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William Sydney Albert Atkins (1902-1989)
1902 Born in Bow, London
1908 His father died
1913-18 Educated at Cooper's Company School
1923 Student member of Inst Civil Engineers
1923 Degree from University College
1925-6 Assistant engineer to Dr Oscar Faber, designing structural steelwork and reinforced concrete.
1926-7 With Dorman Long and Co
1927-8 Worked for Foundation Co Ltd, contractors, design work for Deptford West power station
1928 Associate Inst Civil Engineers
With Smith Walker Ltd as structural designer and rose rapidly to become chief engineer in 1928
1929 Chief engineer, E. W. Cook, M I C E, consulting engineer; worked on reconstruction of Regent Street, London, construction of several cinemas and other city buildings.
Bought out one of Smith Walker's subsidiary companies, specializing in reinforced concrete. Formed the The London Ferro-Concrete Co. Ltd.
1935 Became managing director of The London Ferro-Concrete Co. Ltd.
1938 Founded W. S. Atkins and Partners
1939 Chairman and Managing Director, The London Ferro-Concrete Co. Ltd., 9 Tufton Street, Westminster, S.W.1.
1945 Arranged a management buy-out by the directors of London Ferro-Concrete
1945 Senior partner in W. S. Atkins and Partners. Won contract to design the new Abbey steelworks at Port Talbot, Glamorgan, despite having virtually no staff.
1949 Member of Inst Civil Engineers
1950 He severed his connections with London Ferro-Concrete to concentrate all his energy on W. S. Atkins & Partners
Atkins was associated with most of the large steelworks developments in Britain and many overseas. Other projects included Berkeley and Drax power station, Selby coalfield, the Channel Tunnel, and major parts of motorway construction.
1976 Knighted as Sir William Atkins
1986 Decided to stand down as chairman of the company.