16 MAR 2023


Three key appointments at Atkins are expected to bolster the firm’s position as a leading engineering, planning and design consultancy. 

Andrew Jones, Richard Bonner and Dr Deb Upadhyaya in the Infrastructure division of the business, which is part of the SNC-Lavalin Group, will drive forward the firm’s ambitious global commitment to developing design-led sustainable, thriving places and buildings and its work 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 recruiting such experienced industry leaders demonstrated Atkins’ 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,” McNicholas said.

“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, who will enable Atkins to engage more directly with clients and bring communities and the environment to the fore of clients’ decision-making, in his newly created role, brings 30 years’ experience in urban planning, master-planning, mixed-use regeneration, global events and sustainable place strategies. 

He said: “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.”

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.”

Dr Deb Upadhyaya will drive the agenda on creating thriving places, as well as supporting the northern cities project team in his newly created role, bringing more than 20 years’ experience as a built environment professional who has led the 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.”



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