In his new role, he will be responsible for leading its 10,000 strong team and operations across multiple transportation, infrastructure, building and industrial markets.
A chartered chemical engineer, Robinson was previously chief operating officer at HS2 for just over a year and stood down last month.
He has also held senior leadership roles at AECOM, BAA Heathrow, and Anglo American after his early career at ICI.
Robinson, who has led transformational levels of growth in mature sectors throughout his career, joins Atkins on 4 November.
He will be based at Atkins’ European headquarters at Nova North in London.
Atkins President Philip Hoare said: “Richard brings a wealth of experience and a fantastic track record of delivering growth through exceptional leadership and a steadfast focus on operational excellence.
“Just as importantly, his deep technical understanding of design, engineering and project management will help drive our efforts to transform the way we deliver services to our clients to improve our own performance as well as the productivity of the wider industry.”
Robinson’s appointment follows Philip Hoare’s promotion to Atkins President in May.
Mark Anderson, who was interim CEO of UK and Europe during the recruitment process, returns to his position as finance director for the region.