John Morris
Mace People

John Morris

Associate Director - Project Management

Consultancy, UK

John is one of our experts on IT systems; supporting project, programme and construction management for large scale infrastructure work. 

With over 24 years experience of working with leading utility companies and having worked on major capital programmes, John has managed the delivery of strategic change programmes that have delivered tangible benefits.

How did you get into what you do?

I wanted to be an engineer when I was younger but ended up going into computing, which in the mid-80s was just getting started. Following Thames Water's privatisations, it was looking to expand its non-regulated businesses so I joined and spent 14 years in its services division implementing systems to support large scale capital programmes in utilities, rail and defence. 

During my time there I got involved with lots of joint ventures which is where I first got introduced to Mace.

How has working at Mace helped you develop?

I’ve definitely diversified my skill set working for Mace. It has given me the opportunity to have greater visibility of the construction side of large programmes, projects and infrastructure. I was used to working from an office desk but now I’m exposed to more of the muddy boots side which is fantastic and I really enjoy it. I’ve also had the opportunity to be part of the energy management team which has given me opportunities to get to know, and work with, the top players in the nuclear industry.

What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?

I enjoy being part of major capital infrastructure projects – knowing that you played a part in something big is really satisfying. I also enjoy the professionalism of our team and absorbing their knowledge and expertise - I have great colleagues and clients.

What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?

Bidding, winning and setting up the AMA [Areva – Mace – Atkins] joint venture to design, engineer, procure and construct a complex nuclear waste processing plant. It was a fantastic project that enhanced the reputation of Mace and all those who worked on it.

What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?

I think virtualisation, augmented reality and computer aided virtual engineering will continue to grow. Other trends will cover security and resilience fields within critical national infrastructure. Economies and countries are dependent on their infrastructure but are vulnerable to disruption and cyber-attacks. Technology now enables you to virtualise a plant or power station and really contributes to the efficiencies and safety of the design. I hope I will be playing a part in this movement and experimenting with new ways of doing things.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I’m a petrol head. I have three old classic cars which I enjoy fixing up and then driving, plus it distracts me from taking up cycling.

If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?

I’m pretty sure I’d have stayed in computing. Who knows, I could have come up with Facebook or Google. The engineer in me would always have wanted to help build a nuclear power station though. My dream has also been to run my own classic car touring company - spending my days touring France and Italy in a fleet of classic sports cars.

John Morris

“I enjoy being part of major capital infrastructure projects – knowing that you played a part in something big is really satisfying.”