Royal HaskoningDHV launches digital transformation arm

16 October 2020 3 min. read

Engineering, design and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV has launched a dedicated digital practice.

Royal HaskoningDHV Digital leverages data-driven insights to help the firm’s mainly construction and infrastructure clients to reimagine their operating models in line with a digitalised market. The new outfit will work with clients in both the public and private sector to drive digital transformation and navigate emerging risks.

Examples include the use of data to build more sustainable and efficient water management systems, or to improve productivity and outcomes in an industrial setting. The Netherlands-based firm also provides digital insights for urban planning purposes – managing traffic flows or energy grids – while modeling can be used for logistics and navigation in the maritime and aviation sectors.

The underlying motivation is to provide efficient, sustainable and innovative development solutions, while also tackling real world risks such as climate change and related natural disasters.  

According to Royal HaskoningDHV CEO Rik Oostwegel, the new practice is perfectly positioned to drive change of this nature. “We bring together more than 25 years of data science capabilities and software development. Combining that work with almost 140 years of engineering consultancy knowledge, means we are in a strong position to support our clients with sustainable, futureproof solutions that enhance society.”

Royal HaskoningDHV Digital will work closely with the other units of Royal HaskoningDHV. “By connecting digital capabilities to our domain knowledge, we give our clients the insights and agility they need to turn reactive decision-making into real-time and predictive control,” he added.

The new Digital arm launches with a team of 200 digital professionals led by Global Director Niels Schallenberg, a former consultant at Monitor Deloitte in the Netherlands. Schallenberg previously was Chief Strategy Officer and Global Director of Water at the firm, managing a wide array of projects.

Digital strategy

Royal HaskoningDHV has been engaged in a digitalisation strategy since 2017, with the aim of serving market needs of the future. A dedicated digital practice is the latest development in this strategy, which has been peppered along the way with innovative digital tools and solutions.

An example is the ‘digital twins’ concept – a modeling system in which an entire city of supply chain can be replicated for the purpose of conducting digital and data-driven experiments. What results is a visualisation of a data strategy, which can be key to improvements or fine tuning. Another example is the firm’s ‘intelligent hazard’ system, which uses data to detect, evaluate and monitor hazards.

Inorganic growth has been a driver of the firm’s digital consulting and technology capabilities, particularly in the UK market. The firm acquired UK-based software consultancy Lanner early last year, followed closely by the acquisition of environment consultancy Ambiential – also based in the UK. In the Netherlands, the firm bolted-on Ynformed.

Schallenberg: “We see the worlds of business, operations, and IT converging. The increasing amount of available data is dramatically altering our clients’ business and operating models, customer experience and the way they design their assets. Now more than ever, business decisions are influenced by data-driven insights and simulation. Working alongside our clients and partners, Royal HaskoningDHV Digital will support this exact process.”