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Top 100 : 2009
VER ST UENTIAL ENGINEERS CONSULTING Nigel Robinson, 55 Executive Vice-President for Geographies at AECOM Civil engineer, Leeds University, UK E arlier this yearNigel Robinson was promoted to become one of six executive vice-presidents who, together with the chief executive, chairman and vice-chairman, run AECOM worldwide. He is the only non-US person on the team. AECOM is an international engineering consulting giant with some 43,000 employees worldwide. At present it is undergoing an organisational restructure, to be completed by the end of this year, which will result in all its subsidiary companies, including Maunsell, Bassett, Earth Tech and EDAW in Australia, trading under the AECOM name. Robinson’s responsibilities cover the company’s geographic operations worldwide (including North America) comprising around 25,000 personnel and revenues of more than US$3 billion. He is based in Dubai, as the company has several mega projects in the United Arab Emirates, including the US$18 billion Al Raha Beach development and the US$27 billion Saadiyat Island cultural district in Abu Dhabi. He is currently spending two to three weeks out of four travelling, he said. He came to AECOM through Maunsell. Des Whybird, 57 Chairman of GHD, Brisbane Civil engineer, University of Queensland D es Whybird became the chairman of consulting fi rm GHD last November, following the retirement of Clive Weeks. Prior to this appointment he was the company’s chief executive for fi ve years. During that time he led the company’s rapid growth, with the number of employees standing at 6000, operating in 15 countries and generating revenue of more than $1 billion. GHD’s most recent international expansion has been in the US, where it merged its operations with four companies in the water and wastewater business. Whybird said the international economic downturn has hit the company hardest in the area of building and property development in the United Arab Emirates. However, wherever possible, it has redeployed staff to growth sectors such as health, education and aged care. His leisure activities include golf, reading and cryptic crosswords. Roger Olds, 53 Managing Director of Coffey International, Melbourne Civil engineer, Monash University U nder Roger Olds’ leadership Coff ey International continued its rapid growth in 2008. Th e compan revenue of nearly $420 million in the fi rst half of the fi nancial year to December 2008, a 75% incre the same period in the previous year. Even allowing for a slowing in growth this year, the company is lik to fi nish the fi nancial year well above last year’s results. Th e company now has more than 4000 employees operating in some 80 countries. Olds believes it is well placed to weather the current economic downturn due to its diversifi catio in its services and geographic spread, which allows it to redeploy its expertise across activities an countries as needed. “Th e areas we’ve seen hardest hit are mining and commercial property. Primarily it’s a matter of whether our clients can access capital,” he said. One of his activities outside work is fund raising for the Monash University Engineering Founda- tion and a motor neuron disease charity. In his leisure Olds enjoy family time, keeping fi t, playing tennis and gardening. 50 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2009 Zimi Meka, 49 Chief Executive Offi cer and Managing Director of Ausenco, Brisbane Mechanical engineer, Queensland University of Technology Z imi Meka was one of the founding directors of consulting engineer Ausenco and he has been its chief executive officer and managing director since 1999. The company is now listed on the Stock Exchange. It has some 2300 employees oper- ating from 26 offi ces in 13 countries – in Australia, Asia, Africa and North and South America. The economic downturn has slowed its growth and the company expects revenue for 2009 to be around $500 million, down from $600 million for 2008. But he pointed out that the company has just won several new contracts, in Australia as well as Brazil, Canada and the US. In his leisure Meka enjoys keep- ing fi t with his main activity being cycling.