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AEA Technology plc was formed in 1996 as the privatised off-shoot of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.
Originally it consisted of divisions with expertise in a wide variety of areas, mostly the products of nuclear-related research. These included nuclear safety, nuclear engineering, environmental protection, battery technology and non-destructive testing. It mainly acted as a contractor organisation for UKAEA and other governmental and private customers.
AEA Technology then focussed on its Energy & Environment business. The company divested all of the nuclear-related elements of the business and other non-core businesses such as its Rail business (now called DeltaRail Group) through two portfolio sales to secondary private equity investment firms in September 2005 and in September 2006 respectively.
In addition to environmental consultancy the company also works in the Knowledge Transfer and Programme Management areas. The business is organised around a mesh style "communities" structure which includes Knowledge Leadership (key technical consultant), Project Management, IT Marketing and Sales.
The company's main UK operations were located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire (head office), London, Risley and Glengarnock.
In August 2006 AEA established a Romania subisdary in Bucharest (AEA Mediu); this was shut down in April 2009.
2010 AEA Technology made a number of redundancies throughout 2010; the then CEO, McCree, was quoted as saying "[the company took] 10 per cent off the UK cost base in the year, involving 60 redundancies".
Andrew McCree quit as Chief Executive Officer in November 2011 and was replaced by John Lowry as Interim CEO. Lowry has previously been involved in the UK's National Health Service as a restructuring advisor.
2013 Ricardo-AEA Ltd, trading as Ricardo Energy & Environment, was formed on November 8, 2012, when Ricardo acquired the business, operating assets and employees engaged in the business of AEA Technology Plc (in administration) for a total cash consideration of £18.0 million.