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Kudos in Construction Logo

Placing the spotlight on people, not just data.

Kudos in Construction Logo

Barbour ABI are creating a monthly series documenting the best the construction industry has to offer. Not organisations, not data-led research, but the people, those people that are championing a cause or producing excellent work in a particular field of expertise.

Our Focus This Month: Major Projects and Project Management

This month Barbour ABI is paying tribute to those amazing people that are really making a different within organisations and on specific projects.

We’re giving Kudos to those working on Major Projects and Project Managers that are introducing innovation, creative thinking and investing their knowledgeable experience to maneuver through a multitude of challenges to continue to deliver projects that are on a budget and on time, with a high satisfaction rating to happy customers. Amongst those in the list are up and coming talent that will continue to excel in the industry to become well-renowned and reputable throughout the construction industry.

Key Features


Martyn Woodhouse,
Project Director @ Mace/HS2 Euston

Played a major role in the reconstruction of Birmingham’s main railway station and shopping mall and is now the Project Director for one of the largest developments in the UK – HS2 Euston.

Bio and Background:

Martyn is the co-founder and current Director of Partnering Regeneration Development Ltd (PRD), providing strategic development and direct delivery services for private, public and social sectors. Martyn has a history of managing and structuring regeneration projects, working with design and solutions teams to collaborate with key stakeholders to respond

Construction Kudos:

Performed a senior role within the reconstruction of Birmingham’s main railway station, Birmingham New Street and Grand Central. Martyn made good use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and lean construction to streamline processes and keep wastage low, (i.e. Regaining six months lost to asbestos).

Martyn also provided consultancy support to the HS2 Growth Partnership and collaborated with Continental Railways and HS2’s key stakeholders to bring forward development and regeneration on the back of significant HS2 infrastructure investment and is now a key part of the HS2 Euston project.


Was also Construction Manager of the Year in 2009

Resource Links:






Mace Logo
Tideway Logo


Andy Mitchell,
CBE @ Tideway Tunnel

Currently, helping to tackle tens of millions of tonnes of sewage polluting the River Thames through construction projects. He is also a Co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC).

Bio and Background:

Andy Mitchell was a Programme Director of the £14.8bn Crossrail and Leading Engineer on the Crossrail Board spearheading the largest infrastructure programme in Europe. Andy has also had a hand in other infrastructure programmes such as Thameslink and is the CEO of Tideway and Council and Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC). Amongst these, he has also held key positions within development projects in the UK and globally, his outstanding leadership qualities have seen him identify talent and internally promote them within engineering, programme delivery and supply chain areas.

Andy’s leadership under CLC has also seen him form a working relationship with the government, striving to promote key innovation areas of digital, manufacturing, and smart technologies.

Construction Kudos:

Chris led the critical infrastructure requirements within Tideway Tunnel and Crossrail to meet the long-term social and economic well-being of London, responsible for financial and delivering a major new sewer for London. Andy has also led global development projects in France, South Africa and Hong Kong.

Resource Links:






John Hilton,
Project Director - West Cumbria and Head of Special Projects / Programmes @ United Utilities / Thirlmere Pipeline

Building the pipeline to stop water supplies for Cumbria and other regions in the UK from Ennerdale Water to meet environmental regulations. The £300m project was the biggest water project in the UK and was the first major Haweswater Aqueduct upgrade for 65 years.

Bio and Background:

John has held key roles within United Utilities since 2011, from Network Operations to Operational Services and Head of Special Projects/Programmes.

Construction Kudos:

John was the Project Director overseeing the long-term security of drinking water supplies for the West Cumbria and other areas of the country through 100km of pipeline, one of the biggest projects in the UK.

The £300m project consistent of 100km of new pipeline to bring water from Thirlmere reservoir to West Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. New pumping stations and new service reservoirs were needed to meet environmental regulations, whilst the management of significant environmental challenges were required throughout. This is seen as the first major upgrade on the Haweswater Aqueduct for over 65 years, completed in Spring 2020 ensuring continuous supplies of water in the long term.


This project included supplies of water catering to 2.5 million customers in Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester

Resource Links:






United Utilities Logo
Pocket Living Logo


Marc Vlessing OBE,
CEO @ Pocket Living

Marc Vlessing has a strong background in corporate finance, company management and venture capital. He is well renowned for being London’s first private developer who focuses on delivering grant-free affordable homes for first-time buyers.

Bio and Background:

Marc Vlessing has a strong background in corporate finance, company management and venture capital. He is well renowned for being London’s first private developer who focuses on delivering grant-free affordable homes for first-time buyers. His background was purely focused on affordable housing for the middle class, hence the introduction of Pocket Living which delivers affordable houses to those with low to moderate incomes. Per annum, Pocket Living has a minimum of 200 homes.

Marc has a rich background as a corporate financer, property manager and working in media. He is chairman of the UK’s most successful venture capital trusts for small to medium growth companies. As part of his key objectives, his focus is to ensure housing is affordable and easy to access finance. He is also the Chairman of ProVen Growth & Income VCT Plc, a venture capital trust that invests in a diversified portfolio of VCT-qualifying unquoted companies. The company selection is driven by potential and future growth.

Construction Kudos:

Pocket Living has delivered 750 homes since 2005, with funding for 1000 more homes agreed for 2021. As part of his housing market revolution, his drive is to deliver compact and affordable housing and well-designed apartments.

He noticed that developers were building oversized three-bedroom flats within its portfolio. He identified that 15 or more apartments are obliged to include a quota of affordable housing or face a financial penalty. As part of his negotiation with local authority planners, he sold 14 apartments to owners and occupiers at 20% below market rates. He would offer no social housing and would build flats that would be smaller than existing space standards.

This approach has now seen Pocket Viewing build over 250 such homes outside central London, and has sold a 50% stake to the Related Companies group which pocketed the company 25m. This stake had projected the company to earn a turnover of £38m in its first year. Typical buyers are 32 years of age and earn £40,000 a year.


The average first-time buyer in London pays £280,000 for their home
Turnover of £1.2 million in 2020
Plan of delivering 3000 homes in the next ten years

Resource Links:






Margaret Conway,
Design Coordinator @ McAleer & Rushe

Became the first woman to win Construction Manager of the Year, paving the way for many other women to enter the field of construction and project management.

Bio and Background:

Margaret graduated from Ulster University in 2006 obtaining a construction engineering degree. In 2010, Margaret joined McAleer and Rushe and has held a variety of roles in the company, such as Bid Manager and Project Manager.

Margaret also worked closely with non-profit organisations to facilitate tours and lectures in colleges for plumbing and electrical students.

Construction Kudos:

Her first role as Construction Manager involved working on the 22m nine-storey office block at 9 Adelaide Street in Belfast City Centre. Margaret was well recognised for delivering outstanding leadership and making considerable cost savings of over £1m whilst completing the project two months ahead of schedule, receiving an Excellent BREEAM rating.

Margarets work meant that she became the first woman to receive the UK Construction Manager of the Year Award with a Gold Category medal, coming on top against 84 finalists. She’s been working to develop an Apprenticeship Degree programme to promote construction roles for future students.

Resource Links:





McAleer and Rushe Logo
Dogger Bank Wind Farm, SSE and Equinor Logos


Felicity Wann,
Operations Leader @ Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm

Responsible for the engineers managing the day-to-day operations of the 3.6GW wind farm. She has a strong background in offshore operations and has worked at Equinor for seven years across various roles in health and safety and emergency response services.

Bio and Background:

Felicity has a background in offshore operations and has worked at Equinor for 7 years within the health and safety and emergency response. Appointed new Operations Director and Leader for the ‘worlds largest offshore wind farm’ to generate around 5% of the UK’s electricity needs. Felicitys remit was to manage the day-to-day operations of the 3.6GW wind farm.

Felicity has held previous roles as a supervisor and emergency response coordinator at Statoil, delivering oil, gas and renewable energy to meet sustainable emissions and renewable energy targets as part of the Government’s net-zero campaign.

Construction Kudos:

Felicity facilitated the construction of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm located over 130km from the North East coast of England, playing a key role in ensuring the right people, procedures and processes are in place. Felicity will also be facilitating offshore construction of the Wind Farm due to begin in 2022.

Resource Links:







Lianne Lawson,
Construction Manager @ Willmott Dixon

Led the team delivering the £21.6m Dixons Trinity Chapeltown Academy in Leeds and has been involved in many different multi-million-pound projects over the past few years.

Bio and Background:

Lianne has a strong background in construction beginning with her university studies, obtaining a degree within Construction Management. Liannes first Project Management role began in Interserve Construction, where she was awarded a Training Trust Award and Employee of the Year in 2015, her work involved coordinating and managing the safety, construction and commercial aspects of key construction projects such as the £20m Piazza Learning Centre, the Leeds Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Secondary School refurbishment, £2.5m Hepworth Ward and the £1.3m Yorbuild Framework extension.

Other roles include serving as the Board of Directors representing the Construction division of Interserve, to maintain quality delivery, whilst continuing to support employees and the local community.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) revealed Lianne was on the shortlist for Construction Manager of the Year for 2021 as part of the UK’s 77 chosen Construction Managers, acknowledging delivering projects to an extraordinary standard.

Construction Kudos:

Lianne lead a team delivering the £21.6m Dixons Trinity Chapeltown Academy project in Leeds, building a 980 school-place building for primary and secondary students, embedding the CDC’s (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) operating procedures and completing the project ahead of schedule.

Lianne’s team won the Department of Education (DfE) award for ‘Going Above & Beyond in Covid-19’ Contractor Award 2020.


Chapeltown Academy school covers 40,000 sqm and caters for 420 primary school pupils and 560 secondary school pupils
Successful handover of the project six weeks ahead of the contract completion date

Resource Links:






Willmott Dixon Construction Logo
BAM Logo


Emily Hoggins,
Project Manager @ BAM Construct UK

Led the team that built 22 Handyside Street, considered one of the highest risk construction projects in the UK due to the three Grade II-listed rail tunnels under the building itself.

Bio and Background:

Emily has been present within BAM Construct UK for 12 years as a Project Manager. Her journey in construction began with obtaining a degree in Construction at the University of the West of England.

Emilys first role in BAM Construct involved delivering one of the riskiest construction projects in the UK, delivering three Grade II listed rail tunnels to create London’s newest offices at Kings Cross, leading to her receiving the coveted Construction Manager of the Year Award.

Construction Kudos:

Delivered the development of the 36,000 sqft mixed-use office block, Grade II-listed, Victorian-built structures with great difficulty citing significant challenges owing to the foundations of the three-storey block and external challenges such as protests from Extinction Rebellion. Emily was commended for delivering the programme on time and within budget.

Emily also received exceptional customer feedback owing to her ‘on the ball’ strategic decisions, empowering her team to complete the building on schedule.

Resource Links:







Dale Harris,
Project Manager @ Morgan Sindall Construction

Travelled along the breadth of the UK to work on high-end construction projects, such as the restoration of the historic Pantycelyn Halls of Residence for Aberystwyth University, the Grade II listed building, which involved external restoration and internal refurbishment with ‘mastery’ construction techniques, and delivered a no-defects completion whilst saving nearly £1m in the process.

Bio and Background:

Dale has an interesting background in the lead up to construction. He took a four and a half year apprenticeship, and once qualified, travelled over the country to work with a variety of on-site constructors, for example, working at Pool Construction which include laying out pool dimensions, installing gas lines and pressure testing. Dale also worked on solar projects before moving to Morgan Sindall Construction, where he has been part of the team for four years.

Construction Kudos:

Shortlisted for the 2021 Construction Manager of the Year for playing his part in the £16 million restorations of the Pantycelyn Halls of Residence for Aberystwyth University. The restoration required external renovation and internal refurbishment spanning 70,000 square feet. This involved the development of modern bedrooms, high-speed internet, communal catering and leisure spaces for students and the local community.

Dale saved nearly £1m on a project with a high satisfaction rating from the client.

Resource Links:





Morgan Sindall Logo
HS2 Logo


Clara Lenzi,
Assistant Project Manager @ HS2

Considered the future face of the construction industry, rising through the ranks from Apprentice Project Manager to Assistant Project Manager as part of the integrated project team on one of the UK’s biggest construction projects HS2.

Bio and Background:

Clara obtained a degree in Project Management at Northumbria University and has also obtained a multitude of certifications such as Women in Project Management, a Full Association for Project Management (APM) Member and Asbestos Awareness Training.

Claras first role within project management involved working on 2, £64 million ventilation shafts where she managed risks, costs and schedules accordingly. She has been working on the HS2 railway project for just over four years as an Assistant Project Manager, focusing on the Old Oak Common Station and is responsible for reviewing, monitoring and controlling costs, risks and quality delivery.

Clara is considered an ‘upcoming talent’ in the engineering industry and is one of 320 apprentices who’ve supported HS2.

Construction Kudos:

Clara looked after the four multi-million-pound ventilation shafts and tunnels, progressing towards her goal of becoming a Chartered Project Manager. Calara also supported the demolition of the former sheds at Old Oak Common ready for construction of the rail link. IN addiotion. To this work, Clara is also spearheading HS2’s International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) campaign to attribute to attracting more women into construction.

Resource Links:








Project management is a key discipline for the successful delivery of construction projects according to specification, from planning through to delivery. Construction management helps to identify and mitigate potential problems that could significantly delay the project and cause budget overruns.

With careful analysis and creative thinking being two of many skills that coordinate the successful delivery of a project, successful Project Leads, Heads, Director and Managers can always deliver on time while finding budget and time-saving opportunities. This list outlines some of the most exciting and experienced project management talents in the construction industry that has overseen some of the most challenging projects to date throughout the UK.

Read all of our previous reports here: https://barbour-abi.com/knowledge-hub/construction-market-intelligence/kudos-in-construction/

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