With a lifetime of international civil and structural engineering expertise behind them, Brian Bell and Barry Johnson, who worked together on major projects for many years, have set up a new consultancy, Bell Johnson.
Brian previously worked with Barry in Kier’s engineering department from 1976 to 1988 before joining Robert Benaim & Associates, where he became a director.
Having retired last month from Kier as Chief Engineer after a career spanning 38 years, Barry has now set up business with Brian, who has been running his own consultancy in Royston, Hertfordshire, since 1999.
Among their wide-ranging capabilities are bridges, concrete structures, cut-and-cover structures for roads and railways, and marine structures.
“We aim to offer clients a quality of service above the average consultant,” said Brian. “With long practical experience of working closely with contractors as well as architects and other professionals, we believe we can bring a more focused approach to a project, looking at the big picture and finding smarter ways of doing things right from the outset.
“Currently, the construction industry suffers from being polarised, with the thinkers and the doers too often at opposite ends of the spectrum. We want to achieve a more integrated and cohesive approach.”
Barry commented: “We share similar backgrounds and a similar approach to engineering solutions, so it makes sense for us to come together to build a durable and successful business.”
Both partners have a strong track record working on underground structures and are already contributing to London’s CrossRail project.
Among his first activities as a consultant, Barry Johnson is heading back to Hong Kong, to assist Kier as it bids for work on the latest Mass Transit Railway schemes now being developed. His previous experience in the region includes the Hong Kong Central Subway for the airport railway and Mei Foo Station, as well as road, rail and water projects stretching back to the Seventies.
Other notable career milestones include designing various permanent and temporary works on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, designing a £16m jetty in Thailand, and drawing up plans for installing submerged tunnels for the cooling water system at Sizewell B nuclear power station.
Brian Bell’s engineering work has also taken him all over the world, covering bridges and viaducts, foundations, retaining walls, falsework, gantries and cut-and-cover structures, and acting as an expert witness.
As well as schemes throughout the British Isles, his design work includes tunnelling on Singapore’s Central Expressway and for railways in Singapore and Hong Kong; bridge-decking gantries for China’s superhighway and similar projects in Thailand and Hong Kong; and falsework over five live rail tracks at Kuala Lumpur’s Central Station.
Bell Johnson’s offices are located at Upton House, 4 Baldock Street, Royston SG8 5AY. Telephone 01763 243688.
Brian Bellis a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Institution of Structural Engineers. He is also a member of the Standing Committee on Structural Safety and has served on various IStructE committees and task groups. He is past chairman of its Bedfordshire branch and lives in Shingay-cum-Wendy in Cambridgeshire.
Barry Johnson is a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. A winner of the Archibald Denny prize for structural theory when an undergraduate at Cambridge, his capabilities cover design of both temporary and permanent works for major projects. As Chief Engineer in overall charge at Kier Engineering Services, he was responsible for all aspects of its management and engineering output. A resident of Cambridge, last summer he supervised the installation of 13 new bells and a new bell frame (which he designed) in the tower of Great St Mary’s Church, where he has been a regular bell ringer since his undergraduate days.