Three key appointments will drive forward Atkins’ global commitment to developing design-led sustainable, thriving places and buildings.
Atkins, part of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has announced three senior appointments drawing from top talent across the industry, to bolster its position as one of the UK’s leading engineering, planning and design consultancies.
The key appointments of Andrew Jones, Richard Bonner and Dr Deb Upadhyaya in the Infrastructure division of the business, will drive forward Atkins’ global commitment to developing design-led sustainable, thriving places and buildings, as well as working to accelerate the adoption of nature-based solutions.
Andrew Jones, formerly head of cities and a board member at AECOM, joins Atkins as senior service line director, planning and consenting. Richard Bonner has been appointed to the role of market director for the buildings and places team, and Dr Deb Upadhyaya joins Atkins from Homes England in a newly-created role to drive the agenda on creating thriving places, as well as supporting the northern cities project team.
Mike McNicholas, managing director for Atkins’s infrastructure division in the UK and Europe, said: “The appointment of such experienced industry leaders as Andrew, Richard and Deb really demonstrates our ambition to have the highest calibre professionals driving our business. They will be working to support the delivery of sustainable, design-led infrastructure with a focus on developing thriving places with social and nature-positive solutions embedded into projects.
“Their combined experience will help drive forward our agenda for creating social and economic opportunity through better infrastructure in the communities where it is most needed, ensuring development creates a sense of place and, of course, delivering excellence for our clients at all times.”
Jones is an established business leader in the built environment sector with 30 years’ experience in urban planning, master-planning, mixed-use regeneration, global events and sustainable place strategies. His appointment in the newly created role will enable Atkins to engage more directly with clients and bring communities and the environment to the fore of clients’ decision-making.
Jones commented: “Building thriving places means putting the environment first when it comes to the planning of development, infrastructure and natural environments, and I look forward to advancing this principle in my new role. Atkins has a wealth of talent and expertise in planning, design and environmental disciplines. Through a more efficient and collaborative approach to projects, this experience can transform how clients approach decision-making, as well as result in more sustainable outcomes for communities impacted by development.”
Bonner, who has been appointed to the role of market director for the buildings and places team, has worked in the infrastructure sector for 30 years, most recently as a northern cities director for Arcadis. He will work across a number of portfolios including central and local government, education, commercial and residential and metros and stations.
He said: “By working with our practices, and leading the buildings and places team on delivery of design-led strategies for clients, we will be putting the importance of thriving places and positive social value outcomes at the heart of development. I am looking forward to working with our clients and our people and partners to support the delivery of their goals and ambitions.”
Dr Deb Upadhyaya joins Atkins from Homes England in a newly created role to drive the agenda on creating thriving places, as well as supporting the northern cities project team. As client director north of England for buildings and places, he joins with more than 20 years’ experience as a built environment professional and has led delivery of large-scale housing, regeneration, garden communities and sustainable urban design projects, both in the public and private sector.
Upadhyaya said: “The focus throughout my career has been on quality, socially driven, inclusive design-led sustainable places for people, underpinned through value-led partnerships that creates legacies that we can all be proud of. It is a focus I can bring to this new role at Atkins where I am able to work with a great set of clients in the region, which are onboard with the idea of putting sustainability at the heart of the delivery process to secure long-lasting positive and resilient legacies for the built environments.”