Atkins (company)

WS Atkins plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSE: ATK
Industry Construction, design, engineering and business services
Founded 1938
Founder Sir William Atkins
Headquarters Epsom, Surrey, United Kingdom
Number of locations
Offices in 28 countries
Key people
Allan Cook (Chairman)
Uwe Krueger (Chief Executive)
Services Consultancy services
Revenue £1.862 billion (2016)[1]
£143.4 million (2016)[1]
£103.4 million (2016)[1]
Number of employees
18,052 (March 2016)[1]
Subsidiaries Faithful+Gould

WS Atkins plc (commonly known as Atkins) is a British multinational engineering, design, planning, architectural design, project management and consulting services company headquartered in Epsom, Surrey. It was founded in 1938 by Sir William Atkins.

As of 2016, Atkins is UK's largest engineering consultancy and the world's 11th largest global design firm.[2] It employs approximately 18,000 staff based in 300 offices across 29 countries and has undertaken projects in over 150 countries. Its motto is "Plan, Design, Enable".

Atkins is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The original company, WS Atkins & Partners, was established by the late Sir William Atkins in 1938 with offices in Westminster in London. In its early years the practice specialised in civil and structural engineering design work but expanded rapidly after World War II into specialist services in town planning, engineering sciences, architecture and project management.

In 1996, WS Atkins was admitted to the London Stock Exchange and began trading as WS Atkins plc. In 1996 it also acquired Faithful+Gould, a cost and project management consultancy firm.[3]

In the late 1990s WS Atkins worked on the Burj al Arab hotel, which was completed in 1999.[4]

The company has been trading under the Atkins name since 2002. In that year it also bought Hanscomb, construction consultants.[5]

The company experienced a number of financial difficulties in 2002, with the share price falling to 50p, the Chief Executive, Robin Southwell, resigned, along with Finance Director Ric Piper, who was also told his new job at Trinity Mirror was no longer open to him.[6] Keith Clarke replaced him, joining from Skanska.[7]

Atkins was one of the five shareholders in Metronet, the London Underground maintenance company that failed in 2007 leading to Atkins having to write off its investment.[8]

In 2009 Atkins was selected as the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Games. The company provided building services design, civil engineering and structural engineering, acoustics, fire protection engineering, and accessibility services.[9]

Atkins staff levels declined as a result of the global recession, with losses of approximately 3000 staff between April 2009 and February 2011, although the overall headcount remained relatively stable with the acquisition of the American company known as PBS&J in August 2010.[10][11] PBS&J, founded in 1960, was a Florida-based, nationwide provider of engineering, planning, architecture, construction, environmental, and program management services.[12]

In June 2011, Atkins announced it was buying the oil and gas business of Finnish global consulting firm, Pöyry for €17.25 million. As a result of the acquisition, around 130 staff from Pöyry's Perth, Stavanger and Aberdeen offices integrated into Atkins' Energy business unit.[13] In 2014, Houston-based oil and gas offshore engineering business, Houston Offshore Engineering, was acquired for £45 million. This acquisition added another 150 people to the business and increased the headcount of oil and gas specialists to over 1,000 from its operations worldwide.[14] In 2014 Atkins were in the running to purchase Parsons Brinckerhoff from Balfour Beatty, but were outbid by WSP Global.[15]

The company announced in April 2016 that it had acquired the Projects, Products and Technology (PP&T) segment of EnergySolutions for £206 million therefore strengthening Atkins’ nuclear multidisciplinary capability to a 2,000-strong global team.[16]


An Atkins' construction site house at a building site in Hong Kong.

Atkins provides engineering and design consultancy services in various regions:[17]

Atkins also has an Energy business providing engineering and project management services.[17]

Corporate Leadership

Uwe Krueger was appointed as chief executive in August 2011 following Keith Clarke's retirement.[18]

Board of Directors

As of August 2016, the current WS Atkins board members are:[19]

Notable projects

The lobby of the Burj Al Arab hotel.
The MS Oasis of the Seas at anchor in Nassau, Bahamas.

Atkins’ notable past and current projects include:

Asia Pacific

Europe (ex. United Kingdom)

Middle East

North America

United Kingdom


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Results for the year ended 31 March 2016". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  2. "Atkins at a glance". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  3. Atkins to buy out Faithful+Gould Construction News, 25 January 1996
  4. "September 2000 CE Article & Questions - Designing with structural fabrics". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  5. Hanscomb recommends shareholders accept W.S. Atkins offer Orlando Business Journal, 28 May 2002
  6. "Personal finance - How to grow your wealth and spend less money - Telegraph". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  7. "Atkins poaches Clarke". Building. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  8. Terry Macalister. "Metronet woes cost WS Atkins dear". the Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  9. LOCOG appoints Atkins
  10. "Atkins reveals workforce fell by 2,500 in 18 months". Building. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  11. "300 more jobs to go at Atkins". Building. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  12. "WS Atkins buys into US with $280m PBSJ deal". The Independent. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  13. Atkins acquires additional expertise in the oil and gas sector
  14. Atkins acquires Houston-based oil and gas engineering business
  15. Failed Parsons Brinckerhoff bid cost Atkins £4.5m
  16. Atkins creates world leading nuclear services consultancy with acquisition of US nuclear business
  17. 1 2 "WS Atkins PLC, ATK:LSE profile -". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  18. Atkins announces new chief executive Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. "Board of directors". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  20. "Centaurus". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  21. "Regatta Apartments". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  22. "Projects". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  23. "Atkins reveals design for Asia Aerospace City in Malaysia - 15 July 2014". Atkins. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  24. "Capital Fort - Offices for rent". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  25. "Bahrain World Trade Center". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  26. "Burj Al Arab". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  27. "Dubai Metro". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  28. "Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro". Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  29. "High potential (Interview with Rod Steward)". 16 January 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  30. "The Address Project". Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  31. Hunters Point Shipyard Archived 21 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. "Howard County - Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant". Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  33. Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System Archived 14 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.

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