Future built on talent, creativity and innovation

The future for power portfolios worldwide is as exciting as it is challenging. Global spend on capital projects and infrastructure to 2025 is forecast to hit £78 trillion, with UK figures alone set to rise by a staggering 51 per cent.

In order to create value and secure these projects, the UK must ensure that it has the environment that delivers:

• Programme assurance across projects; plus

• Predictability and value for money.

The factors driving enhanced performance across projects in the energy sector are not, however, restricted to traditional areas of concern for business management, such as risk and cost. The industry of tomorrow must also be one that:

• Competes for talent in a global marketplace in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics);

• Creates, fosters, and even demands a culture of creativity and innovation.

“Construction is a borderless industry with resources moving globally across pro¬gramme networks. If we are to deliver the future in¬frastructure plan, the competition for talent must remain a priority for the UK,” says Nigel Curry, chief executive of leading international programme management and professional services consultancy Rhead Group.

“Talent, creativity and innovation are essential requirements in helping to deliver the next generation of programmes with greater assurance and predictability.

“At Rhead Group, we have invested significantly in attracting and retaining the best industry talent across the energy, power, defence and infrastructure sectors, which has supported a high level of client retention and expansion. Since our formation 29 years ago, we have retained our entrepreneurial agility coupled with an increasing strength in depth and breadth to support some of the most challenging construction programmes across the globe.”

As a category winner of the Ernst and Young Award for Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year 2014, Mr Curry is in the vanguard of project consultancy professionals helping to drive the business agenda forward. The success of Rhead Group in responding to current market trends has also been formally acknowledged, with receipt of the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade, in 2014, in recognition of an increase in global business of 20 per cent.

At Rhead Group, we have invested significantly in attracting and retaining the best industry talent across the energy, power, defence and infrastructure sectors

At Rhead Group, it is this understanding of the industry-wide need to prioritise development of talent, creativity and innovation that has brought forward such market-leading initiatives as the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the UAE, National Grid Building Information Modelling (BIM) Bank, plus a portfolio of talent and training initiatives.


The Abu Dhabi branch of Rhead Group was appointed by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC – Masdar in May 2012 to provide project management consultancy services for its regionally pioneering carbon capture and storage project.

Capturing CO2 for utilisation on an Abu Dhabi oil field for enhanced oil recovery, the project is being delivered under an Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Masdar joint venture, and comprises three main elements: a carbon capture compression and dehydration facility; a 43km pipeline and associated above-ground installations; and a receiving and transfer station to the reinjection cluster.

The CO2 is a manufacturing by-product from the Emirates Steel Industries Plant in Mussafah and, once complete, the project will capture up to 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide gas each year.


National Grid’s Building Information Modelling Bank, developed by Rhead Group, will be a free online, SharePoint repository of 3D and intelligent 3D models of permanent and temporary works for use by the transmission supply chain.

Using Network Innovation Allowance funding, the project is challenging the current approach of “solution mode engineering”. Too often the jump is made into mechanical, electrical, civil, control, instrumentation and cathodic protection detail, with considerations of cost, time and carbon only coming at the back-end of the design, too late for fundamental changes.

By pegging cost and carbon data to the 3D models, it should be the designers who are able to make informed economic and environmental decisions from the very start. The primary objective of the BIM Bank is to allow project sponsors and teams to achieve more consistent, predictable outcomes, at lower cost and carbon, with increased stakeholder satisfaction.


Rhead Group is pioneering a host of talent and training initiatives, in addition to graduate, management and leadership programmes, including:

• Project Controls Academy, with Rhead writing the official specification for training project controllers, together with the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board;

• Rhead Group’s training business, Construction Study Centre, has a wide range of courses to take delegates from basic to advanced awareness;

• Rugby Players Association project management awareness and training, to give players approaching the end of their on-field career an insight into opportunities, with many professional sports skills proving transferable.


These kinds of ground-breaking schemes and imaginative programmes are going to prove vital to an energy sector equipped to power the future, as Mr Curry concludes: “A sustainable energy future is an absolute requirement for the UK and poses an exciting challenge for engineers and project professionals. To deliver on that goal, the energy sector as a whole will need to balance its portfolio, considering cost and affordability, carbon reduction, and security of supply.

“Any strategic and systemic approach to this complex and evolving challenge is going to require confidence in delivering programmes with greater certainty and predictability, while demonstrating increasing levels of efficiency. This will require creative minds and a collaborative style of working, which challenges norms and the traditional method of working, while benefitting from advances in modern technology.

“At Rhead Group, we recognise the importance of this dynamic and have committed a significant investment to further enhance our IT and digital platform in addition to our training and development budget. This additional investment has already started to benefit our clients and will continue to support our growth as a leading independent programme management consultancy.”

For more information visit www.rheadgroup.com