SKM named private business of the year

Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) is the 2009 winner of the Business Review Weekly (BRW) Private Business of the Year (Turnover >$100 Million) award in Australia.

In addition to the main award, SKM was a finalist in the categories of customer service, community practices and success in trading overseas.

Launched in 2008, the annual awards recognise the outstanding achievements of private businesses in Australia.

Accepting the award in Sydney, SKM Chairman, Peter Scott said the firm’s global success had exceeded the wildest expectations of its founders.

“In 1964, Bruce Sinclair and Jack Knight had a grand vision of creating a large business that would one day employ 35 people,” Mr Scott said.

“SKM now employs more than 6,500 people across seven continents to help shape some of the world’s most important infrastructure projects.”

The firm’s vision is to become a top 10 global design and delivery firm, aligning growth with the expansion of clients’ operations.

“Our aim is to continue to be where our clients need us to be, with the skills and technologies that will enable us to deliver the services they require,” Mr Scott added. 

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Award-winning steel projects

The Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol, England and the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane, have each scored wins in separate awards for design excellence.

Cabot Circus was one of five winners selected in this year’s Structural Steel Design Awards from a shortlist of 22 projects recognised for their efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics, sustainability and innovation.

Tim Roe, SKM Technical Director said Cabot Circus demonstrates steel’s key features of versatility, speed of construction and offsite fabrication.

“The SSDAs are renowned for commending projects regardless of their size, scale or quantity, with each project being judged on its own merit and the determination of a highly motivated project team,” Mr Roe said.

SKM was awarded the Structural Steel Building Design award for the Queensland Tennis Centre at the Australian Steel Institute Steel Awards.

The 5500 seat Pat Rafter Arena – with its “Queenslander” style stadium roof – is the showpiece of the new Queensland Tennis Centre. The centre also includes 23 other courts, providing a mix of clay, grass and cushion acrylic surfaces – the first facility in Australia to offer all three Grand Slam surfaces. 

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Sustainability poised to transform water industry

Delegates at the recent International Water Convention in Singapore were warned that, “a business as usual approach to managing water assets is not only inadequate, but bordering on the irresponsible.”

Geoff Linke, General Manager, Water and Environment at SKM, explained, “Water assets have a design life of more than 20 years. They also have the potential to influence how water is managed for many decades. Many water authorities have demonstrated strong corporate leadership in sustainability, but the leaders in our industry will be the organisations who seamlessly integrate sustainability with business principles and can confidently state it’s the way we do business.”

Mr Linke continued, “Today the industry context is entirely appropriate for a sustainability approach with the emergence of significant climate change trends, water shortages, increased water and energy costs, declining catchment yields, unreliable water quality, and fundamental changes in community values around water use and conservation. 

“Our industry is experiencing fundamental and long-term change in all its key operating parameters. A sustainability approach has much to offer water authorities – from strategic planning through to design decisions.”

Mr Linke said SKM’s own research, collated over a decade working with water companies in Australia, identified some key drivers proven to stimulate better design outcomes. 

“Our experience clearly demonstrates the principle that applying sustainability thinking to project decisions will stimulate design that promotes long term value, is more adaptable to future context, maintains reliability and promotes improved credibility and reputation within the community.”

Mr Linke told the convention that while the opportunity for the water industry to translate its strategic commitment into operational effectiveness was largely unproven, “I am optimistic however that the water industry is well positioned to play an important role as we move into a new era of sustainability.” 

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SKM pioneers integrated 3Di design and delivery

SKM is leading the engineering and delivery of integrated, intelligent 3D for resources projects with the development of a new capability which will revolutionise the way projects are designed and delivered.

SKM’s 3Di Project Delivery is the world’s first multi-disciplined, fully integrated, leading technology platform, which delivers a SmartPlant® 3D and Bulk Materials Handling model plus all the data required for project delivery. It is a data-centric system that will enable optimisation of standards, design reuse, modularisation, worksharing and integration with existing SKM delivery systems and processes, for the mining and metals sector.

SKM’s Global Engineering Manager for Mining and Metals, Denis Hamel, said that the technology would significantly improve cost and time efficiencies, creating real value in the design and delivery of projects worldwide.

The Bulk Materials Handling module is a specific solution for material handling work in mining, which has been built onto the solid existing SmartPlant® 3D technology. It is based around platework and conveyor designs.

SKM has worked with Integraph® to develop the SmartPlant® 3D Bulk Materials Handling module, and is currently integrating this with SKM’s global delivery systems.

“By integrating this technology with existing SKM systems, we will become the only Tier 1 engineering and project delivery company with the capability to design and deliver SmartPlant® and Bulk Materials Handling 3D for the mining and metals sector, using 3D modelling integrated with project delivery systems,” Mr Hamel said. “This will deliver significant cost and time efficiencies to clients.

“The productivity benefit is related to engineering producing more outputs for the same effort, with estimation, procurement, cost controls, scheduling, planning, management, construction and other project deliverables.”

Mr Hamel said that the new integrated 3Di technology would enable:

  • Design efficiency and reuse 
  • Global worksharing 
  • Integration with existing delivery systems and processes 
  • Optimisation of standards 
  • Increased productivity.

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Tony Innes a NZ “future leader”

SKM’s Tony Innes has been named the Telecom / ACENZ Future Leader 2009, in recognition of his leadership within New Zealand’s engineering industry.

After joining SKM in 2002 as a Senior Transportation Engineer, Mr Innes steered the growth of the Transport Planning Section and the success of a number of high profile projects. As the New Zealand Building and Infrastructure Operations Manager, Tony Innes is now responsible for 120 people and a NZ$20 million business unit.

New Zealand Regional Manager, Dr Michael Shirley, said, “Tony has consistently shown strong leadership from both a technical aspect as well as leading his team.”

Major projects that Mr Innes has been involved in, as a Team Leader and Transport Planner, include the Waitemata Harbour Crossing Study, the Transmission Gully Transportation Model and the Auckland Regional Transportation Model.  Tony is also the Project Manager for SKM’s Sustainability Committee in New Zealand, which develops initiatives to improve the social, environmental and economic impacts of the SKM business.

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