Water Research Centre (WRc), an RSK company and one of the world’s leading scientific and sustainability consultancies, has appointed Andy Blackhall as its new Managing Director, effective from 1 April 2021. The independent centre of excellence for innovation and growth, based in Swindon, UK, boasts more than 90 years’ experience of delivering leading technical research and innovation services to the global water, waste management and energy sectors. It joined the RSK group in August 2020. Current Managing Director, Mark Smith, will move from the position, after 32 years at WRc, into a new role as RSK Group Business Development Director for Water, supporting all RSK businesses as the group collectively develops into a leading global player in the water sector.
Andy joined WRc in 2018, as head of asset management. He was later appointed as commercial director, responsible for the organisation’s strategic growth. In FY2021, the company delivered its strongest trading performance for the past 10 years. During this period, Andy has also worked for Her Majesty’s Government as a water specialist for the Department of International Trade, working across the globe to promote the strengths and capabilities of the UK water sector.
The announcement comes at a significant point in WRc’s history, as, having joined the RSK group in 2020, it is expanding its service offering and is going from strength to strength in the industry. The business forms part of RSK’s agriculture, land and property management (ALPM) division, led by Ian Strudwick.
“Andy’s 15 years in consulting, contracting and water utilities provides strategic and operational breadth of view,” comments Ian. “Andy has extensive experience in technology and innovation and is an advocate for the sector’s ability to contribute to the future of sustainable green growth. He has already been instrumental in securing opportunities for WRc and his new role will enable him to grow these opportunities.”
Andy holds additional roles as a non-executive director for British Water and the non-government organisation Waterwise, which is responsible for promoting sustainable water use in the UK. Andy is also the current chair of British Water’s international forum, where he represents the views of the UK supply chain.
Andy comments, “Owing to its long heritage in the UK and international water and waste-management sectors, WRc is focused on supporting governments, regulators, utilities and customers in the water and waste-management sectors on their journeys to a more sustainable, resilient and greener future. I am very optimistic and excited about the future that lies ahead of WRc, now it is a part of the RSK group.”