Ricardo-AEA 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) (“AEA Europe”), for a total cash consideration of £18.0 million.
The acquisition saw the AEA Europe business, including an operational staff of approximately 400 located at five UK sites, transferring to Ricardo where it began to operate as Ricardo-AEA under the continued leadership of Robert Bell, reporting to Martin Fausset, managing director of Ricardo UK. Based on its most recent reported results, the assets acquired generated, for the year ended 31 March 2012, annual revenues of £39 million and delivered operating profit margins similar to those of the rest of the Ricardo group.
AEA Technology plc was formed in 1996 as the privatised offshoot of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. It was a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index. 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 was an energy & environmental consultancy 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 Resonate Group Ltd, previously DeltaRail Group Ltd) 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 are located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire (head office), London, Risley and Glasgow (Scotland). In August 2006, AEA established a Romania Subsidiary in Bucharest (AEA Mediu) and this was shut down in April 2009. AEA Technology was voted best Consultancy for Climate Change and Renewables in the EDIE Awards 2007. 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". AEA has also seen a continuing slump in its share price: from 277p in November 2003 to around 0.4p in January 2012. Shares lost up to one third of their value during 2010 and were even temporarily suspended on the stock exchange. Andrew McCree quit as Chief Executive Officer in November 2011  and was replaced by John Lowry as Interim CEO. Lowry had previously been involved in the UK's National Health Service as a restructuring advisor.
AEA Technology was fined £250,000 for transporting a 2.5 tonne 60Co gamma radiation source from Cookridge Hospital, Leeds, UK, to Sellafield with defective shielding on 11 March 2002. The company is no longer involved in the transportation of nuclear material.
Rebrandings & Former Names
Ricardo-AEA was formed by acquisition of AEA Technology. AEA Technology has previously been known as the Energy Technology Support Unit (ETSU), many reports published under this name are still in circulation. AEA Technology was, for a time, also re-branded as "Future Energy Solutions (incorporating the Energy Technology Support Unit (ETSU))".
A former division of AEA Technology was Momenta. Momenta provided services to the public sector. Helping turn policy into practice by offering a range of programme management services, including research management, knowledge transfer, best practice, fund management and behaviour change programmes. Its programmes reached businesses, public sector organisations, the third sector, stakeholders and the general public." Major programmes included Envirowise for [Defra] and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (for the Technology Strategy Board). Momenta and the Digital Solutions Business Unit (DSBU - a small IT sub unit) were merged into the rest of AEA in the UK creating "AEA Consulting" (an internal name) or "AEA Europe".
- ESR Technology, a former arm of AEA Technology, working in reliability, safety, and risk
- AEA Technology: asset sale Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- AEA Knowledge Transfer
- AEA IT
- AEA Mediu website Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- EDIE survey
- AEA Technology redundancies
- Share Suspension on Stock Exchange
- McCree quits as CEO
- Lowry appointed Interim CEO
- LinkedIn profile of John Lowry
- The Times - Blunder left trail of lethal radiation
- DEFRA Contacts directory
- AEA Press release
-  Ricardo Press Release referencing AEA Europe