Advanced Project Techniques

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Profile - Introduction


Our profile

How we work

Our experience

Notes on oil industry projects


Principal's Profile

Mug shot

The principal of Apt Projects is Dr. Bill Nicholson who has more than 35 years project experience in positions of progressive seniority including Business Development Director and Project Director. Worked for the Wimpey Group for 16 years, where he became Divisional Manager of Wimpey Offshore, and for Odebrecht-SLP (later Odebrecht Oil and Gas) for 9 years where he was a board Director, and for Odebrecht Oil and Gas in Brazil and Angola.

Notable career milestones include management of the first monohull floating production platform to be conducted entirely in the UK (value - several $100m) and managing the winning bid for an oilfield development with a value >$1bn) on behalf a complex international JV. Participated in the successful establishment of an independent oil company subsidiary for a major industrial group. Has recently set up a major project performed in China with a value of c.$500m.

Has also spent a number of years in senior positions in the Middle East (Iran and Qatar), Norway, Newfoundland, Angola, Brazil, China and Malaysia.

He is a Chartered Structural Engineer, is a member of two other engineering institutions (ASCE and ASME) and has degrees from Oxford University, Imperial College London and Washington University.

Founded Advanced Project Techniques in 2003, and remains fully committed to growing and diversifying the business.


Case Study

Living quarters module

Heavy Client Supervision

The oil industry was one of the first to fully embrace quality management and to demonstrate that this was compatible with fast-tracking. The project above was completed in the early 90s under the contractor's BS5750 Part 1 (the predecessor of ISO 9001) quality system.

In spite of the contractor having a certificated quality management system the client insisted on having a large supervisory team ("man for man marking") which inspected everything, at considerable cost to both parties, and creating underlying tensions. The client came to recognise that this was poor value (indeed on this project there were famously more managerial staff than people executing the work) and has since then run all contracts with much reduced supervision, which is now the norm in the industry.

Notwithstanding the tensions during contract execution the client was finally very satisfied and gave the contractor an informal award for its excellent performance.

Footnote: the lessons learned on this project provided a strong motivation for the industry to find better ways of conducting business. This led to the industry's adoption of CRINE, alliancing and other notable cost saving initiatives.

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