Structures Practice Director
Atkins is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies. Atkins has been providing infrastructure planning, engineering, construction, environmental consulting, urban planning, architecture, and program management services to public and private clients across the United States for more than 50 years.
Atkins has the depth and breadth of expertise to respond to the most technically challenging and time-critical infrastructure projects and the urgent transition to a low-carbon economy.
Atkins seeks an energetic, motivated Practice Director to lead the operations of the Structural Engineering Practice, including a staff of approximately 90 employees within Atkins North America’s Technical Professional Organization (TPO), while seeking to leverage the capabilities of 600+ structural engineers in our global business. This candidate will support the Engineering Practice Director in creating plans to develop and grow centers of excellence within the structures practice. Prefer candidate to work from one of our larger hub offices (Austin, Atlanta, Denver, Orlando, Tampa).
Major responsibilities of the candidate: Facilitate effective staffing and resource allocation to projects and pursuits, works with human resources (HR) to assist in the recruitment and selection of additional staff, supervise and provides leadership to technical managers and senior technical professionals, provide direction on employee development activities and shared goals throughout the structures practice. Candidate will also be responsible for driving a culture of technical excellence throughout the structures practice by providing opportunities for growth and development of technical staff and ensuring sound quality control are employed by all staff while ensuring compliance to company policy, process, and quality control and safety procedures
Staff administration – Development and optimized utilization of qualified staff to deliver work is a critical component of this position. Director will lead efforts for selection of candidates for senior level positions and will provide guidance and approvals for personnel action of technical directors and resource managers. Director will work closely with business units (BU) and Atkins business development and sales organization (BDS) to ensure proper staffing levels and requisite skills to accommodate projected work mix and pursuits. Conduct semi-annual performance reviews and annual career planning sessions for direct reports. Promotes effective performance management and career development practices throughout the structures practice to ensure all employees reach highest possible performance level, job satisfaction, and commitment. Promote high employee morale and appropriate behaviors through personal leadership and frequent communication with individuals at all job levels. Ensure compliance with policies and procedures throughout the structures practice.
Project Production and Management: Ensure appropriate staff allocation to projects in consideration of project schedules, budgets, key milestone dates and work products. Monitors and enforces compliance with established quality control standards, ensuring that appropriate quality assurance activities are being performed throughout the operating unit. Ensures staff are adhering to project specific QC plans and facilitates periodic QA compliance audits on current or recently completed projects. Assists staff in resolving problems concerning work with the various business units.
Technical Excellence: Maintains visibility and professional currency by actively participating in professional and civic organizations and encourages staff to do the same. Works with Practice Director and other senior leadership to design and implement development tracks for technical staff, with a focus on building technical excellence at all levels of the organization. Serves as ANA point of contact to Atkins Bridge Working Group (BEWG) whose purpose is to raise the profile of Atkins’ capability in bridge engineering; ensure consistency and best practice; facilitate the development of bridge engineers; encourage innovation and cross-business cooperation; and support Atkins’ strategy.
Marketing and Client Maintenance: Identifies the industry trends for the structures practice and collaborates with the sales directors and business units, participates in the development of the strategic plan for the structures practice considering market trends and changes in production and delivery of services. With the sales directors, participates (or engages participation of direct reports) in pursuing new project opportunities for firm by maintaining contacts with current and prospective clients. May review project proposal preparations and interview teams. Identifies and works toward the resolution of client relations problems.
Contracts and Financial: Promotes financial accountability among project and task managers within the practice, soliciting feedback from BUs on an ongoing basis and developing project recovery plans as warranted. May assist business units with project related technical discipline level budgets and contract negotiations. Develops and recommends annual budget for approval by practice director and TPO director, including compensation and incentive allocations, appropriate expenditures for discipline related tools (software, hardware, etc.) to maintain competitiveness, industry engagement, staff training, and thought leadership activities. Monitor expenses against approved budget. Approves purchase requests for capital items as specified in the Authorization Matrix.
COMPLEXITY (Variety or uniqueness of tasks; relative difficulty or importance of work performed; size of unit supported, etc.): Work involves negotiating critical and controversial issues with top-level personnel within and outside the organization.
DECISION-MAKING (Supervision received; independent judgment or initiative; consequence of error): Work independently under general direction. Make approval decisions as specified in the Authorization Matrix. Consult with Supervisor on exceptions to budget.
WORK DIRECTION GIVEN TO OTHERS (Titles and number of personnel; type of direction given): Provide leadership and direct supervision to senior technical professionals, resource managers and technical managers, plus assigned technical and administrative support staff.
INTERNAL CONTACTS (Required interaction/relationship with others within the organization): Interface with senior technical professionals, technical managers, and administrative staff and managers as necessary. Delivers or ensures delivery of appropriate message content to all staff within the structures practice. May work directly with Recruitment and HR to facilitate appropriate staffing based on aggregate understanding of project requirements. Interfaces with BU and BDS regularly to ensure staffing needs for projects and pursuits are being met. Interface with other ANA technical practice areas for work sharing opportunities.
EXTERNAL CONTACTS (Required interaction/relationship with others outside the organization): Represent the organization in a leadership role to primary clients, key public officials, and sub consultants. Through prior projects, has industry recognition and relationships with clients or agencies within the structures practice; maintains these and develops new relationships with key clients and prospective clients in working with the BU and BDS. Is engaged in the structures technical community through participation in conferences, technical workshops and applicable organizations.
- Bachelor's degree in field of practice with technical excellence in one or more areas of the structures practice.
- Post graduate degree preferred.
- This level may be achieved by technical professionals or technical managers with Eighteen (18) years of experience since B.S.
- At least five (5) of these years in a senior staff management position with focus on operational excellence is required.
- Excellent technical and interpersonal skills.
- Proven ability to manage large scope operations and provide leadership to multiple levels of management.
- Must have business vision, excellent communication skills, and be able to represent the firm effectively to staff, clients, and the community in general.
- Promote high performance and consistent accountability at all levels within the TPO.
- Professional registration (PE) in field of practice is required.
- PMP is a plus.
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