Winners announced of the 2021 Consultancy and Engineering Awards

The winners of this year’s Consultancy and Engineering Awards have been announced online by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) at a virtual ceremony earlier today.

The winners of ten prestigious awards, which celebrate the outstanding people, teams and projects from the world of consultancy, engineering and the built environment, were unveiled during a specially recorded broadcast on YouTube and the ACE website.

Awards were made across ten categories which included Best Pandemic Response, Client Advisor of the Year, Best use of Digital, Net Zero Advisor of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, Emerging Professional of the Year, Inclusive Employer of the Year, Best UK Consultancy (micro), Best UK Consultancy (SME), and Best UK Consultancy (large). The headline sponsors for this year's awards were Bentley Systems and Griffiths & Armour.

The Best Pandemic Response category was won by Buro Happold. The judges were impressed with the leadership shown by the company in its response to the Covid pandemic and the way that they rose to the challenge of working remotely and focused on the needs of clients with the launch of their Covid Adaptation Advisory Service. The judges also praised Buro Happold’s support of their employees throughout the pandemic, surveying staff across the year with a key focus on wellbeing and mental health. The company’s work supporting local communities was also an impressive feature of an excellent all-round entry.

This year’s Client Advisor of the Year winner was Mott MacDonald. Their digital benchmarking index tool, which demonstrated a strong client advisory role was praised by the judges who said that the entry had an extremely impressive impact and was also a very good example of working with a client while delivering benefits for the wider industry. 

The award for Best use of Digital was won by Deetu/BWB Consulting for an entry which outlined their work shaping the urban regeneration of Nottingham’s waterside using advanced digital tools to define community requirements and increase community engagement. The judges admired the way Deetu had grasped the opportunity to shape the regeneration in a way that used digital to show the benefit of the project to society which led to significant engagement with local citizens.

Harley Haddow were the winners of the Net Zero Advisor of the Year category for their entry which featured an innovative digital twin which brought different modelling methods together to enable clients to easily assess both cost and carbon savings. The judges praised the firm for its work in allowing clients to scenario test different technologies and take into account both the cost and carbon implications of different technology applications.  

The first of two individual awards, the Apprentice of the Year, was won by Georgia Lilley of Waterman Group. She impressed the judges with her passion and enthusiasm about STEM, equality and diversity and won plaudits for challenging perceptions of apprenticeships and her passionate advocacy for helping more women into the industry. Lilley’s activities outside of her employment were also praised, including company internal sketch clubs, Woman in Engineering, Women in STEM, Young Apprenticeship Ambassador and the Virtual Stem fest, including hosting career stands and providing talks to schools. 

The Emerging Professional of the Year was Dr Marzia Bolpagni of Mace. During her interview, the judges were very impressed with how she had developed links with academia, inspired young people and is changing the industry through her work on standards and linking digital skills and innovation to sustainability. Her work encouraging students to consider a consultancy career was particularly singled out for praise by the judges who said that Bolpagni was a very worthy winner.

This year’s Inclusive Employer of the Year was WSP. The company impressed the judges with their recently introduced strategic plan and operational actions to support both short and longer term views around inclusivity. WSP demonstrated strong evidence of the strategy and plan being brought to life through powerful testimonials which highlighted an array of diversity areas. The company had a “lived and breathed” culture where staff appear to be in the driving seat as change makers, said the judges.

The winner of the Best UK Consultancy (small) award was Beatie Flanigan who impressed the judges by the sincerity and genuine heartfelt response from a firm which who mobilised themselves with courage during an extremely difficult time. Beattie Flanigan seemed to thrive in the face of the adversity of the pandemic, with a community response that leaped out, and a clear focus on caring for their staff. The Nightingale hospital project that they were involved in formed a key part of an impressively cohesive community response.

The Best UK Consultancy (medium) category was won by Services Design Solution. They impressed the judges with their very clear mission statement and also the development of their charitable work, as well as mental health awareness initiatives and introducing mental health first aiders across their organisation. They did all this while demonstrating a strong financial performance at the same time.

The final award to be announced was the always-coveted Best UK Consultancy (large) category. This year’s winners were Tony Gee and Partners, who demonstrated real success in an extremely difficult year. The company’s pledge to net zero and innovative approach to the use of their board was both interesting and impressive, said the judges who also praised the firm’s innovative and effective splitting of project delivery, financial and staff support.

Congratulating the winners, ACE’s interim CEO Laurence Brett, said: “The last 18 months have been especially testing for everyone, but it didn’t stop us receiving some fantastic and truly inspiring entries that showed all the ingenuity our sector is famed for. We are delighted to celebrate the achievements of the industry and the ten worthy winners announced today.

“Returning after a long delay owing to the pandemic, the awards were successfully delivered online for the first time in its history. ACE is looking forward to building on this online success and, circumstances permitting, returning to a more traditional awards ceremony in the future.”

Click here to watch the online awards ceremony for the 2021 Consultancy and Engineering Awards

The full list of winners is listed below.

  • Best Pandemic Response – Buro Happold
  • Client Advisor of the Year – Mott MacDonald
  • Best use of Digital (sponsored by WSP) – We Are Deetu / BWB Consulting
  • Net Zero Advisor of the Year (sponsored by Arcadis and supported by EIC) – Harley Haddow
  • Apprentice of the Year (supported by TAC) – Georgia Lilley of Waterman Group
  • Emerging Professional of the Year (supported by ACE Emerging Professionals) – Dr Marzia Bolpagni of Mace
  • Inclusive Employer of the Year – WSP
  • Best UK Consultancy (micro) – Beattie Flanigan
  • Best UK Consultancy (SME) – Services Design Solution
  • Best UK Consultancy (large) – Tony Gee and Partners
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