Essentia targets university estates work with senior hires

Built environment consultancy, Essentia Trading Ltd, has recruited two key higher education experts as it looks to support universities with their estate redevelopment.

Essentia has a significant heritage in designing, managing, and delivering successful estates and capital investment projects for large public and private healthcare providers, as well as science and pharmaceutical organisations.

The team recognised the natural synergy that exists across the whole health, science and higher education market, and the increasing requirement for multi-sector collaboration in the delivery of innovative, highly-complex facilities.

Don Taylor

Don Taylor joins as Associate Director of Programme & Project Management, having held senior estates roles at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics.

Based in London, Don will play a key part of Essentia’s strategy to expand its project portfolio within the higher education and science sector. He has extensive experience across a wide variety of complex project and facility types.

Previously, Don was Deputy Director of Estates at Cambridge University and Assistant Director of Capital Development at London School of Economics.

He has also worked in Hotels, Residential Development, Education, Higher Education, Medicine (hospitals, laboratories and research), Offices and Utilities on projects to £2.5 billion in value. He also led various building projects for the British Antarctic Survey from 1994– 2004.

Dudley George

Essentia has additionally recruited Dudley George as Director of Programme & Project Management, focused on East Anglia and Cambridge.

Dudley brings over 40 years of construction industry experience to Essentia and has held Director-level Programme and Project Management positions in several organisations.

He has led teams responsible for the successful delivery of several major construction and property-related projects and programmes across a broad range of sectors. This has included the delivery of the Medical Research Council’s new flagship £212m Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. He has led investment programmes in excess of £1.5bn, and over the last 14 years, has focused extensively on complex science & research, healthcare and higher education projects.

Dudley also spent a significant part of his career at AVIVA Insurance, where he led the internal Project Management Section of AVIVA’s Property Investment Team.  Directly prior to joining Essentia, Dudley was a Director with AECOM, the global infrastructure company.

A Growing Team

Essentia’s capital development team now comprises 40 consultants, split across London, Oxfordshire, and East Anglia.

As well as Don and Dudley, the consultancy recently appointed Helen Adams, a trained architect and skilled programme manager who has spent the last eight years managing biomedical research projects.

Most recently she was senior project manager for the new £650m Francis Crick Institute in London, taking it from initial concept to operational start-up as a key part of the client-side team.

Mark Halstead, Director of Programme & Project Management at Essentia, comments:

“The UK higher education sector has a world-leading reputation for its excellent outcomes across health, science and education.  University estates are increasingly complex but share similar challenges to healthcare and broader science campuses in terms of developing a built environment which really inspires its occupants. 

“Essentia has an established track record of helping large organisations re-define their built asset requirements, maximising their property value and delivering innovative projects.  Expanding into higher education is a natural extrapolation for us, and we look forward to sharing our broader learning, as well as enabling future clients access to a professional team with truly unique experiences.”

Visit to find out more about Essentia’s Capital Development capability.