Laing O’Rourke’s new strategies and innovation division has attracted some of the industry’s leading experts.

Laing O’Rourke’s new Engineering Excellence Group (EEG) has been put together to devise engineering strategies and give Laing O’Rourke a competitive advantage in its desire to lead innovation within the industry. The new centralised division will comprise a team of engineering directors in the key disciplines of heavy civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, and chemical process and manufacturing.

Professor Robert Mair will take up the position of chief engineering adviser, reporting directly to chairman and chief executive officer, Ray O’Rourke. Professor Mair will combine this consultancy role with his continuing commitments as head of civil and environmental engineering at Cambridge University. He will also provide strategic direction to the creation and implementation of the group’s research and development collaborations with universities, including their practical application onto construction projects to drive innovation and value creation.

Professor Mair takes up his new role on 1 October, when he steps down from his position as Master of Jesus College, Cambridge. In the interim he will be providing strategic advice to the company.

Dr Andrew Harris will also be joining the EEG on a full-time basis as the lead director responsible for chemical engineering. Andrew was associate professor and head of the sustainable engineering research group at the University of Sydney, Australia. His areas of expertise are in sustainable engineering and technology development, nanotechnology, zero emission product and process design, energy generation and water capture.

Commenting on the announcement, O’Rourke said: “The launch of the Engineering Excellence Group and these strategic appointments are significant milestones for Laing O’Rourke. They mark the beginning of the next stage of our journey, and are a tangible demonstration of our commitment to transition Laing O’Rourke into a world-class engineering enterprise.”