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United Kingdom / Management consultancy / Projects director

Richard Colville


Mott MacDonald approaches things a little differently, and I feel that we are actually appreciated as a specialisation that can add value to projects as opposed to overpaid bean counters -  a great relief!

Why did you decide to join Mott MacDonald?

I actually joined Franklin Andrews in 2002, with Mott MacDonald buying them around about the same time. I joined Franklin Andrews from another consultant thinking I’d escaped working for a consultant engineer who didn’t really value quantity surveyor’s and entered the PQS environment – Mott MacDonald approached things a little differently though, and I feel that we are actually appreciated as a specialisation that can add value to projects as opposed to overpaid bean counters -  a great relief!

What is the best thing about your role?

Over the years I’ve been given a lot of freedom to do what I want and also given a lot of responsibility by my peers. This has culminated in my current role as a projects director with highways sector leader responsibility where I now get to influence the opportunities we chase, the clients we work for, and the type of work we do.

This allows me to get involved in quite a varied portfolio of work, and more importantly to me, to be part of the team responsible for winning the next commission that keeps us busy and helps to grow the business

How would you describe the culture of Mott MacDonald?

Friendly and driven. Occasionally bumping into some of the senior management in various offices and them actually taking time out to speak to the staff makes a big difference.

How has your career developed at Mott MacDonald?

I joined as a senior quantity surveyor back in 2002 looking after a small highways project for a private developer client in Peterborough that had got into a bit of a mess. This allowed me to prove my abilities and get involved in more complex projects. Early in 2003 I was asked to get involved in the ‘Area 4 Highways Maintenance’ contract in Kent to look after Mott MacDonald’s commercial interests in the JV, and there I stayed for the next 9 years! This project gave me the opportunity to develop my own skills in a contracting environment and also with line management responsibility, and also gain the confidence of the contractor by being appointed as the commercial manager on behalf of the JV rather than just Mott MacDonald. As my experience has developed I’ve always been given the promotions I feel I’ve deserved without having to ask. As long as staff can be flexible in their work with regards projects and locations, the opportunities to progress are definitely there to be taken, and Mott MacDonald will encourage you to take on these challenges.

When you’re not in the office where can you be found?

Usually wherever my wife tells me I need to be!

Who or what inspires you?

A lady called Temple Grandin – If you haven’t read her book or seen the film, it needs to be on your bucket list. She’s an autistic woman who became an animal behaviour expert and professor of animal science while struggling to cope with her own disability and anxiety. Her perseverance to overcome her disability to achieve her ultimate goals in animal welfare and help people understand autism from a personal perspective has been incredible. In 2010, she was listed in the ‘Times 100’ most influential people in the world in the ‘heroes’ category – when you read her story you will understand why she deserves that badge, and why I see her as so inspirational. If you want something badly enough, persevere and adapt, and you’ve got every chance of achieving it.

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