Andrew settles down after 50-year globetrotting career31st Mar 2014

A well-travelled civil engineer for leading construction company Jones Bros has retired after 50 years in the industry.

Regional manager for Scotland Andrew Aikman has retired after more than 17 years with the Ruthin-based civil engineering firm.

Having spent some time at the company in the late 1980s, Andrew joined Jones Bros on a full-time basis in 1997, and was later made the company’s regional manager for Scotland, which included running the company’s first office away from North Wales in Linlithgow, near Falkirk.

Andrew, 67, who was born and brought up in Stirling, has applied his civil engineering expertise in as far flung places as Australia and South Africa.

He said: “I’ve had a great, interesting career, and have worked with a lot of good teams on a lot of good projects of the years, particularly with Jones Bros.”

After completing an apprenticeship in civil engineering in 1969, Andrew moved to Western Australia, where he spent two and a half years working in remote communities and camping in the outback while locating precious minerals.

A period travelling across North Africa and Europe followed, before Andrew returned to the UK in the early 1970s, working initially in Scotland and then North Wales on a number of road improvement projects.

It was while in North Wales that Andrew met his wife Lesley, and the couple later travelled back to Australia, where Andrew helped shape today’s Sydney skyline, working on a number of high-rise buildings including Centrepoint Tower, at the time the tallest building in the southern hemisphere.

A stint in South Africa followed, working at Matimba Power Station, at the time one of the world’s largest coal-fired power stations, before Andrew took up a post at another power station closer to home – the Dinorwig hydroelectric plant in Llanberis.

He went on to set up an engineering consultancy business advising on road development across the region, before spending time at both Jones Bros and BAM Nuttall.

Andrew rejoined Jones Bros in 1997, where his expertise in highways development and road surfacing was put to use in the relaying of sections of the A55 and A5.

He said: “I’m lucky to have worked on a number of really interesting projects over the years.

“The ones that spring to mind are the Crystal Rig II wind farm development up in Scotland, which at the time was the biggest of its kind in the UK. There was also the work to resurface the A5, constructing Deganwy marina and excavation work at the Glyn Bends near Corwen, all of which were really challenging jobs.

“I’ll miss it, but having travelled so much with this job over the years, there’s a million little jobs at home that I’ll finally have time to do!”

Andrew now plans on retiring to his home in Rhos on Sea, Conwy, but will continue to travel to see his eleven grandchildren and five children, including his son James, who has followed in his father’s footsteps by also becoming a globe-trotting engineer currently working in Indonesia.

Jones Bros managing director Huw Jones said: “Andrew has been a fantastic asset to Jones Bros, and we would all like to wish him well in his retirement.”

The position of regional manager for Scotland will now be filled by Mike O’Connor. Mike, who was previously Jones Bros’ contracts manager with responsibility for Scottish Highlands and Islands, joined Jones Bros in 2009 and has more than 30 years’ experience in civil engineering.

Founded in the 1950s and employing almost 350 people, Jones Bros works on contracts in various sectors including the construction of waste management facilities, highways, flood and marine defence and renewable energy projects around the UK.