Mott MacDonald duo receive RAENG President's special award for pandemic service

Two engineers, Martyn Frackelton and Ian Watkins, from Mott MacDonald who have 30 offices in the UK and in 11 countries around the world, have received the President’s special award for pandemic service from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAENG). 

The award is recognition of their exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19 in the UK.

The Nightingale hospitals in NW London, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow where Mott Macdonald had varying roles as project manager, lead designer, cost consultant and employer agent. The hospitals were a widely acclaimed achievement in the not always efficient efforts to fight the pandemic. It was mostly the army that received fulsome praise in the media for their excellent planning and assembly of the hospitals. A RAEng award to Mott Macdonald for their work on the Nightingale hospitals highlights how an ‘engineered approach’ can achieve success, especially when the chips are down.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, now President of the RAENG and Principal of Strathclyde University, says: “The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest public health crisis of our time and has presented society with multiple challenges. Engineering expertise and innovation has been central to the global fight to save lives and protect livelihoods.

“I am also incredibly proud of engineers everywhere who have worked round the clock to maintain essential services, critical supply chains and infrastructure in unprecedented circumstances, using their training and skills to find innovative solutions to a host of problems and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives.”

Liz King, Mott MacDonald’s head of excellence said: “The work we have done on the COVID-19 response hospitals reflects our resilience as a business to deliver an outstanding service in a short space of time. Our ability to adapt and deliver right first time to support the NHS in being the best it can be is something we are very proud of. Congratulations to Martyn and Ian on these awards and everyone else who has been involved in the delivery of these hospitals, showcasing excellence during these challenging times.”

As the infrastructure industry raced against time to complete NHS Nightingale hospitals across the UK, Martyn, Ian and many other Mott MacDonald colleagues volunteered to get involved and offer their skills to help protect the NHS.

As technical lead for NHS Nightingale London, Ian led Mott MacDonald’s team who worked with NHS England and NHS Improvement to deliver the Britain’s first coronavirus response hospital. This focused around the non-clinical areas and supporting infrastructure including non-clinical flows, access, emergency vehicle movements, accommodation and other external and surrounding infrastructure. A chartered civil engineer, Ian’s usual area of is rail and transportation, having delivered major infrastructure projects including the Battersea Power Station tube station in London.

Martyn used his 20 years’ experience of project management in the education and health sector to manage the creation of NHS Nightingale Hospital North West. Working with Mott MacDonald colleagues, he coordinated the transformation of the Manchester Central Convention Complex from an exhibition centre to a healthcare facility with up to 630 beds. As project manager for Mott MacDonald, Martyn was the key interface between the contractor, IHP, and the NHS team that was responsible for the ambitious project.

A wider team of project managers, engineers and cost consultants from Mott MacDonald also supported delivery of The Dragon’s Heart hospital in Cardiff where the company was project manager, lead designer, cost consultant and employer agent for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. In Scotland, Mott MacDonald provided project management services to the NHS for the NHS Louisa Jordan hospital in Glasgow. This covered overall integration of the work streams, on-site logistics planning, operations coordination, facility management advisory services, as well as design input to bring about schedule and successful delivery of the hospital.

Richard Cantlay, Mott MacDonald’s global head of healthcare facilities said: “We’re immensely proud of our work on four of the Nightingale hospitals, which continue to offer extra capacity to the NHS this critical time. Our congratulations go to Ian and Martyn and the wider team who also deserve recognition for their efforts. It really has been a collaborative effort and shows Mott MacDonald at its very best.”

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