Sydney-listed engineering and property consultancy UGL has appointed a new head of its engineering unit following the company's decision to divide itself into two separate businesses.

The company has announced that Russell Waugh will be made head of UGL’s engineering arm, as it embarks upon a demerger process to separate itself into an engineering-focused unit and a property services firm.

UGL expects the demerger to lead to the creation of an engineering firm with revenue in excess of $2.3 billion and 8,000 employees operating across six different countries.

Waugh is a veteran of the engineering sector who has a total of 17 years of experience with Clough Engineering and the Leighton Group.

He was with Leighton from 2004 to August 2012, holding the position of managing director of the company’s Indian joint venture.

Richard Leupen, overall managing director for UGL, said that the company was “very pleased to confirm Russell’s appointment as CEO of the Engineering business,” and saw him playing a pivotal role in the company’s demerger process.

“As we commence the demerger preparation phase, Russell will lead the engineering side of the business, building out the operation structure and driving the strategy to deliver business growth and stability.”

Leupen hailed Waugh’s numerous strengths as an executive, and the benefits this will bring to UGL’s engineering business as it seeks to assume a leading position in the market.

“Russell’s focus on operation discipline, rigorous execution and business development will ensure the Engineering business is strengthened and positioned as a market leader as the investment cycle improves.”

Leupen further said that he expected Waugh to be at the forefront of efforts by UGL to expand into rapid growth developing markets in the Asia, by leveraging the company’s wealth of experience at home, as well as Waugh’s many years of experience working in India on behalf of Leighton.

“We see a long term opportunity for UGL to build a strong presence in India and Asia by utilizing the skills and capabilities we have in Australia.”

UGL is one of a number of Australian engineering consultancies currently seeking to expand their overseas reach in order to compensate for the loss of opportunities in the domestic market, resulting from the slump in investment in mining project as a result of declines in commodities prices.