New Zealand Key People
The success of the establishment and growth of the Robert Bird Group New Zealand offices can be attributed to the teamwork and expertise of our staff. The office has grown off the back of retaining key staff returning from international offices as well as the local recruitment of talented individuals. To all our staff, past and present, thank you for your valued contributions. A special mention to our leaders who set the tone for a great culture and continue to push the bar higher across the globe.
Ross Lucas, General Manager (New Zealand)
Ross is a business leader and Chartered Civil Engineer with expertise in the design and delivery of infrastructure and development projects. As RBG New Zealand’s General Manager, Ross provides governance and leadership to the teams in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch. He also provides design and project leadership, acting as Project Director across a number of projects.
Ross has worked across multiple sectors and is experienced in multi-discipline infrastructure and development projects, having delivered projects in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Egypt, the Middle East and India. Drawing from these experiences Ross brings a solutions-focused holistic view to delivery, and strong communication and project leadership skills.
Simon Randall, Operations Manager (New Zealand)
Simon is a Chartered Structural Engineer and experienced Design Manager with over 15 years of experience in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. His career has spanned a variety of buildings projects, locations, and roles, giving him a valuable depth of experience. As a designer, he has carried out lead structural engineering roles on projects in the commercial, arts and residential sectors in the United States, Europe, and Africa, broadening his skills in structural glass, seismic engineering, and the use of alternative construction materials.
In 2021 Simon was promoted to Operations Manager (New Zealand). Simon leads the Commercial and Process Pillar locally while also acting as the Design/Project Manager across a number of the major projects in New Zealand.
Tom Watson, Principal – Wellington
Tom is a Chartered Structural Engineer and structural discipline leader for the RBG Wellington office. Tom is an industry-recognised technical leader in structural engineering with specialist knowledge in seismic engineering, concrete technology, numerical analysis, and construction engineering. His combined technical and construction knowledge is highly valued by clients. Tom has demonstrated his engineering abilities on numerous technically challenging projects across New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and the United Kingdom. These projects have crossed a variety of sectors in both Buildings and Infrastructure.
Jonathan Chadwick, Principal – Auckland
Jonathan is a Chartered Structural Engineer and structural discipline leader for the RBG Auckland office. Jonathan joined RBG in 2007 in the RBG London office before returning home to NZ in 2017. Jonathan has extensive experience working across a large number of complex projects in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. This breadth of experience falls across several sectors, including public infrastructure, commercial, health, aviation, residential and renewable energy.
Jonathan combines technical excellence with a strong construction engineering knowledge base, leading complex analyses for long-span roof structures, such as stadiums and airport terminals, vibration-sensitive structures such as lightweight bridges and undersea tidal turbines, tall towers and deep basements. As well as running local projects in Auckland, Jonathan continues to apply his world-class technical engineering experience on global projects.
Damian McBride, Principal – Christchurch
Damian is a Chartered Structural Engineer with over 30 years of experience. He is a Principal in the RBG NZ business and leader of the NZ construction engineering discipline, with an extensive background in structural permanent and temporary works in NZ, Australia and the United Kingdom across a wide variety of sectors including industrial structures and buildings, transport infrastructure, water and energy, stadia, deep excavations and high-rise buildings. He is well versed in seismic engineering, including seismic upgrading of existing buildings. Damian was a contributor to the UK Temporary Works forum and is also a founding member of the NZ chapter. He has extensive construction engineering knowledge and a passion for integrating smart, safe and efficient construction methodologies and temporary works into holistic permanent works solutions. While this skill set is important for all projects it is particularly relevant for the large complex projects in which Damian is often involved.
Brad Nichols, Principal – Auckland
Brad is a Chartered Structural Engineer who spent over 10 years in our RBG London office before returning to NZ in 2018 to develop the RBG business locally. Brad has experience in delivering major buildings projects in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. He has expertise in residential, commercial, public and mixed-use buildings, deep basements on constrained sites and complex construction methodologies. Significant project highlights include Nova Victoria, Crown Casino Sydney and Nga Kainga Anamata. Brad is a champion of sustainable design and efficient use of materials and is well respected by clients for his engineering leadership in multidiscipline coordination and value management.
Duncan Thomson, Civil Team Leader – Auckland
Duncan has over 20 years of experience in design and civil infrastructure projects, working both in local government and design consultancies. Duncan has worked in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australasia, and contributed to a number of national award-winning projects. Duncan has extensive knowledge in the areas of geometric and 3D modelling for major highway and infrastructure projects of varying sizes including road realignments, roundabout design, grade-separated and at-grade interchanges/intersections in both the urban and rural environments. He is also experienced in the delivery of streetscaping and urban development projects.
Phyllis McMillan, Office Manager (New Zealand)
Phyllis has over 10 years of experience in office administration and operational management of consulting businesses in New Zealand, bringing with her knowledge in water and environment, roading and structural discipline consulting administration and management. Phyllis joined RBG NZ in 2020 not long after the first COVID-19 lockdowns and has instilled a strong focus on the mental health and well-being of our staff across the country.
Kay Hewitt, People & Culture Business Partner
Kay is a qualified human resources professional with over 20 years of experience in the engineering consulting, construction, and mining industries as well as in retail and health. Kay has worked in both Australia and New Zealand and has comprehensive experience in business partnering with managers to develop initiatives in line with corporate strategy, leading organisational behaviour and culture change, succession planning, mentoring, return to work and employee and industrial relations. In 2020 Kay joined RBG in the Brisbane office and moved to the Auckland office in early 2022.