Mike Needham. Ramboll

Mike Needham

BA (Hons) CEng FICE, Global Division Unit Manager, Major Crossings

T: +44 23 8081 7500

“I am committed to getting the best out of people, through high performing teams that communicate and collaborate both internally and with stakeholders. I like to work with individuals who understand the bigger picture and are motivated to excellence in all they do. I believe that the best performance is generated by open, mature conversations that get to the real issues and look to improve the future rather than dwell on the past.”

Mike Needham is Team Director for Bridges International within the Transport Group. He joined Ramboll (then Gifford) in 2006 as an Associate, becoming Technical Director in 2011.

Mike manages teams carrying out the design and assessment of all kinds of civil engineering structures. His primary responsibility is for ensuring excellence in the delivery of projects.

Applying extensive design engineer expertise to his role in project management, Mike often works directly with the Contractor on a Design and Build basis. His particular skills are in multi-disciplinary transport projects, with a bias towards highway structures.

Mike has been involved in the design of numerous highway schemes, including bridges, retaining walls, sign gantries, footbridges, cut and cover and immersed tube tunnels. This work has ranged from greenfield sites to existing motorways and trunk roads and includes inspection, assessment and refurbishment of bridges.

Experienced in all aspects of the construction process from conceptual design to site supervision, Mike is familiar with steel, steel-concrete composite, precast concrete, in situ-concrete and prestressed concrete forms of construction. He also has experience of embedded pile, reinforced earth and reinforced soil retaining structures.

Mike’s UK team has the full range of skills needed for pedestrian, highway and rail bridges - with iconic and moving bridges a speciality. Team capabilities include motorway gantries, retaining walls, cut and cover tunnels and other heavy civil engineering structures.

Through the Ramboll Group, Mike is able to supplement his team with the skills of bridges, rail and tunnels staff worldwide, covering a wide range of regional multidisciplinary engineering services.

Major projects undertaken under Mike’s leadership by the Bridges, Rail and Gantries teams include the Queensferry Crossing, Bermondsey Dive Under, Hammersmith Flyover Phase 2 strengthening, Twin Sails, MediaCityUK, and numerous Managed Motorway schemes.

His direct involvement on recent projects, both in the UK and internationally, includes:

  • TfL River Crossings. As Project Director, carrying out the duties of the Tunnel Safety Officer to support the development of the proposed Silvertown Tunnel in accordance with the Road Tunnel Safety Regulations.
  • Gibraltar airport tunnel. Leading the design of the cut and cover tunnel to carry traffic under the airport runway from outline design to construction.
  • Queen Elizabeth Park. Project Manager for the design of several bridges, including subsequent conversion of one of them from a temporary to a permanent structure.

Mike is a Supervising Civil Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and is Ramboll’s representative for the Concrete Bridge Development Group, and UK Road Tunnels Operators Forum.


Recent projects

British Geological Survey offices

The new three-storey office building for the British Geological Survey at their Keyworth campus is the first large-scale building in the UK to use TermoDeck precast slabs supported on timber in a composite structural frame...

Campus Centre, University of Bedfordshire

With its £70m regeneration masterplan, the University of Bedfordshire aims to deliver a campus with an improved sense of community. The first phase concentrated on the new Campus Centre building, for which we supplied structural, fire and geotechnical engineering. It provides a student social hub, a lecture theatre, exhibition space, and catering and student support facilities, over four floors and a mezzanine.

The site in central Luton posed a number of challenges, and historic remains — including a moat — discovered during demolition works delayed progress. In addition, a live services tunnel had to be diverted and negotiations on boundary issues undertaken. The new building shares a wall with the neighbouring business school, and the school's basement in particular required a ...


An increase in personal data collection obliged a leading commercial organisation to purchase a seven hectare greenfield site on which to build a new data centre. A defining feature of this project was the detailed coordination between services and structures. A myriad of services was required to support the vast array of IT equipment. The building was designed to have no point of failure; everything is duplicated.

Our first job was to carry out large scale ground improvements to produce a level site. The risk of differential settlement necessitated the use of a cement stabilisation method in order to create a stiff solid platform for the 15,000 sq m ground slab. In addition, it acted as a piling mat and sub-base replacement beneath the 2k of road on site.

The struc ...

Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Use of renewable materials rarely comes bolder than at the newly affiliated Faculty of Education for the University of Cambridge.

We worked with German timber construction specialists, Merk, to advise on the three storey timber frame structure that houses the library and learning resource centre. The scale of the exposed Glulam beams is not purely aesthetic: fire engineering is integral to the design.

The other half of the new building contains lecture and theatre rooms. Here, a four storey reinforced concrete frame was chosen with exposed concrete slabs to create thermal mass — a strategy that will help reduce ongoing energy use.

A zinc-roofed atrium creates an internal street with timber bridges used as links at each level.

We worked as part of ...


An international centre for the study of sustainable construction at a leading Cambridge college for further education was designed to illustrate a range of sustainable solutions. We played a leadership role in liaising between numerous subcontractors, ensuring the smooth integration of techniques.

The main building is largely of timber and is L-shaped in plan. One wing houses teaching and classroom facilities and the other, a visitor centre. Nestled in the crook of the L is a second timber frame structure, diamond-shaped in plan. Here, a large workshop is sheltered by a suspended fabric roof — the largest hyperbolic shaped roof in the UK.

In the main building's north wing, 2.5m x 12m Lenotec wall panels are suspended from glulam beams. This prefabricated solution ...

The Whitworth

Through its impressive £15m reinvention, The Whitworth Art Gallery has cemented its place at the centre of the cultural national stage - winning the prestigious 2015 ArtFund Museum of the Year Award and is currently shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize Award 2015.

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