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Dec 2023

12 people of Waterstons – Rob Colclough

On the third day of Christmas, Waterstons gave to me, Sector Principal for AEC.


Sector Principal - AEC

After working in the sector for many years, Rob recently became Sector Principal for AEC, building relationships with organisations in architecture, engineering and construction, getting to know as much as possible about how they operate to help them use technology to improve business processes.

But his experience and expertise doesn’t simply lie within this sector as he explains in his career story…

“I joined Waterstons following my degree in Computer Networking, but my joining was somewhat unusual as my first day was on a client site in London, where I’d recently relocated for the role. Navigator – which was Vopak at the time - was our only client in the south then, and I started as an onsite engineer. After a while, one of Vopak’s customers heard about our work and we were referred in, I took the role as Service Manager at the new client and after a while also returned to Vopak as their service manager. London was starting to grow, and I was involved in winning Cundall, Gateway Housing and Robin Partington Architects as clients and worked on many of them as either Service Manager, on delivering technology projects, or as a consultant.

“As the team grew further, I managed the MS team in the south and further focussed on growing the region – JMP, Wilkinson Eyre, Hawkins Brown and Richmond Fellowship (amongst others) joined as clients over this time, and in parallel I delivered two long-term projects at Vopak; the introduction of their bitumen business in London and Teesside which required building new facilities such as tanks and weighbridges, implementing the automation systems to operate them, developing new business processes to manage the orders and stock and finally configuring the back end integration to make it all work. The second project was an overhaul of the legacy automation system which had been customised over many years - so customised in fact that it became incompatible with the later versions. Each customisation needed to be redesigned using later features of the product and once this was planned and tested, the transition itself managed.

“Following this I became more involved in the growing Architecture community within our client base and fulfilling the role of client partner as well as engaging with our clients via workshops to bring out new ideas and opportunities for improvement.

“I enjoy so many parts of my job, but I do love a good workshop! There’s something very satisfying about teasing out the root causes of challenges, and helping a group of people ‘see the wood for the trees’, enabling them to prioritise and see a way forward.

Having joined straight from university, Rob has learned many skills during his time at Waterstons, but has also been challenged.

“I have ADHD. Which often surprises people as I’m certainly not the stereotypical hyperactive type! It’s been a journey of self-discovery, learning about the condition, getting diagnosed and figuring out how it contributes to my strengths and weaknesses.”

Rob is always happy to talk about ADHD and his experiences, as well as his expertise across technology and various sectors. Get in touch with him directly at