NEWS / Press Releases / European CEO Awards winners Announced


08 NOV 2016


2016 winners announced at gala ceremony in London

Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) is pleased to announce the winners of the European CEO Awards 2016.

The annual European CEO Awards, now in its sixth year, seek to highlight exceptional leadership and business best-practice within Pan-European engineering and consultancy firms.

Chosen first from this year’s pool of nominated entries across Europe, then from the shortlist of twelve individuals, the winners were selected by a judging panel composed of industry experts and leaders throughout Europe.

Winners were recognised and celebrated at a gala dinner in London on Tuesday 8th November. Winners will also be recognised during a special award winners’ session as part of the 2016 European CEO Conference, Disruptive Forces - Making our industry ready and fit for the future, occurring 9-10 November 2016.

Speaking on the winners, the chair of the 2016 judging panel Mario Marti, Managing Director of Swiss Association of Consulting Engineers said: "This year’s winners are truly leading the industry to a better tomorrow. They are truly innovative inspiring role models that achieve not only project success and staff satisfaction, but healthy profit margins as well."

Winners for the European CEO Awards 2016 are:

Sterling Award – Pierre Verzat - Systra
- Sponsored by FIDIC and presented by Jae Wan Lee

A true global advocate of consultancy and engineering, judges were impressed with the scale of Pierre’s business success as well as his active participation in SYNTEC Ingénierie and promotion of unity with European programmes in the sector. First appointed to a CEO position at the age of 31, Pierre has been an avid advocate of the sector in France and globally through FIDIC, whilst overseeing the transformative merging of two competing public sector organisations into a united company with progressive growth. Championing thought leadership over the last 7 years and motivating the next generation of engineers, Pierre has been recognised for his services to the sector by the award of the French Order of Légion d’Honneur in 2009.

CEO of the Year Award – Small Firm – Greg Hayden, Ethos Engineering
- Sponsored by Infrastructure Intelligence, presented by Andy Walker and Natasha Levanti

Judges were inspired by Greg’s ability to galvanise his employees and industry to achieve success. Currently the honorary Secretary of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland, Greg is a firm advocate of moving consultancy and engineering progressively forward through seizing the benefits of technological innovations such as BIM, recruiting young professionals across many disciplines and truly valuing the skills of existing staff. Having established Ethos Engineering at a time of difficulty, he was able to steer the business successfully by fostering staff skills through utilising initiatives including ‘Bring em home’ to attract engineers back to Ireland, healthy mind and body initiatives, career progression programmes and local charity involvement.

CEO of the Year Award – Medium Firm – Graham Nicholson, Tony Gee and Partners
- Sponsored by ACE, presented by Gavin English

Judges were impressed by Graham’s hands-on approach to leadership alongside his eagerness to innovate and hone business practices. With a strong commitment to developing future engineers and engaging in projects with high engineering content, Graham’s leadership has seen Tony Gee and Partners grow from a small to a medium sized, profitable organisation with specialised offerings available to global developers and contractors. Over the years Graham has been highly involved in ACE, serving in positions from treasurer to chair, and now an actively engaged leader of Technician Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC), a top apprenticeship and skills development model in the UK having grown from 6 initial apprentices to well over 1000 today.

CEO of the Year Award – Large Firm – Dr Uwe Krueger, Atkins
- Sponsored by Matchtech, presented by Grahame Carter

Judges were inspired by Uwe’s drive to achieve not only in his role leading a global business but maintaining a role as a university professor, as well as engaging in global infrastructure debates through his involvement in the World Economic Forum. A true ambassador for the industry on all fronts, Uwe works to support cross-industry efforts to encourage the prioritisation of infrastructure investments. Through internal leadership and gender programmes to the One Atkins 2020 programme he has brought ingenuity, collaboration, and efficiency to Atkins practices, enabling significant levels of business success within the last five years, including the successful launch of Atkins Acuity.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Eva Nygren, BENygren AB
- Sponsored by WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, presented by Mike Rogerson

Having started as an architect and ended up running a multimillion global consultancy while serving in a non-executive position at the Swedish Transport Administration, judges describe Eva as a true industry ‘Diamond’. Eva has achieved outstanding business results over the course of her career. During her time at Sweco she fostered success amidst acquisitions, while creating a leadership programme to develop and utilise the full spectrum of skill on staff. Active in STD, she has become a beacon for women not only at Sweco, where over 25% of company leaders are women, but also industry wide where her career triumphs have paved the way for women in this historically male dominated industry.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Allan Cook CBE, Atkins
- Sponsored by WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, presented by Mike Rogerson

Serving as a lead non-executive member at the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, whilst leading the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity Leadership Group, as well as an active Chairman of a successful global business, Allan is described by judges as a bridge between industry and government. Having started in the industry as an apprentice, Allan swiftly progressed in both industry as well as governmental circles, truly evangelising the profession. Awarded a CBE in 2008, and actively chairing several skills groups, Allan has continually worked towards industry wide progress for the benefit of society.


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