Phan Åge Haugård will make his mark in the world, wrote the jury in its citation. For the second year running, COWI has come away with the prestigious ‘Young Consultant of the Year’ award from RIF (the Norwegian Consulting Engineers’ Association).
COWI’s stormwater expert Phan Åge Haugård (27) has emerged as a clear voice in the consulting industry at a very young age. Last week, he took the prestigious title of ‘Young Consultant of the Year’.
Over the past year, Phan Åge has figured in several media stories on surface water management and climate adaptation arising from heavier and more frequent downpours. His guiding vision is to emphasise the economic gains to be made from managing surface water and climate-adaptation of cities to cope with extreme precipitation events.
In their citation, the jury write:
“Phan Åge has come a long way in his years in the consulting industry. He has great professional skills, but he also has a clear business focus and sees economic benefits in new technical solutions … Phan Åge is praised for being innovative and productive, both as a consultant and as a group leader, and has introduced ‘error lunches’ for his colleagues so the profession can learn from its mistakes. The jury particularly appreciates Phan Åge’s business perspective, innovativeness and technical expertise. Phan Åge will make his mark in the world.”
It was a happy and surprised young engineer who accepted the award when it was presented at Sentralen in Oslo during RIF’s autumn conference on Tuesday 29 October.
“This is really surprising. I hadn’t expected this against so many top candidates. When I read the nomination texts from the other finalists, I was very impressed. I said I would be pleasantly surprised if I won, and I certainly am now,” Phan Åge said.
He thanks his colleagues and his wife for the recognition.
“I received the award, but it’s my colleagues and managers at COWI and my wife who have allowed me to work late nights and supported me, and who take much of the credit for me winning this award. This is not just for me, it’s for the whole of COWI. I actually had to go out and buy my first blazer at the weekend to wear at the ceremony. I needed it.”
This is the second year in a row that COWI has won the distinguished award. Last year’s winner was electrical engineer and BIM coordinator Kristoffer Tungland, for his contribution to the digitalisation of the construction sector.
Marius Weydahl Berg, MD of COWI in Norway, thinks the secret of this success lies in allowing employees to develop in their field through teamwork.
“This is really incredibly good. I am terrifically proud of this award and everything Phan Åge has achieved at such a young age. We want to be a company with high ambitions and a good working environment, where employees can grow and develop their skills in a team. Last year’s winner praised the team spirit that we have at COWI, and so did Phan Åge this year. When COWI employees win two years in a row, I think we can say we are doing something right.”