Justin Norman has just been appointed the New Managing Director to Atkins Ireland and Irish Construction Industry Magazine was delighted to be able to talk to him about his progression through the company and about his ambitions for the company in taking advantages of new opportunities.

ICIM: What attracted you to the engineering industry in the first place?

JN: “In school I had a passion for maths, science and technical subjects. As a child when I wasn’t playing football, I would spend hours playing with Lego or constructing forts and bases with my friends. As I grew older, during the summer holidays, I worked with my Dad on construction sites around Dublin.

“A career in Engineering was a natural choice for me as I had a passion for solving problems and understanding how different components came together to form the overall. At the age of 17 after completing my leaving certificate in 1994, I eagerly accepted a place in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Bolton Street, Civil Engineering course.”

ICIM: Briefly chart your career path to date.

JN: “My career path is slightly unorthodox. After completing the full-time civil engineering certificate course in DIT, I was offered a position with a consulting forensic engineering practice, Denis Wood Associates, in Dublin. Part of the package was the option to continue my education whilst working full-time.

“I studied part-time in the evenings for three years to obtain my Diploma in Civil Engineering. I moved to Michael Punch & Partners in 1999 to work as a structural technician because I wanted to move into design and construction-based consulting. Again, whilst working full time, I completed my Structural Engineering degree over a four-year period.

“My goal after graduating with an honours degree, was to become more involved in structural design. I accepted a position as structural design engineer with Atkins in 2003 where I quickly progressed through the ranks from design engineer, chartered engineer, project manager to project director.
“I took charge of the Atkins Engineering division in Ireland in 2007 and subsequently took over the management of the Engineering Water and Environment Division in 2009. In 2016, I once again returned to part time education and completed an executive MBA to hone my financial and strategic approach to business.

“Upon the retirement of Tom O’Malley, my mentor of over 15 years and long-standing Managing Director of Atkins, I was appointed Managing Director of the Atkins Ireland business in June 2018. I was very lucky that, at each stage of my career, I was surrounded by a very strong network of peers and mentors who believed in and supported the advancement of my career, my education and my development. “

ICIM: What attributes and leadership skills do you think are most important when being a top executive in an engineering company?

JN: “Establishing trust with our clients and staff is crucial to our business. Trust with our clients is established through listening, understanding, engagement and accountability for delivery on our commissions. We are passionate about becoming the premier engineering solutions partner, committed to delivering complex projects from vision to reality for a sustainable life span. To realise this vision, we must fully understand our client’s needs and expectations.

“We approach each project from a position of partnership and collaboration and strive to provide our clients with the best engineering talent to deliver our combined objectives. To fulfil our commitment to provide our clients with the best talent, we must inspire our current staff and attract new staff by providing an environment within our organisation that is flexible, fosters innovation and empowers our people to excel.”

Read more in our September/October Issue back issue available email catherine@mcdmedia.ie for details.