Engineering in London

Published: 03 Sep 2012

As a vibrant, dynamic and ever evolving capital city, London is a magnet for new building projects and major infrastructure works, such as the 2012 Olympics and the development of King’s Cross Station. And as one of the world’s major cities, not surprisingly it is also home to some of the world’s premier engineering companies, covering every aspect of the sector, who have either their headquarters or a primary office here.

These companies include:

Balfour Beatty, a leading global infrastructure business, with operations in over 80 countries. Founded over one hundred years ago in1909, it has been heavily involved in the development of the UK’s infrastructure, from the construction of Scotland’s hydro-electric power industry through to the tunnels and escalators of London’s Underground.

A recent merger between WSP and Genivar turned it into a global design engineering and management consultancy, with a combined revenue of £1.1bn and 14,500 employees spread over 300 international offices. WSP set up in the UK in the 1970s and first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1987. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest international consultancy groups in the world with a global staff of some 9,000. It specialises in property, transport, infrastructure, industry and environment projects.

In 1946, Ove Arup founded his eponymously named company in London, which now has 14 offices in the UK and an international reputation for project work that encompasses building design, infrastructure, environmental and management consulting projects of all sizes.

Atkins was originally W S Atkins and Partners, established in London in 1938 by Sir William Atkins. The company went on to be floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1996. It now has nearly 17,500 staff members worldwide and with a revenue of £1.71 billion has been the UK’s largest engineering consultancy for the last 14 years. It is the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

AMEC is one of the world’s leading engineering, project management and consultancy companies. Employing over 27,000 people globally, its shares are traded on the London stock market, where it is included in the FTSE 100 index. Among AMEC’s clients are some of the world’s largest organisations, including BP, Shell, EDF, National Grid and even the US Navy.

Network Rail, which is responsible for running, maintaining and developing the UK’s entire rail infrastructure, is one of the country’s largest engineering companies. Its expertise means that it is also involved in other major engineering projects in Europe.

Babcock International Group is an engineering support services company that, in its 2012 financial year, had revenues of £3,070.4m and employed more than 27,000 people worldwide.

Though the company was originally begun in the US, it is now firmly established as a major UK player, working for such clients as the Ministry of Defence, for whom Babcock has refitted the British nuclear submarine fleet. It also maintains Britain’s Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs) and is involved in the UK rail industry.

These companies may be the largest providers of engineering jobs in London, the UK and abroad, but they are just the high profile tip of a highly successful industrial sector.

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