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RSK celebrates 30 years

Published on December 17, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, we celebrate RSK’s 30th year in business

The year 2019 has marked a special year at RSK, as the company has celebrated 30 years in business. RSK was founded in Aberdeen, UK, in 1989 by Chief Executive Officer Alan Ryder, who still leads the company today.

Where it all started

In 1989, Alan left the University of Aberdeen after completing a PhD on the environmental impact of constructing pipelines. Then, with the help of his PhD supervisor, Bernard Kenworthy, he set up a company based on his innovative ideas. In the late 1980s, new environmental legislation had been put in place, so Alan wrote the UK government guidelines on how to implement those environmental regulations for cross-country pipelines and used his expertise to help the oil industry to apply them.

One of RSK’s first big contracts was to support the enormous 411-km North West Ethylene Pipeline running from the Grangemouth (Scotland) ethylene plant to the Stanlow chemical plant in Ellesmere Port (England) which necessitated RSK offices on both sides of the England–Scotland border, as the two parts of the UK have different regulators. So, Sue Sljivic, a landscape architect with extensive experience in the oil, gas and power sectors, joined the company to set up an office in Helsby, where RSK’s head office remains today. Together, Alan, Bernard and Sue led the company in the early years, initially focusing on the oil pipeline projects. Gradually, the range of services expanded, as did the client base.


Thirty years on, RSK has expanded by acquisition and organic growth, and has established itself as a leading provider of integrated environmental, engineering and technical services. Today, the group is made up of 70 businesses, all working together to provide services in a range of sectors, including energy, transport and property. It now employs more than 3600 people in over 130 locations across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“I am delighted to be celebrating RSK’s 30th year in business,” Alan says. “When I founded RSK, I had no idea that we would become so successful. I believe this success comes from the culture and spirit that have enabled us to hire and retain so many great people, and that we remain committed to our vision and guiding principles. I want to thank all our employees, both past and present, for making RSK what it has become over the past 30 years.”

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