Ray O’Rourke is honoured for services to construction

Following the announcement in January of the Laing O’Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering at the University of Oxford, we are delighted to report that two honours have been bestowed on Ray O’Rourke, Chairman and Chief Executive of Laing O’Rourke.

Ray O'RourkeThe Laing O’Rourke Centre of Construction Engineering will bring together expertise from Laing O’Rourke and Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, along with other University faculties. It will focus on interdisciplinary research designed to deliver new and enhanced engineering systems and processes.

For more details about the Department of Engineering Science’s involvement in the new Construction Engineering Centre please visit the news article: New Construction Engineering Centre is announced

Honorary Knighthood

Earlier this month Ray O’Rourke, was awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of his services to the construction industry in the United Kingdom. The honour acknowledges Mr O’Rourke’s outstanding contribution to the industry spanning more than thirty years. He founded R O’Rourke & Son with his brother in 1977 and acquired the construction arm of John Laing plc in 2001. Under his unique leadership Laing O’Rourke is now an important internationally-focused engineering enterprise, responsible for some of the world’s most iconic buildings.

Presenting the award on behalf of her Majesty the Queen, Business Secretary Vince Cable, said Ray O’Rourke was respected across the construction industry as a leader of real stature. “He has been a long-standing champion of the government’s construction industry improvement plan; demonstrating committed leadership, a focus on the customer and a quality-driven agenda.

Recognising The Group’s early adoption of the latest construction methodology, Mr Cable said Laing O’Rourke’s use of lean construction methods and offsite manufacturing had helped eliminate waste and maximised efficiency. “Coupled with his commitment to training people, this has helped Laing O’Rourke weather the downturn and serve as an exemplar for the rest of the industry. I’m delighted to present Ray with this important and hugely-deserved honour,” he added.

Commenting on the award, Mr O’Rourke said:”2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the transformational acquisition of John Laing’s construction business that created the foundation for today’s global company. It is therefore particularly pleasing to have received an honorary knighthood during the year for services to the construction industry. I believe the bestowing of this honour represents a much wider recognition of the collective achievements of everyone who has worked for Laing O’Rourke in advancing engineering and construction as one of the most valuable professions in the world.

Honorary knighthoods can be awarded to non-British citizens, and are usually awarded by the relevant Secretary of State.

Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Also in July, The Royal Academy of Engineering announced that Ray O’Rourke had been elected as an Honorary Fellow.

The Academy honours the UK's most distinguished engineers. It aims to take advantage of the enormous wealth of engineering knowledge they possess and, through the interdisciplinary character of its membership, it provides a unique breadth of engineering experience to further the art and practice of engineering in all its forms.

Election to The Academy is by invitation only; up to 60 Fellows are elected each year from nominations made by existing Fellows. They are distinguished by the title 'Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering' and the designatory letters 'FREng'. Honorary Fellows and Foreign Members who have made exceptional contributions to engineering are also elected.

As the UK’s national academy for engineering, it brings together the most successful and talented engineers from across the engineering sectors for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.