Company profile: Infrastructure “is what we are about”, says Amey's new boss

What is it like to work for Amey’s consulting business? New managing director David Spencer gives his view after three months at the helm and three colleagues share the stories of their working life. Jackie Whitelaw reports.

In the last three months Amey has won its first job in America looking after Dallas highways with joint venture partner Webber and with another partner, Keolis, is taking on the operation of the Docklands Light Railway for the next six and a half years. It has also confirmed its reputation in the rail sector by being selected for Network Rail’s electrification and plant framework.

For David Spencer, new managing director of the company’s consulting business who joined just three months ago, these wins have more than confirmed that his move from Capita’s property division was a good decision.

“I can’t take any credit, but things have gone far better than I ever expected,” he says. He had been watching how infrastructure has become increasingly appreciated as a way of driving the economy. “I’m a civil engineer. Infrastructure is what I love. I realised that this was the right time to move somewhere with a particular focus on infrastructure and that is what Amey is all about. It is concentrated on infrastructure from investment through delivery to operation and maintenance.”

“I am very interested in how we get the most out of our existing infrastructure and in particular running it smarter and more efficiently.” David Spencer, Amey.

Back in February the business, as part of the DBFO also reached financial close on the £500M M8/M73/M74 deal to build and maintain motorway in Scotland and Spencer is enjoying being involved in developing the operation and maintenance strategy for the roads.

“I am very interested in how we get the most out of our existing infrastructure and in particular running it smarter and more efficiently,” he says. 

As managing director of the consulting business he leads a team of around 3000 which is growing at some pace.

“It is a great place to be for consultants and design engineers who like to work in an organisation which understands how to deliver things. Working with colleagues on implementing solutions is a very rewarding career,” he says.

“The key thing for us is to be able to relate to our customers, adapting what we do in terms of consulting as their needs change and evolve.” That is external customers and also customers within Amey itself and the parent company Ferrovial. The plan is also to add new sectors and services such as utilities and power to the Amey portfolio.

“We have a lot of experienced people but there is always room for more as we grow and diversify – people with a variety of skills and level of experience. We like to make the best of everyone and find the right roles and ways of working to suit them. 

“I am finding that Amey is a very agile organisation that offers a lot of flexibility, fascinating projects and opportunity for career development. We are an ambitious and growing organisation and there is room for all to come and help us.” by Jackie Whitelaw

Career profiles at Amey's consulting business

Charles Oldham, Associate director

My job is to create a Strategic Consultancy Team for Amey. Our business is focused around improving the performance of businesses that depend on infrastructure assets. 

We are addressing the technology questions in infrastructure using data and analytics to understand how assets are performing and to forecast future cost risk and performance which allows more effective planning. 

The team is largely made up of infrastructure engineers with analytic or software skills. This allows us to combine technical knowledge with data gathering and use the information that has been collected, sometimes for many years, to form an understanding of assets.

We are diversifying into such areas as remote monitoring and the use of the vast amount of SCADA type data that is being collected, but is largely unused and then the implementation of change that is required to use assets more effectively.

Working with Amey I have been able to build a team of very bright and motivated consultants many of whom, but not all, are at the start of their careers. 

I am really enjoying the intellectual challenge of the job and the opportunity to work with bright and interesting people.


Emma Roberts, Civil engineer, roads

I am currently working on Amey’s Transport Scotland South East Trunk Road Unit contract, managing the design of structural maintenance schemes on the network. Amey has helped train me from school and next year I will be hopefully becoming a chartered engineer with ICE via the technical report route.

The biggest benefit I have found in my time at Amey has been the multiple opportunities that are available and
the varying work on all sorts of
different projects and contracts to get involved with.

I joined the company part time in 2004 after a summer placement and while studying for an HNC in civil engineering. After my HNC I asked the business to sponsor me to go to university, also part time on a BSc (Hons) in environmental civil engineering. 

I graduated in 2009, and with Amey’s training support achieved incorporated engineer status in 2013 following my professional review with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

My next career ambition is to fulfil the requirements to become a senior engineer within Amey and gain chartered status.. 

I’ve found that Amey is very committed to assisting with training and development of its staff and I will continue to get the support and mentoring I require to enable me to further my Professional Qualification with the ICE.


Albina Jevsejeva, Graduate engineer, railways

I have been with the consulting business for 14 months and I am currently working on a resignalling scheme at Bromsgrove and another at Birmingham New Street along with culvert assessments elsewhere on the rail network. 

I am finding that the benefit of working with Amey is the variety of projects I can get involved with. I have also worked on a couple of bridge reassessment models for instance. 

I am also very supported in my ICE training scheme. As a company, we always operate as a team. It doesn’t matter if a colleague is sitting next to me or miles away in Scotland. We use technology so effectively to communicate, whether it is emails, Lync or phone conferences. And the colleagues around me are always happy to help and if they cannot, they direct me to someone who can. 

I am also given quite a lot of responsibility. Each individual at Amey is responsible for delivering high quality work within given time constraints in a competitive market place.

What attracted me to this business was that Amey is one of the few consulting companies that has the capacity to deliver large scale projects at any stage of an asset’s life cycle. This means I have the opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of services. 

An important aspect of Amey is the safety culture. We put safety first through our Target Zero ethos and objectives and we all share our knowledge and experience in order to make things better. And safer.

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