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Industry News

Industry leader Birchall retires from Buro Happold

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Matthew Birchall has announced his retirement as a partner at Buro Happold, where he served as the engineering consultancy’s Global Sports & Entertainment Sector Director.

Birchall, the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award at TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2022, retired at the end of April after what he described as “18 incredible years at Buro Happold”.

He joined Buro Happold in 2006 after spending 16 years at Arup.

He is widely known across the industry for being an influential voice on key trends, and in a wide-ranging interview with TheStadiumBusiness.com in 2023, he called on the sector to challenge the “inherited wisdom” that stifles progress.

“I have enjoyed a wide range of roles, including being our expert on lightweight structures, the Global Sports & Entertainment sector leader, Global Strategy Group member, interim Head of Marketing and Comms, Company Director of our acquired subsidiaries Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics, and of course a Project Principal and work-winner,” he said.

“I’ve also been privileged to help develop some of the outstanding talent that has gone on to great things in the business, including taking over the leadership of all the parts I have led at various times.

“After flogging myself for a long time, my future is now pleasantly open and uncharted, with me switching to a more portfolio-based work profile, and all very part time.”

Birchall added that it was the right time to “contribute to the industry in some different ways” after reflecting on his relationship with work. He also left the door ajar for future non-executive director (NED) roles in the sector.

“Throughout my career I have tried to be a disrupter and an innovator in the industry, and to strive for that elusive combination of excellence and humanity in my work. I’ve learned from what has worked – and even more from what hasn’t,” he added.

“In due course – and where I feel a strong alignment of values and vision – I will be applying this hard-earned knowledge in other advisory areas and NED roles.”

You can read our 2023 interview with Matthew Birchall here.

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