Cross was in charge of the technology estate at Arup, the multinational design and engineering company since January 2011, sitting on the Group Executive Board.
It is the second technology appointment at Atkins in recent months; in December 2013 John Drever was promoted to the role as Innovation Director with managing director Geoff Ball commenting at the time it was part of their strategy to "be at the forefront of the ICT evolution".
The former Accenture and Ernst & Young management consultant was the focus of a CIO profile in August 2012 and also featured in last year's CIO 100 where he discussed embracing consumerisation and taking his fellow board members to Silicon Valley to look at technology innovation and what the organisation can do with social networking.
Atkins - the UK's largest engineering consultancy - employs around 18,000 staff based in 300 offices across 29 countries. Its headquarters are in Epsom on the border of Surrey and south west London.
Major recent projects at Atkins include planning and infrastructure support for the London 2012 Olympics Park, the Burj Al Arab luxury hotel in Dubai, and the £5 million diagonal crossing installed at Oxford Circus in London in 2009.