Markets in the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman are “very robust again ... in almost all our sectors,” adds Hinman.

The oil-and-gas sector remains a significant market for CH2M Hill, which recently picked up a contract in Iraq to manage the $3.5-billion to $4-billion first phase of a project to provide 5.2 million barrels of sea water per day for injection into oil wells near Basra to enhance oil recovery.

CH2M Hill will deploy up to 120 employees on the Common Seawater Supply Facility project at its construction peak in 2016, says a spokesman. Due for completion in 2017, the project includes a 120-kilometer-long pipeline to take treated seawater to the West Qurna 1 oil field. Routes of two more pipelines, totalling 110 km, have yet to decided.

According to a report in Bloomberg, the firm was awarded the estimated $170-million contract last year when negotiations between the Iraqi government and ExxonMobil, originally set to manage the project, collapsed over political issues.

But the Madrid-based Eurasia Review says the project's "final scope" won’t be clear until Iraq determines new oil production targets.

Elsewhere internationally, CH2M Hill is “very keen on India,” where Halcrow built up a substantial local business, says Hinman. She would like to see about half the Indian workforce servicing global projects, with the rest working locally. “We are also really bullish about the infrastructure sector ... for the bigger, more complex work,” she says.

In the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for about 15% of group sales, China “is really a niche market for us,” says Hinman. The firm is more active in Southeast Asia and Australia.

In Latin America, representing about 10% of group business, “we see a lot of growth in Mexico,” adds Hinman. While she is optimistic about Brazilian prospects, Hinman is less so about Argentina, which is “an engineering center that does some local work but supports the rest of the region.”