Social Mobility: what’s the hold up?

Mark Smith
22 Sep 2015

22 Sep 2015 040700
Many young students are starting to build on their GCSE and A Level results and taking the next steps towards their future careers. For some of these students this step may be decided by more than just the attainment of exam results. With increasing political commentary around rising inequality and declining social mobility, there is striking evidence to suggest that where you grow up and go to school plays a significant part in what opportuni

UK & Europe,

Projects are about people

Stephen Ashton
21 Sep 2015

21 Sep 2015 052100
Looking back over the last seven plus years that I have lived and breathed the Birmingham New Street project I can say that it has been a roller coaster of a journey with some great highs and challenging lows! But now, as we reach closure of the project with the opening of the station and Grand Central shopping centre, not forgetting John Lewis as my friends and family keep reminding me, I can only view this as a fantastic experience and so I

UK & Europe,

The defence skills shortfall

Chris Jones
18 Sep 2015

18 Sep 2015 053400
The engineering skills deficit that the UK faces has been widely publicised in the media. Quite rightly, major emphasis has been placed upon the impact this will have on the delivery of major domestic infrastructure projects which might help drive the UK economic recovery and growth. However, this skills gap also represents a serious challenge for the UK’s defence sector.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has identified a number of sp

UK & Europe,

Station masterpiece

Atkins
18 Sep 2015

18 Sep 2015 052400
Like any epic journey, turning Birmingham’s 1960s reinforced concrete railway station into a futuristic transport hub, would be full of twists and turns. “We were running four design programmes in parallel, all at different stages and each affecting the building and that was quite com

UK & Europe,

Where do we get our energy from?

Sam Stephens
17 Sep 2015

17 Sep 2015 095606
Around the time of the UK Government’s Energy White Paper in 2007, the main issue debated at the time was what forms of energy should supply our demands, while recognising the ‘trilemma’ of affordability, security of supply and sustainability. The logical conclusion was to provide a sustainable mix of generation consisting of renewables, nuclear and conventional generation, with a transition to low carbon generation. Eight ye

UK & Europe,

Now is the time to act

John Bradburn
16 Sep 2015

16 Sep 2015 072900
There’s no denying that Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) are coming. Lower levels of autonomous capability can already be seen in cars available today – such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping. But no-one really knows yet how long it will before highly autonomous vehicles are on our roads and how much time we have to benefit from their development.
We’re in a global race to exploit the economic opportunities provi

UK & Europe,

Moving infrastructure resilience forward

Ernie Edgar
14 Sep 2015

14 Sep 2015 100700
Established in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) is a national partnership between government agencies, professional associations, private industry and individuals with the goal of increasing our infrastructure’s capability of withstand natural and man-made disaster events and maintain critical services.
Since January 2013, I have had the honor to serve as

North America,

Technology, opportunity and us

Prof Dr Uwe Krueger
11 Sep 2015

11 Sep 2015 094700
How can we embrace technology – not for technology’s sake – but for the real benefit of our customers, our own companies and the communities we serve? Atkins’ CEO Uwe Krueger provides a perspective from the ENR Global Construction Summit in New York.
The nature of the construction industry is changing rapidly, driven by tougher market and trading conditions and by demands from clients for better value and more innov

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Taking the lid off the classroom

Philip Watson
10 Sep 2015

10 Sep 2015 063000
Remember how excited you were at school when it was break time? Now imagine that feeling – of being active, playing and simply being outside – lasted for most of your school day.
One of our schools, Lime Tree Primary Academy, has actually made this a reality for the 363 youngsters who go there. As a ‘forest school’ they now receive a good par

UK & Europe,

Get the basics right

John McCarthy
09 Sep 2015

09 Sep 2015 063000
They’re coming. Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) are on their way. But there are lots of questions around their use and their value. Are we afraid of their arrival and should we be? The simple answer is no, but the fact of the matter is that we need to better understand what CAVs can offer us, and more importantly, we need to TRUST them. To get to that point, wouldn’t it make sense to have a way of validating the components and the sys

UK & Europe,

Three of the London based universities, including Imperial College and UCL, are investing in new campus sites outside the city centre. Other universities in the UK, like Northampton, are making a conscious decision to consolidate their estate. They’re doing this not just to create efficiencies, but to create a single campus that brings together all of their students in one place. This has got me thinking: how do universities foster a sen

UK & Europe,

The future of transport is disruptive

Jonathan Spear
08 Sep 2015

08 Sep 2015 071400
The transport sector has long had far-reaching ideas for how people and goods will get around in the future.
In 1961, for example, the American Weekend Magazine speculated:
“The Year 2000 will be the age of press-button transportation. Rocket belts will increase a man’s stride to 30 feet, and bus-type helicopters will travel along crowded air skyways. There will be moving plastic-covered pavements, individual hoppicopt

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, UK & Europe,

The challenge of building ‘sufficient, cost effective, great schools at pace’ was set by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and the James Review in 2010 to address the limited availability for government investment in the ageing school estates across the UK. However, from the beginning people questioned if achieving this without compromising design and construction quality was at odds with providing the tailored approach to educati

UK & Europe,

Healthy, wealthy and wise

Atkins
07 Sep 2015

07 Sep 2015 082500
Over 40,000 delegates are expected in Paris this December for the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference. Its main objective is to reach a universal legally binding agreement on combating climate change and boost the transition towards resilient low carbon economies.
Reaching an agr

Middle East & Africa,

Designing in partnership

Scott Dickson
07 Sep 2015

07 Sep 2015 080700
Architects are sometimes criticised for letting their own vision overshadow the vision of the client and the end user. So how do we make sure our design puts the client (and the end user) at its heart? Our answer: design in partnership. If we think of clients and end users as an integral part of our design team, we can be sure we create the building they need, not the building we envision. A project we worked on recently

UK & Europe,

Tomorrow’s tunnels

Atkins
03 Sep 2015

03 Sep 2015 082000
Crossrail is aiming to set new standards for the delivery of infrastructure. The mammoth task of excavating 42km of new railway tunnels beneath the UK capital is now complete. The first trains are expected to run through these tunnels in 2018.
According to Rob McCrae, Atkins’ framewo

UK & Europe,

Unlocking high speed cities

Atkins
31 Aug 2015

31 Aug 2015 120000
High speed networks are transforming rail travel. And nowhere is that transformation greater than in China. In less than ten years, China has laid more than 16,000km of new track to create the world’s biggest high speed rail network. And it’s just the start: there are plans to build a

Asia Pacific,

Power from public space

Chris Rance
28 Aug 2015

28 Aug 2015 080100
Public space including transport infrastructure could be contributing to the power generation of the future, with solar energy capture systems built into common outdoor surfaces including highway barriers, seating, pedestrian paving, cycle paths and even road surfaces.
Researchers at the Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology are currently studying a new type of solar panel – luminescent solar concentrators (LSC) – which

UK & Europe,

Infrastructure funding models

Nick Roberts
26 Aug 2015

26 Aug 2015 010000
There’s no doubt that we’re currently in the midst of an infrastructure renaissance and a challenging delivery schedule. Perhaps it’s not on the scale of the Victorians, but we have billions of pounds worth of projects highlighted in the National Infrastructure Plan and infrastructure is a hot topic in political circles. New or upgraded roads, railways, airports, housing, energy generation plants and digital networks are hera

UK & Europe,

Much of our critically needed infrastructure (e.g. ports, bridges, and roads) lies within the delicate ecosystem of our coastal regions. With a renewed focus on infrastructure improvements and the need for new infrastructure to support an increasing coastal population, the impact on the environment is a growing concern—and for good reason.
The Intracoastal Waterway, for example, crosses several bodies of water in Palm Beach County

North America,

What price nature?

Claire Wansbury
21 Aug 2015

21 Aug 2015 111600
Atkins has just undertaken a study for the London Wildlife Trust: an ecosystem services valuation of Camley Street Natural Park. On the site of a former coal yard adjacent to the new Eurostar station at St Pancras, Camley Street is 0.8 ha in area but welcomes between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors a year. The site is the middle of a huge regeneration project which will see new offices and blocks of flats constructed.

UK & Europe,

Our relentless development of new light sources carries on at a pace. We have LEDs, OLEDs, PLEDs, and now nanotechnology has stepped up to the plate to give us graphene LEDs, the world’s smallest light source. The development of new technologies like

UK & Europe,

Part of my job the morning of the 2014 USA Pro Cycling Challenge was to verify the closure plan for each stage of the race to ensure safety. I had been planning the detailed schedule of closures for months, coordinating between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado State Patrol (CSP), and other race organizers. But in working the race for several years, I had learned to expect the unexpected. While we traveled down the roa

North America,

So long, smart cards?

John Bradburn
14 Aug 2015

14 Aug 2015 021500
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) last week announced that it had terminated its contract with Atos to design, build and operate an Oyster-style smartcard across its transport network, with TfGM questioning whether the technology behind smart cards is now obsolete (source: Transportxtra.com). The recent

UK & Europe,

Pushing the boundaries

Atkins
12 Aug 2015

12 Aug 2015 110900
For decades the global aviation industry has enjoyed sustained growth, with economic development, globalisation and liberalisation fuelling a demand for greater capacity and connectivity. New technologies, far from replacing the need to travel, encourage greater international connectivity between

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Moving beyond automation in BIM

Donna Huey
11 Aug 2015

11 Aug 2015 022400
As Building Information Modeling (BIM) continues to reveal opportunities for revolutionizing the engineering and design industry, we are still seeing challenges around adoption. Many organizations have managed to sort out ways to leverage BIM in pockets such as 3D- and 4D- visualizations, conflict detection in multi-discipline design, or even augmented reality in construction. But the capability of the technology today is already so far beyon

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

With the annual cycle of graduate and apprentice recruitment now successfully completed, we are looking forward to inviting nearly 400 new starters into the business by September. However what may surprise you is that the Atkins Early Careers team is still a hive of activity.
Over the past 12 months we have been working behind the scenes on a number of projects looking at our early careers recruitment processes and asking ourselves the

UK & Europe,

So what should an engineer look like?

Sanna Shabir
07 Aug 2015

07 Aug 2015 023900
The campaign is currently trending online, across the world. As a female, I’m always encouraged to see positive news stories like this and want to get involved where I can. At work, I’m encouraged to promote gender balance and challenge perceptions regarding the engineering profession. Since joining Atkins I have bec

UK & Europe,

Replenishing our parched aquifers

Tom Farkas, PG
05 Aug 2015

05 Aug 2015 024200
The CBS News Program 60 Minutes developed an interesting segment titled “Depleting the water” which chronicled the depletion of groundwater supplies in several drought stricken agricultural areas throughout the world. Water levels are quickly falling as a result of little to no natural replenishment (recharge) throu

North America,

Disaster resilience in the US

Atkins
30 Jul 2015

30 Jul 2015 110900
Natural disasters are striking at rates higher than previously recorded. Impacts of climate change on weather volatility coupled with population growth and densification in urban areas mean that such catastrophes are not only occurring with more frequency than ever before, they are affecting more

North America,

Alaska is the largest state in the US, consisting of 586,400 square miles. It’s larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas, California, and Montana, and has more combined area than the 22 smallest states.
In Alaska, the energy demand per person is third highest in the nation; however, the sta

North America,

The Olympic legacy lives on

Mike McNicholas
27 Jul 2015

27 Jul 2015 010000
Can you believe it’s been three years since the London Olympics? Three years since we cheered Mo Farah across the finish line in the 10,000m, held our breath as Tom Daley dove from the 10m platform, and watched as Chris Hoy inspired millions of Britains to take to their bikes.
Sometimes it seems like all of this happened only yesterday. Atkins, and my, involvement in the Olympics has been a long and demanding (but hugely rewarding

UK & Europe,

Turning the grey city green

Chris Rance
24 Jul 2015

24 Jul 2015 010000
‘Pollution busting walls of green’ was the first line of a news item in the Birmingham Post in May this year. This followed two weeks after our trial installation of 140 metres of green vegetated screens attached to the existing guardrail along a major city centre road – the A38 Bristol Street. Well yes to a ce

UK & Europe,

Water damage

Atkins
23 Jul 2015

23 Jul 2015 110900
In 2007, 13 people lost their lives during severe flooding across the UK, prompting the government to review the country’s defences. Atkins’ director and dams specialist Andy Hughes consulted with Sir Michael Pitt on his report, which recommended a risk-based approach and the allotmen

UK & Europe,

Connecting communities

Neil Watt
22 Jul 2015

22 Jul 2015 010000
Many of us take basic broadband connectivity for granted, especially if we live in a city supported by all the infrastructure we need to get online. But given the many benefits offered by the internet, how do people access these kinds of services if they live in particularly out of the way places?
That is a problem faced by the population of the Scottish Highlands and Islands – one of the most remote locations in Europe. And I bel

UK & Europe,

Rethinking industry attitudes

Nick Roberts
22 Jul 2015

22 Jul 2015 010000
For anybody expecting billions of pounds of new infrastructure spending to be announced in the Chancellor’s Summer Budget they will have been disappointed as it was barely mentioned. But in a budget which was focused more on how to balance the books we perhaps shouldn’t be too disappointed.
However, there were two particular government policies which should make us all sit up and take note. The aspiration to replace student maintenance

UK & Europe,

For the 33rd time since 2008, congress is expected to pass yet another stop gap measure—a temporary fix—to the nation’s transportation funding. The July 31st deadline (when current funding expires) is just days away. And the timing could not have been worse, taking place during the peak of roadway constructions season.
Federal fuel taxes, a major source of transportation funding and main contributor to the Highway Trust Fund, have

North America,

The future is now...

John McCarthy
17 Jul 2015

17 Jul 2015 033800
..for connected and autonomous vehicles. It’s been a busy time since Atkins was announced as the lead partner for Venturer; the Innovate UK funded autonomous vehicle consortium based in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. As I put the finishing touches to the whitepaper ‘Roads of the Future’ it is worthwhile reflecting on the growing interest in this emerg

UK & Europe,

Protecting digital infrastructure

Andrew Cooke
15 Jul 2015

15 Jul 2015 094300
The continuing digitisation of our infrastructure enhances our experience as citizens and defines our progress as a society. However, the increasing reports of cybercrime and the threat of disruption to supply have led to calls to resist this development and slow the pace of change. Yet the benefits of digitisation are too persuasive and both the expectation of the public and the need to continuously drive down costs mean we cannot stop or eve

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, UK & Europe, Rest of World,

The future of retail design

Steven Smit
13 Jul 2015

13 Jul 2015 092300
Ongoing developments in technology, in particular e-commerce, has very much driven discussions among architects on innovation in the retail landscape. According to marketwired.com: 71% of all physical retail sales will be driven by web-rooming: the act of re

Asia Pacific,

Creating cities for all

Anders Kaas
10 Jul 2015

10 Jul 2015 100000
Congestion and traffic jams are major problems in the majority of the metropolises all over the world and the problem will only get worse in the future unless something radical is done.
In London, traffic is so heavy during rush hours that today the inhabitants are using an equal amount of time to go from A to B as they did 100 years ago

UK & Europe,

My UK budget response

Nick Roberts
08 Jul 2015

08 Jul 2015 071700
In a budget designed primarily to deal with the deficit it would have been easy for infrastructure to take a hit. It’s great news that infrastructure remains central to the government’s plans for economic growth, and the creation of the new road fund and the £30m for Transport for the North are positive steps forward which will help people go about their daily lives.
We have thousands of talented engineers eager to take thes

UK & Europe,

Distressed aquifers

Mike Woolgar
06 Jul 2015

06 Jul 2015 100000
An article in the FT (paywall) recently highlighted that more than a third of the world’s biggest aquifers, a vital source of fresh water for millions, are “in distress” because human activities are draining them, according to satellite observations. It is undoubtedly tru

UK & Europe,

Solving the deliverability challenge

Nick Roberts
03 Jul 2015

03 Jul 2015 090000
Solving the deliverability challenge requires a focus on outcomes rather than outputs. Outcome driven engagement between clients and the supply chain throughout the project, but particularly right at the start is critical to success.
Deliverability is a term that is often used to describe one of the most important challenges we face in our industry. But interestingly despite the fact that Google provides you with 561,000 results when yo

UK & Europe,

Both intelligent mobility and the sharing economy will increasingly influence and transform the transport sector over the next decade. This was the crux of a debate organised by Atkins in partnership with Sharing Economy UK held on Tuesday evening.
The ‘question time’ style panel discussion was received by an audience of representatives from several Government departments and agencies, established transport sector businesses

UK & Europe,

At its heart, new technology development is driven by the need to solve problems and improve the world as we know it. Technological advancements help us save clients money, offer first-class services, and stretch the limits of what we thought was possible. Technology is particularly important to the rail and transit industry, as increasing urban populations are leading to a rising demand for innovative, efficient travel options.
My prof

North America,

The future of transport

Alex Burrows
29 Jun 2015

29 Jun 2015 040000
Tomorrow evening Atkins will host a debate with Sharing Economy UK to discuss the future of transport and the potential impacts of intelligent mobility and the sharing economy. It is a timely debate with a number of developments starting to change the landscape of the transport sector.
In recent days, Ford, Opel and BMW-MINI have all announced new car sharing services that will allow car owners to rent out their personal vehicles when t

UK & Europe,

Why we need more 'imagineers'

Steve Tasker
29 Jun 2015

29 Jun 2015 100000
STEM award presented by Channel 4’s Countdown presenter, Rachel Riley. (L-R: Steve Tasker, STEM award winner Abbie Romano, Rachel Riley, Mark Goudie)
Last week I attended the

UK & Europe,

‘The future is already here’ states sci-fi novelist William Gibson who in the 1980’s coined the term cyberspace, ‘it’s just not very evenly distributed’.
Gibson’s words reveal two important themes: Much of the technology which will transform our lives exists today but is yet to become widely adopted; access to such transformative technology is unevenly distributed, with geographic, demographic a

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Seven tips to avoid utility disruption

Lise Taylor
25 Jun 2015

25 Jun 2015 100000
Utility disruption is a perpetual risk whenever projects require digging to take place. Often also referred to as utility strikes, for anyone that’s experienced them – from all perspectives – it can be a disheartening experience. End users know only too well that the roadwork signs they encounter can lead to delays, diversions and disruption. Whereas from a project management perspective, underground utility strikes can lead

UK & Europe,

Promoting gender balance

Aina Lleonart Piza
24 Jun 2015

24 Jun 2015 030000
Encouraging more girls to pursue engineering careers is such a hot topic now. As a woman engineer I am really interested in promoting gender balance in the profession. I am doing my bit as a STEM ambassador, reading reports published by various institutions to understand the problem and trying to change both parents and children’s perception of what an engineer does.
However, the focus must not be solely on the generations to come

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

The road less travelled: be a leader

Jinsy Sunith
24 Jun 2015

24 Jun 2015 100000
Numerous organizations task only executive-level leaders with developing the long-term strategic direction and strategic vision of their division or department. As leaders develop and revise a strategic direction for their areas of responsibility, their research will likely leave them to decide between at least two different directions, or cores.
After finding the answers to the questions, and probably more, a leader, with the help of o

Middle East & Africa,

Why I'm supporting #notjustforboys

Mark Smith
23 Jun 2015

23 Jun 2015 030000
As an early careers recruiter for Atkins part of my role is to make sure we attract the best talent to our company and help the business develop a diverse and representative workforce. With women making up around 50% of the working population in the UK it is important that our career opportunities, many of which require skills in Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths (STEM) are seen as real options for young women.
It is particular

UK & Europe,

A world of opportunity

Atkins
23 Jun 2015

23 Jun 2015 090000
Inspirational women from Atkins are working on some of the world’s most exciting projects from tunnels in Hong Kong to master planning in Oman, and they hope that their experiences will encourage more young women to consider a career in engineering.
Historically women have been a minority

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

At the heart of every aspect of our complex environment is a human. It could be the air traffic controller and pilot navigating the flight for your holiday this summer, or the check-in staff, baggage handlers and security staff at the airport, or you as you scan your passport through the electronic passport reader, or the postal staff who process and deliver your postcard home…
You may be reading this article now on your smartphone, or

UK & Europe,

I was recently asked to be the keynote speaker at a GCSE prize-giving at the girls’ Grammar School where I’m a parent governor. The topic was “a career in a male dominated profession” and it was a mainly female audience.
Below are three brief excerpts from the speech which may be of interest particularly to women just starting out in their career.
1. Seek a mentor and be a mentor
In my working lif

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

The increasingly common adoption of the design and build (D&B) or EPC form of contract is gathering pace throughout the world at differing speed and characteristics to suit local requirements.
The benefits are generally perceived to be an overall shorter construction programme and reduced capital costs with the ultimate drivers being the need to obtain the return on investment as quickly as possibly whether for building rent, operat

Asia Pacific,

With the world’s population continuing to rapidly urbanise, there is now growing recognition among urban planners around the globe that new, more sustainable models of urbanisation form a crucial underpinning for economic development.
This is particularly apparent in East Asia where almost 200 million people have moved to cities in the first decade of the 21st century, according to the World Bank, and economies are rapidly transit

Asia Pacific,

Three ways to enhance rail safety

Jon McDonald, PE
18 Jun 2015

18 Jun 2015 100000
As rail accidents continue to make the news, commentators speculate about what caused a particular event and how it could have been avoided. But by focusing on a singular event (or a singular cause) we may be headed in the wrong direction.
While the cause of a specific accident is important to both the industry and those affected, when it comes to future accident prevention, we must take a broader look. To understand, let me take you ba

North America,

The dictionary tells us that to adapt is to “make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly”. Just as in other areas of life, as engineers we modify our inputs to be able to affect the output. This can be very linear and prescribed to meet a known outcome or can be more flexible to see what the outcome will be.
As engineer’s we are used to, and indeed covet our mental adaptability. We are taugh

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

A 40°C Dubai summer is a far cry from the minus 30°C winter of Toronto. However, both make it equally difficult for citizens and businesses to continue their normal day-to-day activities. There may be a common solution to allow business as usual.
Toronto’s PATH network comprises 30km of tunnels that allow pedestrians to walk in comfort betw

Middle East & Africa,

Impact of declining student immigration

Mark Smith
12 Jun 2015

12 Jun 2015 090000
Following the Queens Speech on 27th May 2015 it is clear that for the UK Government, immigration policy will be a significant focus for the next parliament. The subsequent detail issued by the Home Offices’ Press Office has stated that the Government will b

UK & Europe,

For a major city to flourish, and to maintain its competitive edge, it needs to sustain diverse economic activity at all scales, from the multi-national corporation to the individual start-up. Whilst London is a powerhouse for business and finance, it is also a city that benefits from a flourishing creative sector with specialisms including, jewellery, fashion, furniture, publishing, digital media and cultural tourism.
Creative industri

UK & Europe,

Walton Bridge: community ties

Atkins
09 Jun 2015

09 Jun 2015 100000
Roads, bridges, stations and parks are built for the public good – so it’s only right that the public should have input into their design and construction. This view has been at the heart of one of Atkins’ most iconic and successful recent projects – Surrey County Council&

UK & Europe,

When F Street was closed in 2008—underneath the newly widened I-15—the historic Westside was separated from downtown Las Vegas and the neighborhood began to rally. Determined community members held meetings, met with government officials, talked to the media, marched the Las Vegas Strip in protest, and even organized an official group called the F Street Coalition.

North America,

Does Britain need a Hyperloop?

Sam Stephens
05 Jun 2015

05 Jun 2015 100000
Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg, Brin, Page. The Silicon Valley hall of fame, the first three are now household names, even on the other side of the world in Britain. But one name who still gets mixed reaction from people I talk to is Elon Musk. Perhaps all that is needed is time, and perhaps he will go down as one of the most influential engineers of the 21st Century. His aspirations of us being a multi-planet species and ending the use of fossil fue

UK & Europe,

Can BRT attract car users?

Alan Brett
03 Jun 2015

03 Jun 2015 090000
There is much debate as to the ability of bus based rapid transit systems (BRT) to attract car users, particularly in comparison with rail based systems. Most of this discussion is based on assertion rather than evidence – but whilst limited, that evidence which is available shows a consistent picture.
Direct comparison of the attractiveness of bus and rail based systems is generally not possible, as bus systems are rarely deliver

UK & Europe,

Grid-scale electricity storage

Mike Woolgar
01 Jun 2015

01 Jun 2015 100000
I read an article recently that said the UK could cut the cost of decarbonising its electricity supply by more than £3.5bn if it can create a grid-scale electricity storage system to balance the variable output of renewables.
It is clear that the benefits – both carbon and economic – of

UK & Europe,

Transforming transport in the Middle East

Atkins
29 May 2015

29 May 2015 090000
Twenty years ago, the Middle East opened its doors to an influx of people and investment. Towns and cities grew in line with development. So too did the road networks and, inevitably, traffic congestion. In Saudi Arabia, older cities like Jeddah and Riyadh can come to a standstill during peak hou

Middle East & Africa,

Level 2 BIM journey

Anne Kemp
27 May 2015

27 May 2015 100000
A recent contractor survey (paywall) in Construction News has revealed a lack of understanding from subcontractors is the main factor holding back the development of BIM Level 2. There is no doubt that getting a whole industry to change the way i

UK & Europe,

While not a shocking fact to most Americans, traffic crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death in the US for people under the age of 45. What might be surprising however, is that traffic fatality rates in the US are three tim

North America,

Putting the end user first

Mike McNicholas
21 May 2015

21 May 2015 110000
Half the world’s population, 3.5 billion people, currently live in cities and this is estimated to reach 60 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050. How we develop social infrastructure to meet the demands of these population shifts and the evolving way we live and work is critically important. At a recent

UK & Europe,

Bringing control systems online

Andrew Cooke
20 May 2015

20 May 2015 100000
There have been a number of articles in the media recently highlighting the potential risks arising from implementing the European Rail Transport Management System (ERTMS) in the UK. ERTMS is the system that replaces traditional mechanical signalling systems with the IP-enabled systems. The benefits of implementation are clear as it:

UK & Europe,

Automated Vehicles (AV), or self-driving cars, have been all over the news recently. Venturer, for example, looks to examine people’s behaviours and technology implications for autonomous vehicles through the creation of a test site in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire region. Connected Vehicles (CV) are also being deployed and tested across the world. It’s

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

There have been many headlines over recent months about our nation’s infrastructure crisis. A generation of roads, bridges, airports, and water and sewer pipes built more than a half a century ago is nearing the end of its useful life. Some of the staggering numbers included in the headlines include:

The full power potential of the sun

Hugh Falkner
15 May 2015

15 May 2015 100000
Can engineers help transform the full power potential of the sun?
Investing in a solar power system might involve a large upfront cost, but within months of construction commencing it will start to generate a predictable energy stream that will last for 30 years, with no exposure to fluctuating fuel prices, and only minimal operations and maintenance cost – something which no other electricity producing technology can claim. Add to th

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Floating or fixed?

Andrew Thompson
14 May 2015

14 May 2015 100000
Whilst fixed offshore wind farms are becoming more numerous around the coasts of the UK, Germany and Denmark, they are constrained by one major factor: water depth. For many countries, fixed offshore wind is not an option for generating low CO2 electricity because the continental shelf drops away suddenly and steeply making installation of fixed structures much more difficult than in the waters of northern Europe.
In places where the se

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

A week ago many of us in the UK were pondering the implications that a change of government would have for our industry. We were keeping our fingers crossed that decision making would not grind to a halt and that infrastructure would not be used as a political pawn during coalition negotiations.
If the

UK & Europe,

Sharing energy endings

Peter Falconer
13 May 2015

13 May 2015 100000
In today’s market, in order to preserve the fragile environment, provision has to be made during the design phase for end of life and potential re-use of material. Just as for domestic products such as fridges and your car, oil and gas installations and nuclear infrastructure are no different.
However, much of the current power infrastructure was commissioned years ago prior to such significant focus on re-use. As a result decommi

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Maintaining our ageing assets

Sam Stephens
12 May 2015

12 May 2015 090000
Maintaining our ageing assets as we look to future solutions
In the UK, and similarly in many developed nations around the world, we are increasingly reliant upon major infrastructure commissioned in the 1970s and 80s, more often than not by government funded organisations. Many of our power stations and North Sea oil installations are reaching the end of their working lives, yet we are still heavily reliant upon them to power our cit

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

The dawn of an extraordinary energy age

Atkins
11 May 2015

11 May 2015 100000
We are at an unprecedented point in the cycle of energy supply: demand is expected to increase by 35 per cent by 2035 and in many regions around the world, existing energy infrastructure is coming to the end of its life and must be replaced. New safe, reliable, affordable, large scale power capac

North America, UK & Europe,

Can rivers warm our homes?

Dr Brian Cox
08 May 2015

08 May 2015 100000
In 2010, 45% of the UK’s energy use was in buildings, with heating and hot water accounting for 34% of total UK energy (Zero Carbon Britain: Rethinking the Future). Throw in the fact that the average temperature to which people heat their homes in winter has gone up by 4°C over the past four decades, and this equates to a lo

UK & Europe,

Our renewable future

Richard Smith
07 May 2015

07 May 2015 013000
Eye catching press headlines like those about Vancouver and China provide readers with hope that we will be able to reduce our carbon emissions to target

UK & Europe,

The beautification of infrastructure

Atkins
28 Apr 2015

28 Apr 2015 100000
On first glance, the two sites could be mistaken for elegant municipal parks. Living roofs and grass pavers are complemented by a cascading water feature at the first site and, at the second, a rain garden. Sewage pumping stations may not be associated with beauty, but this novel development in H

Asia Pacific,

The tiny boat reducing flood risk

Dean Goodison
23 Apr 2015

23 Apr 2015 010000
As technology surges run their course, it’s sometimes hard to imagine the next big breakthrough. But time and time again, new tools are developed that deliver greater accuracy and scope, help us get to places that were previously unreachable, and better visualize and communicate the results. Sometimes even small advancements can help us take giant leaps ahead if we find the right ways to apply them.
This is very true in the world

North America,

As spring arrives, a new batch of grads are eager to enter the next phase of their lives and begin navigating their careers. It can be an intimidating time, with a whole new set of rules in play. The behaviors and skills that may have helped you be a standout in school may not necessarily make you a leader at work. For what it may be worth to you, I am sharing what I feel to be critical bits of life experiences I gained over the last 28 years

North America,

A new digital vision

Gareth Tissington
20 Apr 2015

20 Apr 2015 040000
Digital eyewear and augmented reality will, in time, blur the lines between reality and the virtual world. Having the power of vast amounts of digital data augmented onto our everyday lives will change the way we live and work, meaning we can get context and location based realtime information as a live stream added to the world we see around us.
We are just at the start of computer vision and augmented reality making a real difference.

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Measuring flood risk impact

Mike Woolgar
17 Apr 2015

17 Apr 2015 100000
New data from the World Resources Institute has revealed (source) that by 2030, 54 million people could be exposed to river flooding. It goes without saying that as populations increase, and increasingly urbanise, the density of populations and as

UK & Europe,

Putting risk on the map

Atkins
14 Apr 2015

14 Apr 2015 104400
The United States National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides coverage for more than 5.5 million policyholders and protects assets worth an estimated $1.2 trillion. Launched in 1968, it is one of the biggest insurance programs in the world.
As well as offering a lifeline to millions o

North America,

The energy system of 2030 is being shaped by policy decisions made today. These decisions are being made in a rapidly changing world where we’re seeing major advancements in our engineering skills, technology and communications capabilities. At the same time public expectations are changing and our understanding of our relationship with the environment is increasing. As we head towards a May 2015 General Election in the UK, I’ve id

UK & Europe,

Experience is by industry achieved

John Drever
10 Apr 2015

10 Apr 2015 100000
In the Two Gentlemen of Verona, Shakespeare’s Antonio says: “Experience is by industry achieved, And perfected by the swift course of time.” In engineering we can learn and gain knowledge, but competence is being able to apply that knowledge to real world problems.
The opportunities to practice engineering skills on equipment at the scale and complexity of a real system are few and far between. As an industrial plant m

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

As the UK emerges from the financial crisis, the arguments for prioritising infrastructure needs that support economic growth, over those specifically aimed at delivering more sustainable benefit, will be justifiable to many. One area where this is particularly evident is the value placed on flood risk management, as alleviation schemes must currently demonstrate two to four times as much benefit to every pound invested in a transport scheme,

UK & Europe,

Inspirational engineering pioneers

Sarah Farnfield
08 Apr 2015

08 Apr 2015 113000
The Financial Times recently published its ‘50 Leading Business Pioneers’ list that featured leading figures from the past and present that worked in industries ranging from science and technology to fashion and sport. We asked graduate civil engineer, Sarah Farnfield, who she would pi

UK & Europe,

In the 1960’s, the concept of buying a car was simple. People grew up dreaming about the car they wanted. They saved for it and they bought it with cash. In the 1980’s, there was a shift in thinking. Consumers began to question the need to spend large amounts of cash for an asset they were going to use infrequently and keep for less than ten years. And so the concept of leasing was developed. Leasing meant not having to buy a vehic

North America,

The Middle East has seen a quantum leap in transportation in the last decade and, inevitably, technology is really pushing this advance.
The region is still in a development phase, which puts us in the fantastic position of not being encumbered with legacy infrastructure and systems. There’s also much less bureaucracy around project definition and development – so new projects and programmes can go straight from Royal Decree

Middle East & Africa,

Journeys of the future

Alex Burrows
02 Apr 2015

02 Apr 2015 100000
The 21st century has seen an astonishing rate of technological development. Looking back around ten years we saw the first smartphones starting to appear, the Oyster card was taking hold in London’s public transport provision and social networks were beginning to emerge. In the last 12 months alone the proportion of the UK population who now own smartphones has risen from 51% to 61%. Correspondingly 90% of the data that exists globally w

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Intelligent mobility: a new direction

Atkins
02 Apr 2015

02 Apr 2015 093000
Imagine a typical city in Asia, with unexceptional transport links, heavy traffic during peak hours and a growing population. For residents, getting from A to B isn’t a question of luxury or convenience: for most, it’s a necessary daily grind.
This situation is particularly tru

Asia Pacific, UK & Europe,

Transportation - an engine for growth

Philip Hoare
01 Apr 2015

01 Apr 2015 104000
Whilst we don’t usually talk about our internal structure with the outside world, I wanted to mark the fact that today we are bringing together our UK Highways and Rail businesses into a single Transportation division. This is a significant change not only because it will enable Atkins to be more flexible in the way we work with our clients but it will also enhance our ability to offer a much wider range of expertise.
This is a ne

UK & Europe,

Connected and autonomous vehicle technologies are set to fundamentally transform our relationship with vehicles over the coming years. The potential benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles are so great that according to a recent

UK & Europe,

Technology changes, but one thing that doesn’t is its ability to grab attention and inspire people to think differently. Whether it’s light bulbs, steam engines or planes, the possibility of something new is perhaps more exciting than the reality.
In this respect, driverless cars have made headlines over the last few months, with Google conducting trials in California, to more recently road based trials being conducted in th

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Engineering for collaboration

Nick Roberts
27 Mar 2015

27 Mar 2015 090000
On the face of it, the relationships between businesses and universities are straight forward. Companies need young, talented people to boost their workforce and it is the role of universities to provide their students with the qualifications required.
In reality, the relationships run much deeper than a transactional recruitment drive. Firstly, the universities play a valuable role in providing the technical knowledge and many of the b

UK & Europe,

Advanced waste treatment technologies

Atkins
26 Mar 2015

26 Mar 2015 114400
A report by the World Bank published in 2012 found that, on average, each city dweller generates over a kilogram of municipal solid waste (MSW) every day – this is the rubbish collected by local authorities that we produce, as do offices, schools and shops. Across the globe, it equates to 1

UK & Europe,

We recently experienced National Apprentice Week (9-15 March) here in the UK – a significant focus in the calendar of any early careers team and a period of vibrant activity at Atkins. Each year we launch our apprenticeship opportunities to coincide with this event and this year we are looking fo

UK & Europe,

Has 'weird' architecture had its day?

Steven Smit
23 Mar 2015

23 Mar 2015 023000
For anyone who has visited a Chinese city, it is obvious that the desire by Chinese clients, as expressed in design briefs to international and local architects to surprise the market with the next unique idea, has resulted in many ‘weird’ (‘qi qi guai guai’) buildings being commissioned. Foreign architects working in China have for years been uncomfortable with designing icons for icons’ sake. But sometimes weird

Asia Pacific,

Garden Cities or High Rise Dystopia?

Claire Wansbury
20 Mar 2015

20 Mar 2015 120000
In an article in the Times (paywall) on 9 March, the Future Spaces Foundation commented on government plans to build three new ‘Garden Cities” of about 15,000 dwellings each. The Foundation’s report claims that 67 garden cities, each with a population of 30,000, would be needed

UK & Europe,

Can we cope with the solar eclipse?

Ian Talbot
20 Mar 2015

20 Mar 2015 083000
The solar eclipse will result in a loss of renewable generation to meet the nation’s energy demands but whilst we are watching this wonderful phenomenon we should have no concerns regarding the lights going out in sympathy with the sunlight.
Solar generation relies on the quality of sunlight as well as the angle of incidence. On a clear sunny day the output of the UK’s 5GW of installed solar generation would drop as the sun

UK & Europe,

The UK budget

Nick Roberts
19 Mar 2015

19 Mar 2015 023000
In the final budget before the general election the Chancellor ensured infrastructure investment and the ongoing growth of the UK economy continued hand-in-hand.
We don’t have to look very far to our international neighbours to see that the UK can’t compete effectively on the world stage if London and the South East continue to dominate our economic output. We have to make better use of our other cities and regions which is

UK & Europe,

Delivering rail infrastructure projects places many demands on our industry. Pressures to deliver value for money in short timeframes with limited resources can result in our people working long hours over several consecutive nightshifts. When you factor in the many safety critical tasks staff must undertake to protect the travelling public and themselves, it’s clear that fatigue management is a crucial issue.
Following the Clapha

UK & Europe,

Alongside my day job as UK HR director at Atkins, I’m a volunteer mentor for those aged 18-24 on the Steps Ahead programme. The programme is run by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in which jobseekers are referred to the programme by Jobcentre Plus. The programme involves mentoring on things such as tailoring CVs and preparing for interviews.
With hundreds, if not thousands, of people applying for the same job

UK & Europe,

The UK railway network plays an important role in boosting the nation’s economy; you only have to look at the fact that 1.6bn train journeys are now being made by passengers to see this is the case. And with this number only expected to increase, it is vital that the network can meet demand. To this end, we have seen record Government investment in our railways which include the £1.5 billion National Signalling Framework and major re-sig

UK & Europe,

The Dutch have done it again!

Erik Kjærgaard
09 Mar 2015

09 Mar 2015 110000
For many decades, the Dutch have been far ahead in bicycle parking, even compared to my cycling country, Denmark.
I first visited the Netherlands in 1990 to study bicycle parking at stations. The Dutch had, even then, many more bike parking at stations than in Denmark. Back then, they inspired us to pilot the Dutch model Cycle Centres at a few stations but unfortunately it was not taken up as widely as in the Netherlands, where about 10

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Tunnelling - a time to talk

Hannah Farrant
03 Mar 2015

03 Mar 2015 050000
Apparently we are currently experiencing a ‘tunnel renaissance’. But what is this and why is it happening?
In recent years, the increasing density of urban life and migration of the population to living in cities (80% of us worldwide will be living in cities by 2050) has caused unprecedented strain on infrastructure. Conversely in the Middle East, rapid development – particularly in Dubai and Doha – has meant that public tra

Middle East & Africa,

Smart tunnelling

Atkins
02 Mar 2015

02 Mar 2015 123400
Space in cities is at an ever-increasing premium. With cities now expanding at the rate of one million people per week, the demand for underground infrastructure – such as railways, roads and utilities – is on the rise.
“Cities lack space but there’s no shortage of space underg

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

George Monbiot recently wrote a short polemic in the Guardian on the above subject, decrying poor land management as being a contributor to some of our flooding issues, signing off on the way Government soft pedals controls in the farming industry, providing monetary subsidies and regul

UK & Europe,

Simulating city systems

Richard Bradley
26 Feb 2015

26 Feb 2015 120000
Concept to reality
Urbanisation is increasingly highlighting how a city’s citizens and their environment are connected. There is also no doubt that a wide variety of technologies are converging to provide intelligent mobility tools and smart city services that enable citizens to optimise their time and resources. (A good example is the advanced personal journey planner, or ‘journey angel’, that connects an individual

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Going retro: to create "healthier" buildings

Atkins
18 Feb 2015

18 Feb 2015 100000
It’s well known that, for those who live and work in them every day, buildings can affect their health and wellbeing. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a whole section of its website devoted to “sick building syndrome” symptoms and their possible causes.
For Dave McFarlane,

North America,

We at Atkins recently shared our purpose; central to this is the power of transforming potential into reality. Yet for this to happen, the risks of that transformation must be systematically overcome. The call to innovate, to create, to challenge goes out, with the accompanying calls from government that the market will meet the challenge, with technology, finance and lead

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Importance of early career recruitment

Mark Smith
16 Feb 2015

16 Feb 2015 020000
As an early careers recruiter for Atkins I am part of the team responsible for attracting and recruiting graduates and apprentices for our UK business. However, with Atkins looking to recruit around 400 new early careers starters this year, we’re experiencing the growth in the number of early careers vacancies appearing in UK construction industry and the pressures of the growing skills gap first hand.
Whilst the industr

UK & Europe,

Any company operating in the engineering industry knows that their success is built upon the quality of their people. But if high calibre engineers are the backbone of our businesses, how will we fare in the face of the looming UK engineering skills shortage?
There’s no doubt that the imminent skills deficit has come about as a result of too few students studying STEM subjects combined with the Baby Boomer generation of engineer

UK & Europe,

Can we understand the true benefit of such new applications over more traditional forms of sustainable travel delivery? Is there still room for both? Probably. But how can the technology industry play a role in facilitating wider and more effective public engagement and improving the monitoring performance of smarter travel projects? Furthermore, what does the travel plan of the future look like in terms of the provision for technology-based m

UK & Europe,

Delivering infrastructure in a world city

Atkins
11 Feb 2015

11 Feb 2015 100000
How can clients and the building sector work together to achieve our collective goal, which is to develop infrastructure projects that benefit everyone and attract the right level of investment from the right stakeholders?
emSteve Tasker, managing director of Design & Engin

UK & Europe,

I recently attended two global conferences regarding the use and proliferation of technology in the engineering industry and was truly astounded at the collision of so many professions at one time. In years past, you would find these events filled with techies looking for the next release or new whiz-bang software feature.
But today, you’ll find an equal fill of managers, executives, and owners all looking to up their game. The me

North America,

Recent controversy about the retention of facial images by Police, where the subjects have no criminal record, has also led to discussion of the performance of facial recognition technology. An officer with the Met Police has been quoted as saying that people, referred to as “super recognisers”, dramatically outperformed automated facial recognition systems when looking at CCTV video imagery. And even with high quality imagery capt

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

A new build is always a positive sign, especially as many of the world’s economies make the slow but steady climb back into growth. But does the return of “supertall” buildings signal the start of something new? Experts from Atkins around the world share their insights.
By Martin Pease, vice president and senior practice director, architecture, North America
The number of people living in urban areas

North America,

A new build is always a positive sign, especially as many of the world’s economies make the slow but steady climb back into growth. But does the return of “supertall” buildings signal the start of something new? Experts from Atkins around the world share their insights.
By Ian Milne, senior design director, Asia Pacific
Work is underway to create a new landmark in Shenyang, the largest city in northea

Asia Pacific,

A new build is always a positive sign, especially as many of the world’s economies make the slow but steady climb back into growth. But does the return of “supertall” buildings signal the start of something new? Experts from Atkins around the world share their insights.
By Hussam Abdelghany, associate director, architecture, Middle East
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai stands at an unprecedented 828 metres.

Middle East & Africa,

A new build is always a positive sign, especially as many of the world’s economies make the slow but steady climb back into growth. But does the return of “supertall” buildings signal the start of something new? Experts from Atkins around the world share their insights.
By Jason Speechly-Dick, a head of architecture, UK
For thousands of years, people have used whatever technology is available to them

UK & Europe,

The return of the supertall

Atkins
02 Feb 2015

02 Feb 2015 100000
The Home Insurance Building in Chicago, Illinois, is widely regarded as the world’s first skyscraper. It was completed in 1885 and, at 10 storeys and 138 feet, it was certainly tall for its time. And yet height was just one of its defining features. It was the first time architects and engi

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Crystal ball gazing

Elspeth Finch
30 Jan 2015

30 Jan 2015 090000
Scenario planning can bring better solutions
Wind the clock back 15 years. The UK was almost brought to a standstill by protests at oil refineries and fuel shortages. Why? Because oil had increased from $10 to $30 per barrel and there were concerns that the price of petrol was going to break the £1 per litre mark, putting thousands of companies out of business and causing hardship for millions.
Fast forward to 2015. Doomsday ne

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Journey Management : from A to Z

John McCarthy
29 Jan 2015

29 Jan 2015 090000
Traffic Management, Network Management, Network outcomes, Transport Operations, Smart Travel – our world is flooded with terms, often conflicting and often confusing. That said, I believe it is important to introduce another unifying term to the conversation, Journey Management.
Journey Management must be the umbrella term that covers all of the above, linking the person, the mode of transport, their ticketing needs and the traffic auth

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Skill shortages and UK infrastructure

Allan Cook
26 Jan 2015

26 Jan 2015 010300
The critical importance of infrastructure to the UK’s global competitiveness, economy, businesses and society is undisputed. But, what are the consequences industry could face, if we fail to address the skills deficit effectively in the UK? Atkins’ Chairman Allan Cook CBE provides a perspective on potential solutions to Atkins’ report into, “

UK & Europe,

The water sector is already facing a number of modern day challenges including adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, managing the needs of a growing population, complying with ever more stringent environmental standards, maintaining ageing infrastructure and meeting the requirements of a low carbon economy. With an impending shortage of engineers likely due to the focus on a wide range of infrastructure projects, it will le

UK & Europe,

One of the most significant challenges facing the energy sector is the impending retirement of the ‘baby boomer’ generation – our most experienced engineers. As highlighted in the Energy section of the report, the UK has not built a new nuclear power station for more than 20 years, meaning the only engineers with the relevant skills and experience will ei

Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, North America, Rest of World, UK & Europe,

Digital infrastructure is pivotal to the growth of the UK and our adaption to new ways of working and living. With the government’s aim of 95% of the UK having access to superfast broadband by 2017 supported by an £11 billion investment in communications, skills are vitally important in making sure these targets are met and delivered.
As highlighted in the

UK & Europe,