Waterman hires ex-Mott MacDonald consultant as technical director

23 April 2018 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
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Plans to haul British transport into the 21st century are generating a wave of lucrative public contracts. The Waterman Group is among many UK-based consulting firms expanding their talent pool with logistics and planning specialists in hot demand.

Expanding its public planning and transport offerings, multidisciplinary consultant the Waterman Group has hired a former Mott MacDonald specialist as technical director. Darren McCrohan, whose project work has spanned the globe from Manchester to New York, will lead the growing transportation, planning and traffic engineering team at Waterman.

The role is based in Manchester, where McCrohan has a wealth of practical experience. He had a hands-on role in helping Metrolink expand its East Manchester Line and was regional director of Aecom’s North West traffic engineering team. From Manchester, McCrohan’s responsibilities will include Waterman projects across the North West, and also in the Midlands, North of England, and Scotland.

Darren McCrohan, Technical Director - Waterman

John Hughes, regional director for Waterman Infrastructure & Environment, said, “I am delighted to welcome Darren to the team. He brings a wealth of experience and has worked on numerous high-profile projects. His appointment reflects our continued commitment to grow our infrastructure team in the regions.”

Electric avenue

Keen to help clients secure lucrative public contracts to remodel the country, consultancies with a specialist transport and logistics focus are expanding their talent pools across the board. Like McCrohan’s move to Waterman, many of the hires involve established consultants testing their experience on new sectors, different regions and more senior roles.

Mott McDonald recently poached Alan Bain transport expert from rival consultant Systra. Over at PwC, Charlie Johnson-Ferguson saw 21 years of dedication rewarded with a promotion to Transport and Logistics advisory lead.

Earlier this year Brevia Consulting, which offer the full spectrum of client services across the public affairs industry, made former Labour MP Rob Flello its Chairman of Brevia Transport. Flello sat on the Science and Technology Select Committee before being unseated in 2017 and also spent six years as a tax advisor with PwC before launching his own consultancy.

Knowledgeable consultants with political pedigree are in vogue as British public authorities struggle to cope with increasing business, consumer and demographic demands for a serviceable transport system. British railways are consistently ranked as mediocre on a European scale and there is now a political, as well as business, imperative to haul public transport into the 21st century. In response the Conservative government has pledged to invest £40 billion into a range of ambitious projects, including the controversial HS2 high-speed rail connection.

Electrifying motorways and establishing vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging technology are among these prodigious infrastructure projects that consultancies will be eager to land an advisory role. Consulting firm Navigant was one of the first beneficiaries after the government announced its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars after 2040. Navigant is part of a new consortium engaged in a multi-million pound pilot project to create local electric car charging hubs for residents.