Consulting projects

Read about the various consulting projects Dr Robert Illes is, and has been involved in over the years, by clicking on the images below.


Dr Robert Illes has developed a niche providing high-quality strategic research and technical authoring services to the complex engineering and construction sectors.

Industry projects have ranged from curating large documents and studies on energy and resources mega-projects, authoring processes and procedures, to reviewing EPC contracts. This followed some significant UK and international consultancy in the outdoor media sector.

Wylfa Newydd main site visualisation

Wylfa Newydd

Curated a wide range of associated development project documentation to completion, as part of the overall DCO application for this new nuclear power station. Read more...

Sellafield at sunset


Developed and authored the procurement processes and procedures as part of the integrated management system for this new nuclear build. Read more...

Mining process operations in Mauritania

Mining studies

Curated development and delivery of a feasibility study report and pre-feasibility study report for iron ore mining and processing in Mauritania. Read more...

Khazzan gas project Oman


Seconded into client contracts and procurement team, designed standard format for project contracts, built and reviewed many contract packages on this major gas project in Oman. Read more...

Delhi Airport visualisation

Times of India

Provided ongoing technical and bid development support, developed the Delhi Airport operation manual for Times' Out of Home media division. Read more...

6-sheet special illuminated sign units

Outdoor media

Find out about some of Robert's early work designing and building components for the outdoor media industry. Read more...


Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station

Client: Horizon Nuclear Power

Consultants: Jacobs UK, Quod

Successfully delivered: DCO design and access statements, RIBA Stage 2 reports, inputs for environmental statements, wide range of project design documents

Dr Robert Illes was Jacobs UK's resident senior technical author in the design and engineering team, for the RIBA Stage 2 design of the Wylfa Newydd new nuclear power station. He focused on documentation for the associated development (worker accomodation, transport hub, laboratory and the like).

The major job was curating the production of the associated development design and access statements for the DCO application. Robert took on the design of the documents and also their creation in InDesign. This job involved significant engagement with internal stakeholders such as project disciplines and environmental team, as well as external stakeholders such as planning consultants and the levels of governance required to get the application over the line.

Robert also took on technical author duties in reviewing and preparing the following for the team:

  • design and engineering inputs for the environmental statements
  • optioneering reports
  • highways reports
  • building specifications
  • and the final RIBA Stage 2 design reports for all associated development - repeated for two design variants
Wylfa Newydd proposed Site Campus visualisation

Architect's visualisation of proposed temporary worker accommodation at Wylfa Head.


Moorside procurement processes and procedures

Client: NuGeneration

Consultants: Jacobs UK, PwC

Successfully delivered: suite of processes and procedures for contracts and procurement

Dr Robert Illes authored a suite of process diagrams and procedure documents covering the scope of contracts and procurement for NuGeneration and the Moorside new nuclear power station. The suite was a part of the project integrated management system under development, and was conceptualised using the SIPOC (supplier, input, process, output, customer) methodology.

The documentation underwent two committee-stage reviews and was developed with significant stakeholder input and engagement, from the in-house procurement team, safety experts, external consultants and ONR nuclear regulation requirements.

The suite comprised MS Visio process flows for the cradle-to-grave procurement activities. Accompanying these were procedure descriptions, tightly aligned to the process flows.


Mining studies, Mauritania

Client: XStrata (Glencore)

Consultant: WorleyParsons (Worley)

Successfully delivered: feasibility study report for Askaf, pre-feasibility study report for el Aouj

As resident senior technical author, Dr Robert Illes curated the development and delivery of the feasibility study report for Askaf, and pre-feasibility study report for el Aouj - two large iron ore developments proposed for the remote desert in Mauritania, Africa.

Apart from an existing railway line, the developments were tabula rasa in that they would need to build all the necessary infrastructure, buildings, and a processing plant to break down the ore to a saleable grade prior to transportation.

Feasibility studies

Covers of the two main large study reports delivered.

The work demonstrated classic and exemplary senior technical author duties in:

  • authoring a bespoke style guide and writing plan
  • liasing with approximately 20 content authors covering a wide range of disciplines from process engineering to ecology to finances, to external geophysical and mining consultants
  • proof-reading the entire documents
  • liasing with in-house creative for final delivery
  • organising translation of the entire suite into French language
  • keeping the main consultant and client happy, at all times


Khazzan gas project, Oman

Client: BP

Consultants: FEED - WorleyParsons (Worley), EPCM - Jacobs UK, Penspen

Successfully delivered: support to the client's PSCM, robust contract packages, wide range of other project documentation

Dr Robert Illes was seconded into the client PSCM team (procurement and supply chain management) throughout the FEED phase and detailed design of the EPCM phase, of this major gas development in the remote desert of the Sultanate of Oman. His duties involved looking after the development of contract pacakges and reviewing content for consistency, with the aim of mitigating future spurious claims. In particular, the all-important scope of works - checking that defined terms were used correctly and that client and contractor obligations were very clearly articulated.

Robert came to understand in considerable detail how BP do contracting, in line with their strategic sourcing Category Management R1.1 manual. He developed a style guide for contract development, along with processes and procedures. He trained the EPCM contractor on how BP do things. He was a liason between technical disciplines, who would write content for scopes of work and so on, and the contract and procurement specialists. He reviewed many packages, up to several $100m in value in a range of works from roads, buildings, main pipelines, to smaller works such as provision of water, logistics and waste management. He took ownership of the 'Well Site Facilities' package right up to award.

Khazzan development

The Khazzan central gas processing plant.

Due to success in his PSCM duties, Robert was also called upon to curate the development of other client project documentation such as:

  • project execution plans
  • construction execution plans
  • building specifications
  • stakeholder plans

Robert also assisted the PSCM team and used the Ariba OneSource procurement portal - building packages in the portal and managing communications once bids were live.


Time of India, outdoor media division

Client: Times Out of Home (TOOH)

Consultants: Opal Flame, International Outdoor

Successfully delivered: engineering and bidding support, quality manual for media operations at Delhi International airport

In his first international engagement which spanned some years, Dr Robert Illes provided ongoing technical and commercial support to Times of India's outdoor media division TOOH. He led the improvement of the quality of illumination of their standard format units, through installation of special optical film which could double illuminance or half power consumption and even out the light spread. He provided ongoing consultancy on the state-of-the-art which TOOH could incorporate into their bids to operate advertising in Indian airports. A significant win was the contract for Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Robert subsequently authored the Delhi International Airport quality manual for media and advertising operations. The brief from TOOH was that the manual should enable anyone to see how advertising is administered, monitored and carried out at the airport.

Work at Delhi Airport to improve optical quality of signs

Work at Delhi airport, installing optical film, to improve the quality of the illumination of TOOH's standard sign units.

Before and after optical treatment

Before and after shots of a sign unit treated with optical film.

Light readings taken before and after treatment

Light readings taken before and after treatment, demonstrating the potential doubling of illuminance or potential electricity savings.

Dr Robert Illes at the Taj Mahal

Dr Robert Illes finally got to see the magnificent Taj Mahal! Pictures of this wonderful structure never do it justice - the stonework is just exquisite.


Outdoor media engineering projects

Clients: Clear Channel, JCDecaux, 247 Outdoor (Titan), Redbus

Consultants: Opal Flame, Diffusion Technologies, Acetek

Successfully delivered: a wide range of innovative designs and production units for outdoor media

This section reveals some archive projects in the outdoor media sector. Although not directly active in this area, the content is intended to be informative and gives some insight into how Opal Flame Consultancy was born.

Dr Robert Illes worked for 12 years in the outdoor media/advertising industry. Running R&D and technical departments, he designed and developed a range of small format illuminated advertising units and lighting components for the UK and abroad. He supplied all the majors and several of the minor UK outdoor advertising companies.

An authoring project involved the design and implementation of a UK-wide training course for Clear Channel UK on the use of small format advertising units.

Empirical research in optics, working with Cambridge academics, led to some patent applications: two inventions for curing 'lamp striping' (one of which has been adopted extensively on the London Underground metro), also one invention for a post-mounted mechanism and one invention for a fault reporting system.

6-sheet unit

Standard 6-sheet 'Insignia' unit for Clear Channel UK. Our 'bread and butter'. Roadside unit supplied exclusively to all UK local authorities, CENTRO and London Transport.

Units for JCD Airports

Units supplied to JCDecaux Airports for use in Heathrow Terminal 5. Built to the exacting and strict London Underground fire standards, as is ubiquitous in mass transit projects globally.

LED units

SMS controlled LED displays, typically affixed to lamp post-mounted units, for 247 Outdoor. Installed in Walsall, Whitworth, West Lothian, Merthyr and Ferryhill (since acquired by Titan, and then acquired by JCDecaux).

6-sheet special units

6-sheet prototype units incorporated into conceptual designs for urban street furniture. Developed with architects Lacock Gullam.

6-sheet units before and after optical treatment

Before and after shots of a 6-sheet unit treated with Dr Robert’s 'magic'. This was very typical of the kind of R&D conducted. This design has been incorporated into many London Underground units.

Illuminance data before and after

Typical graph showing illuminance data before and after optical treatment, this time for a 4-lamp unit. The 'holy grail' of striping elimination achieved here.

Lamp fault reporting unit

Sensilux fault reporting system. An optical sensor would be placed on every lamp. A GPRS modem would send an SMS message to the operations base. Thus fines for failed units could be avoided.

Lamp post-mounted unit in situ

Our lamp post-mounted unit for 247 Outdoor, in situ in a supermarket car park. The entire contents of the unit can be lowered to ground by one person, for poster changing and lamp maintenance.

Range of units at our R&D site

A range of units installed for testing at our R&D site: a 48-sheet with an innovative posting mechanism, lamp post-mounted and pole-mounted units.