David Whysall

Global Managing Director of Natural Resources
Our ambition is to support programmes that enable the energy transition and leave a lasting positive legacy, while balancing energy security and affordability.
David Whysall
I lead our global natural resources team, with my role focusing on helping build a talented and diverse team and develop the technology and platform to support our global clients to set up and deliver high performing, transformational programmes. We’re very proud of the work we are doing to enable the global transition to clean energy, de-carbonise existing assets and ensure a sustainable approach is taken to the world’s natural resources that will leave a lasting positive legacy.

I spent a couple of years working within the UK supply chain for a major contractor before joining Turner & Townsend as a graduate in 2004. The majority of my time has been spent within the infrastructure sector where I was Managing Director between 2018 and 2023, prior to my transition into natural resources.

I’m passionate about playing my part in driving industry improvement and currently act as co-chair of Constructing Excellence. Before this, I sat on the RICS Infrastructure steering group and chaired G4C (Generation for Change). I have led studies into major programme performance and have been involved in a number of industry improvement initiatives. These include: the Department for Transport, the Transport Infrastructure Efficiencies Strategy, the Infrastructure Projects Authority Routemap, Project 13, Confederation British Industry major programmes report, and some of the Construction Leadership Council’s work.

Q. What attracted you to join Turner & Townsend? 

A. Its ambition. When I joined in 2004, we were a much smaller business but with big aspirations to be the best at what do. We have expanded greatly since then, yet still aim for excellence in our work.

Q. Which project are you most proud of being involved in at Turner & Townsend?

A. Heathrow Terminal 5. To this day I still see it as the most successful delivery model used for a major programme. It put collaboration at the heart of its strategy and stretched talent such that the outcome delivered was amazing. It has left an incredible legacy for our industry, as well as in the asset that was created. It’s the project I still point out to my children!

Q. How do you contribute to Turner & Townsend making a difference?

A. Firstly, as leader in our business I engage with clients and use my role to highlight the great work that our people do to meet the needs of our clients, as well as society. Secondly, I mentor talent across the industry and spend time with school and college-age children, showing them that a career within the built environment can provide unrivalled opportunities to learn and to shape the world around them. 

Q. What do you most enjoy most about working at Turner & Townsend? 

A. Seeing talented people reach their full potential and take on leadership positions around the world.

Q. What is the emerging trend in your industry specialism and how are you responding to this?

A. It's about accelerating decarbonisation worldwide and the role that integrated global delivery, real-time data and intelligence, collaboration and partnership, continuous improvement and accessing top talent can play in realising net-zero ambitions.

We are involved in projects across the full clean energy and decarbonisation spectrum, from wind and solar deployment to nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage. We’re supporting the adaptation of traditional refineries to produce sustainable biofuels and decarbonising existing transport modes, and working on how existing offshore platforms can use renewable electricity instead of their fossil fuel counterparts to minimise their carbon footprint. We are also supporting the effective set up of the world’s first net-zero mines, which will be critical given the mining industry’s central role in delivering critical minerals for the energy transition.

Working with the government, private sector clients, academia, industry bodies, technology providers and the supply chain, we are delivering a better understanding of current and future market trends, while also assisting in the planning and delivery of these major capital expenditure developments.

Career highlights

  1. Appointed Global Managing Director of Natural Resources, Appointed to Operations Board

  2. Appointed to our Management Board

  3. Appointed Managing Director, Infrastructure UK

  4. Working on Crossrail as part of its set up

  5. First major project, Heathrow Pier 2B, delivered on time and on budget

  6. Working on Heathrow T5

  7. Joined Turner & Townsend