Andrew Baird: A salute to engineering thought leader on his 80th birthday!

Andrew Baird

As acclaimed engineering stalwart Andrew Baird celebrates his 80th birthday on 27 June 2021, it’s fitting to reflect on his pioneering success and leadership in the global civil engineering sector.

“We’re privileged to work alongside Andrew both as an industry associate and colleague since 1993 when ECS Associates was formed.” says Joseph Keogh (Director, ECS Associates).

Andrew qualified as a civil engineer and has been a member of the London-based NEC Drafting Panel since its inception in 1993. He is acknowledged in all of the NEC documents for his part in their drafting and has been presenting seminars and training workshops on the NEC system around the globe since 1995. As one of the founding members of the NEC drafting board, Andrew is responsible for introducing this leading suite of contracts into South Africa.

He has hands on experience of major NEC project applications of NEC system in all sectors of the construction industry. In addition, he has developed templates for contract development and contract administration of all NEC3 documents.

Andrew has worked as a project engineer and project manager for major contractors, consultants and clients in UK, USA and South Africa including on many of Eskom’s power stations. He was Eskom’s Corporate Contract Management Consultant for 9 years. He was a founding ExCo member of ICE-SA, a joint Division of ICE and SAICE, has published papers in several international journals including the International Construction Law Review and been guest speaker at conferences in many parts of the world.

Under Andrew’s leadership, as Founder and Chairman, ECS is growing as a leading Contracting Consulting Company supporting collaborative working relationships. ECS Associates has been in business for 28 years, providing consulting services to the engineering and construction industry. Primarily the service offering was focused on strategic advice, dispute resolution and training on the NEC.

Today, the core of the business represents the belief that collaborative relationships between main contracting parties within the value chain, employees and other stakeholders, provide a necessary formula for both improved performance and transformation.  Included in this growth has been the milestone of been fully transformed to 51% BWO and targeting Level 1 in July this year.

“On first meeting Andrew Baird I was immediately struck by his humility, warmth and inclusivity. Andrew espouses a genuine concern for the South African economy, its people and how to solve its challenges; wisdom that comes from years of reading, learning, living and application; and a real desire to train and equip the next generation in successful collaborative contract management practices. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with Andrew, the youngest 80 year old I know!! We salute you!” Shireen Crosson (Director, ECS Associates).

Aside from his stellar achievements in the field of civil engineering internationally, Andrew is valued for his warmth, kindness and wonderful sense of humour. He and his wife Frances are devoted to their family of three children and 7 grandchildren. They will be celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary this year. Andrew loves to travel particularly to the bush, being an avid birdwatcher. He is also an aficionado of wine and good food!

“It’s a privilege and inspiration to work alongside Andrew Baird,” says Mile Sofijanic (MD, ECS Associates).  “His knowledge, energy and work ethic are something to behold and we wish him a wonderful birthday as he celebrates his 80th milestone – with many more to come!”

Andrew’s famous words are: “Our mission is to facilitate the highest standard of skills and services necessary to successfully implement projects in the South African environment through collaborative relationships on all levels and application of best practices in contract administration and project management while beneficially transforming the engineering and construction industry”. “And with Andrew’s invaluable input we are certainly achieving this” says Zola Hlatshwayo (Director, ECS Associates).

acclaimed engineering stalwart