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Q&A Sep 8, 2022

Boldly Moving Forward with Solutions and Advisory in Asia: A Q&A with John Palmoski

Our Head of Sector, Solutions & Advisory for Asia, John Palmoski, shares how we’re creating and delivering bold, holistic solutions for Asia’s toughest challenges and helping spark an enduring positive change in the region.

John Palmoski headshot in banner graphic

From starting off with transport planning to a role in sales leading large infrastructure projects at Jacobs to now heading our Solutions and Advisory (S&A) sector in Asia – John Palmoski has made some interesting pivots in his career of more than two decades!

S&A draws on one of the three growth accelerators of Jacobs’ new strategyConsulting & Advisory – that looks strategically at the full spectrum of our client's business and asks how we can help our clients maximize their impact in new, smarter ways for now and the future. In this feature, John talks about how S&A in Asia is all about unlocking such long-term high value for our clients.

Let’s chat with John:

Congratulations on your new role! Can you tell us a bit about the role and what excites you the most?

Thank you! My new role is Head of Sector for our Asia business – Solutions and Advisory. S&A brings together three functions under one roof: Digital Consulting, Environmental Services and Strategic Consulting. I’m excited by the opportunity to offer our clients insights into some of their most pressing challenges. This includes responding to climate change, integrating digital solutions to transform delivery and developing delivery solutions at the front end of project/program delivery. 

Tell us more about your career background. What sparked your interest in engineering and how did you join Jacobs?

I started my career in 2000 as a transport planner working with public and private clients in the U.S. and then the U.K. I loved being part of projects that helped improve the quality of life by making cities and towns function better. The work was very diversified and covered the creation of regional transport plans, working to make developments more sustainable and delivering mixed-use corridor studies in major urban centers.

I joined Jacobs in 2008 and shifted to a role in sales, where I helped lead some of our largest and most complex infrastructure projects. In sales, I had the opportunity to take on leadership roles in the U.K., the U.S., the UAE and Malaysia. In the spring of 2022, I moved from a sales-focused role to head up the S&A sector for Asia.

One of the growth accelerators in Jacobs’ bold new strategy is Consulting and Advisory. In Asia, what are some of the opportunities and challenges for Jacobs in this space?

The Consulting & Advisory accelerator is all about working to support our clients at a more strategic level. Jacobs has immense depth in technical capabilities in Asia. By leveraging these abilities and understandings, we have the opportunity to help our clients achieve transformative outcomes at the enterprise level. However, it’s recognized that we’re entering a period of increasing economic, environmental and political uncertainty. This means that the challenges clients face are increasingly complex, urgent and require the technical robustness Jacobs provides. 

Can you share some of our projects that align with this growth objective?

Four key projects which exemplify the Solutions & Advisory sector include a feasibility study of green hydrogen production in Asia, the Johor Bahru to Singapore Rapid Transit System Link, and the Elizabeth line and transport planning projects in London:

  1. Supporting South Korea’s transition to hydrogen economy: We're all set to help a wind farm project developer in the country explore the feasibility of setting up a green hydrogen production facility. Planned to be linked to an upcoming offshore wind farm in the country, we'll be drawing on our solutions and advisory capability in Asia and our global hydrogen and multi-disciplinary capabilities from the U.K., Australia, Philippines and India to support the project.
  2. Redefining travel between Malaysia and Singapore:   Jacobs was selected by RTS Operations Sdn Bhd to deliver systems consultancy services for a new 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) light rail line – the Johor Bahru to Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link. As systems consultant, Jacobs is leveraging leading digital design, compliance and risk management, and asset management tools to deliver consultancy services for the design, manufacturing, delivery, testing and commissioning of all systems for the Link. Providing a vital second rail crossing across the Johor Straits, the Link will support a peak capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction. It will help ease current congestion at existing border entry points, improve cross-border connectivity and bolster economic activity in the region. 
  3. Helping deliver the most significant addition to London’s transport network in a generation: We’ve supported the Crossrail project over two decades to deliver the Elizabeth line – a complex and significant transport solution in London, U.K., that paves the way for social, environmental and economic opportunities of national significance that will last generations. We worked as a strategic partner, in an integrated team with our client Crossrail, overseeing several key contributions on this iconic mega project. 
  4. Creating an inclusive city for all Londoners and visitors: We helped Transport for London (TfL) develop new modeling, analytical and evaluation tools to provide a step change in TfL's ability to solve complex travel forecasting questions and plan for the city’s sustainable future.


“I’m delighted by the opportunity to support our clients in Asia solve some of the region’s most pressing and complex challenges: the moment is right to bring three strategic capabilities together into a Solutions & Advisory offering. We’re especially well positioned to provide energy transition solutions, identify the optimal funding strategies for major infrastructure investment, and deliver transformative digital delivery solutions. ”

John Palmoski

John Palmoski

Jacobs Head of Sector, Solutions & Advisory for Asia

People would be surprised to know that…

I’ve been a vegetarian since the age of 16.

What’s something you learned recently?

I was absolutely blown away by the initial images from the James Webb Space Telescope. It has been fascinating to learn about the technology and planning that has gone into this mission.

Proudest career moment?

In my previous sales leadership roles, I had the opportunity to be part of some of Jacobs’ largest infrastructure wins globally. These include new rail projects in the Middle East, healthcare facilities in California and highway projects in the U.K. I look back at each one of these wins with pride.

When you’re not at work, you enjoy…

Spending time with my family and exploring the communities where I live. I also love reading, hiking, collecting vinyl records and playing squash in my spare time.

What do you enjoy most about being part of #OurJacobs?

One of the most enjoyable things about working at Jacobs is the diversity of experience. This diversity can be found in the spectrum of highly talented people who bring diverse approaches and perspectives to help overcome some of the world’s most complex challenges. It’s also evident in my own Jacobs career story where I worked across many cultures to deliver significant internal and external projects.

About the interviewee

John Palmoski

John Palmoski has been with Jacobs for over 14 years (and counting!) in his 23-year career of enabling transformative outcomes for people and places. John is heading Jacobs' Solutions and Advisory sector in Asia that provides front-end strategic advice and consulting services across our market sectors and delivers extraordinary solutions for clients and communities. 

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