Mott MacDonald


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Mott MacDonald Group: Built to Last

When a business first starts out, their aims are relatively simple; perhaps gaining a certain amount of clients in a certain span of time, or simply turning a profit. As these are gradually accomplished, the business will branch out until they wind up wary of nearly all its operations.

Mott MacDonald Group qualifies for this standing, with a track record of over 50 years of excellent service to speak of. They oversee all aspects of development through to completion, and continue expanding their portfolio in any way possible.

In 2010, the group purchased Hughes Trueman, a New South Wales multidiscipline engineering firm with offices in Sydney, Canberra and Wagga Wagga.  A more recent purchase is Australian Water Technologies, an equally versatile specialist of its trade.

Current Urban Development Practice Leader Chris Avis worked for Hughes Trueman for over 15 years. When the acquisition took place, he found himself in an ideal situation.

“I’d always had a great passion for providing families with homes,” says Mr Avis. “They’re the most important purchase that most people will make in their lives, and we have a responsibility to ensure that they are affordable and secure.”

The company’s preference for multi-purpose affiliates is warranted by its numerous available services. These include but are not limited to transport, urban development, power, water, health and education, buildings, transport, highways and sustainability

“We have a proven track record in design consultancy,” lists Mr. Avis, “project management and technical advisory services across a range of sectors. We also divide the business across our regions, providing a vast regional network across the world. Each sector’s practice leaders communicate constantly across the world, making for a network of global expertise that we bring to each and every project.”

This expertise has certainly come in handy at times. For example, it surely helped during projects such as the Brisbane Airport Link and the Adelaide Oval; each were high-profile jobs done to spectacular final effect.

“It’s been quite remarkable taking some of the major projects,” says Mr Avis. “One of the most difficult was definitely the Adelaide Oval project. The construction had to be sequenced around matches scheduled to be played, so the pitch had to be lifted and re-laid . It’s one of the most iconic and picturesque cricket grounds in the world, and it was quite a major development to create.”

Being up to such monumental and momentous tasks, one might think Mott MacDonald Group would have been repeatedly recognized for their excellence. One would be right; their list of honors is almost as diverse as their array of services.

They won the Building Award for Engineering Consultant of the Year in 2013, as well as all three Technical Advisor awards at the Infrastructure Journal Awards (for best overall technical advisor, energy and infrastructure). Other proud victories include the Occupational Health and Safety Gold Award, and they recently won Consultant of the Year at the NCE/ACE Awards.

Despite their plentiful victories, the group remains perennially focused on how to take that next step.

“With a culture  technical excellence,” stated Mr Avis, “and a focus on sustainability we believe that we are a place people want to work at. If we’re passionate about our work, the clients will get the best value possible.”

The group is definitely not without passion. They make a point of being personally involved throughout the industry, for the express purpose of doing the best job possible each time.

“We have a number of staff members,” explains Mr Avis, “that actively participate in industry bodies and represent associations. It’s important to connect with likeminded professionals in the industry; you can share opinions and problems, collaborate, and get out of that competitive mentality to offer the best possible value in project delivery.”

In fact, the group’s only true competition may come from sources beyond their particular realm of control for the time being.

“I’m quite focused on the housing shortage in Sydney,” said Mr Avis. “At the moment, we have $700,000 median house prices, and record foreign investment putting more pressure on those prices, so they’re quickly becoming unaffordable for young families. Something needs to be done to drastically increase the supply of housing.”

Once that something is done, and possibly even if it is not, Mott MacDonald Group will be around, doing whatever needs to be done next.


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