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International engineering consultancy Thornton Tomasetti acquires Romsey-based security consultant MFD

US Embassy London

Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering consultancy behind the new US Embassy in London, has acquired Romsey-based security consultancy MFD, comprising MFD International and MFD Security, in a deal that will strengthen Thornton Tomasetti’s existing expertise in protective design and security services.

MFD specialises in delivering physical, operational and technical security services for the built environment and has provided counter-terrorist measures to protect a number of high-profile, high-risk buildings and premises throughout the UK, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia.

Projects have included the provision of hostile vehicle mitigation measures at Heathrow Terminal 5, all physical and electronic security designs for the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, security engineering advice for the Tate Modern extension in London and blast mitigation and hostile vehicle mitigation measures for many of the new Crossrail stations.

Hostile vehicle mitigation in particular has become a key concern for governments, building owners and operators in the wake of recent vehicle-borne terror attacks in London, Barcelona, Stockholm, Nice and Berlin.

Thornton Tomasetti is headquartered in New York and employs over 1,300 staff in 44 offices around the world. The firm is most well-known for its structural engineering work on world-class projects such as Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar, the World Trade Center Transit Hub in New York, as well as skyscrapers including Shanghai Tower in China and Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which when completed will be the world’s tallest building.

Thornton Tomasetti employs over 70 staff in the UK. In addition to providing structural engineering and protective design for the US Embassy in London, the firm also provided structural and façade engineering for the redevelopment of the No.1 Court at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon.

Following the acquisition, MFD will form a key part of Thornton Tomasetti in Europe, operating alongside Thornton Tomasetti Defence, Ltd., which provides complementary services in a military context. The deal will provide MFD with an expanded European presence from which to build upon its already impressive track record in physical security analysis and design, and collaboration with architects, building owners, developers and public agencies.

Established in 1975 in Romsey, Hampshire, MFD today employs staff in its London, Romsey and Berkshire offices. Its three directors will play a pivotal role in the integration process.

Commenting on the transaction, Phillip Thompson, Thornton Tomasetti’s European Regional Leader, said: “MFD has a very strong reputation for providing vital security advice and design services across a number of markets. The firm’s depth of knowledge and expertise in creating secure environments dovetails perfectly with Thornton Tomasetti’s experience in providing physical security analysis, advice and design support to our clients. Against a backdrop of an ever-evolving threat environment, incorporating protective design into the built environment is more important than ever. I am confident that our combined offering will ensure that MFD and Thornton Tomasetti will continue to be at the vanguard of protecting our public and private spaces.”