Atkins has quadrupled in size in Qatar during the past 18 months to about 400 people and is working on some of the state’s highest profile infrastructure projects. Stewart will be responsible for spearheading the company’s continued strategic growth throughout its key sectors.
He joins Atkins from Wates Group, where he was group production director responsible for introducing change and leading the development of operational excellence in construction operations, including quality, safety, efficiency, sustainability and technical innovation. Prior to that, he held senior positions at both Hyder and Halcrow, including a seven-year spell leading Hyder’s business in the Middle East region. His international experience also includes leading Halcrow’s business in Central and Eastern Europe.
“I’m very excited and motivated by the opportunity presented by Atkins in Qatar,” he said. “The business has developed an excellent platform for strong and sustainable growth in what is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant markets in the world for our sector. I look forward to bringing my skills to bear to ensure we really excel in supporting our clients to realise Qatar’s National 2030 Vision for world class infrastructure.”
Richard Barrett, chief executive officer for Atkins in the Middle East, said: “Qatar is one of our most important strategic growth markets. We were determined to bring in a managing director with first class credentials who is capable of building on our tremendous success during the past 12 months, while ensuring we remain focused on delivering an exceptional service to clients.
“I’m confident that in Rod we’ve found the right candidate. He brings with him tremendous gravitas and integrity, combined with an excellent track record of delivery.”
Atkins first established a presence in Qatar in order to provide design and supervision services for the Dukhan-Doha Highway in 2002. The company’s current portfolio of work includes a contract to deliver road infrastructure in around a quarter of Doha on behalf of Ashghal, while in January the Ministry of Municipality & Urban Planning appointed Atkins to provide the planning and integration resource for a central planning office (CPO). The CPO is responsible for co-ordinating the road, rail, metro and other key programmes which are to be delivered throughout Qatar during the next 20 years.