Firms on the move

April 2007 » Business Briefs
Civil engineering firm mergers, acquisitions, and expansions, updated April 18, 2007
CE News Staff

(April 18, 2007 update)
RBF Consulting (RBF) announced the beginning of a yearlong celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of RBF’s Phoenix Office and 55 years of service in Arizona. First established in 1952 as the American Engineering Company (AEC), the firm was a Phoenix-based leader in the fields of civil engineering, land development, water resources and surveying. In 1997, AEC joined RBF Consulting (RBF) to strengthen its resources, and today, with a staff of 118 professionals and an office in Tucson, RBF is providing expertise in the fields of transportation, water resources, land development, planning and landscape architecture, surveying and GIS/mapping, and construction management to private and public sector clients throughout Arizona. RBF also began a year-long celebration to mark its 15th year of service in Ventura County, Calif. RBF’s Ventura County Office was established in 1992, providing civil engineering and surveying services. Today, the office consists of nearly 40 employees, providing subdivision and public works engineering, land surveying, mapping, land planning, environmental analysis, GIS, traffic engineering, transportation planning, transportation engineering, and water resources.

AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services for government and commercial clients, acquired STS Consultants, Ltd. (STS), a Vernon Hills, Ill.-based engineering consulting firm with more than 550 engineers, scientists, and support personnel in 18 offices in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. According to AECOM, the combination of AECOM, whose 28,000 staff members serve clients in more than 60 countries, and STS, which is recognized worldwide for its capabilities in complex foundations, construction services, site development, facilities support, and transportation engineering, leverages the strengths of both companies.

Schmueser Gordon Meyer (SGM), an engineering and surveying firm headquartered in Glenwood Springs, Colo., is launching a new division, e2, the Environmental Efficiency Team, to help clients overcome the challenges posed by land, water, and the built environment. Key goals and services of the e2 team include:

  • Environmental efficiency—Consultation on the primary environmental issues inherent in development projects, such as water quality, water conservation, and resource efficient building. SGM can also provide LEED AP services.
  • Energy management—From new development to existing facilities, SGM assists organizations manage energy usage and costs. This can include municipal facilities, commercial buildings, and vehicle fleets as well as integrating energy management into regulatory code and organizational policies.
  • Climate mitigation strategies—Assisting municipalities and businesses in developing a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This typically includes creating a baseline of emissions and a strategy to cost-effectively monitor and reduce emissions.

Abletech, Inc., Dexter, Mich., recently became a Leica Geosystems’ machine automation distributor primarily serving Michigan. Abletech has been a consulting engineering firm associated with site preparation projects involving commercial, industrial, and residential developments, and environmental land projects. In addition to the machine automation systems, Abletech will market Leica Geosystems’ construction laser and level product lines.

AMEC launched a celebration of 100 years of service in Canada at its more than 70 offices across the country. The firm unveiled a commemorative video—Sharing a century. Building a nation.—highlighting significant milestones and unique stories from the past 100 years.

Continued record growth across Black & Veatch’s global business lines resulted in revenues of $2.17 billion for the company in 2006, a 38 percent increase compared with 2005. In addition, Black & Veatch expects to add approximately 1,000 new professionals to its global workforce in 2007. The company increased its employment from just more than 7,000 professionals at the beginning of 2006, to a year-end total of more than 8,600, representing a nearly 23 percent increase. In the Kansas City area, with the largest concentration of Black & Veatch offices, the company currently employs 3,600 professionals, an increase of 20 percent since January 2006. The company’s business expansion includes its energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, and federal services operations that collectively helped produce company record-high net earnings of more than $62 million in 2006, compared with approximately $32 million in 2005. Black & Veatch says it added approximately 700 new professionals through the first quarter of 2007 and has more than 1,000 open positions across its 100 global office locations.

Jacques Whitford, an international environmental sciences and engineering firm, acquired U.S.-based North American Wetland Engineering, LLC (NAWE) and EcoCheck, Inc. According to the firm, by joining forces with Jacques Whitford, NAWE’s advanced technologies and EcoCheck’s operational capabilities will now be available to a broader client base. NAWE’s engineered wetlands technology advance the treatment capacity of wetland treatment systems and provide a simple, low-cost alternative to challenging wastewater and water management problems. In 2002, NAWE established EcoCheck to fill a critical need for quality infrastructure management of their wastewater systems. NAWE’s team of experts developed the first insulated engineered wetland solution proven capable of operating year-round in cold weather climates.

(March 30, 2007 update)
Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, Inc., created an Infrastructure Large Diameter (ILD) Pipelines Business Group to focus on expanding the firm’s national practice in large-diameter pipelines and providing specialized service to its clients. Rafael Ortega, P.E., the firm’s president, will serve as director of the 50-member group. The ILD group will be responsible for planning, design, condition assessment, problem mitigation, and program and construction management of all pipelines greater than 36 inches. Current projects include condition assessment of a 60-inch, 10,000-foot-long water main for the city of Houston, and design of a 60-inch wastewater force main for Miami-Dade County, Fla.

(March 22, 2007, update)
MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MACTEC, Inc., and Aleier, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of RF Monolithics, Inc., formed a strategic alliance to offer integrated enterprise asset management (EAM) and engineered management systems (EMS) solutions to the facilities management market. Both companies will offer their professional services as part of the alliance. MACTEC will provide a broad range of facilities support services to include architectural and engineering design, construction management, outsourced facility maintenance and management services, and asset condition assessment survey services. Aleier will provide field asset inventory and tagging services, data acquisition and asset connectivity expertise, as well as innovative wireless sensor networking to ensure condition-based maintenance.

(March 14, 2007 update)
KCI Technologies, Inc., is moving its headquarters from Hunt Valley, Md., to Sparks, Md., to allow room for the company’s anticipated growth at its headquarters from about 300 employees to more than 400 employees during the next five years. The new headquarters will be a four-story, 120,000-square-foot building that meets federal green building standards, using systems design, architecture, landscaping, and site-specific design, as well as environmentally sensitive and energy-efficient construction.

HDR, Inc., an employee-owned consulting firm based in Omaha, Neb., acquired Quest Engineers, Inc., a full-service engineering firm based in Lexington, Ky., with offices in Louisville, Ky., and Cincinnati. The company employs 120 people. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Going forward, Quest Engineers will conduct business as HDR/Quest.

David Evans and Associates, Inc., Portland, Ore., acquired structural and civil engineering firm CES, Inc. Engineering. CES has 15 employees based in Olympia, Wash., and serves Pacific Northwest clients in the public and private sectors. Founded in 1994 with an emphasis on bridge engineering services, CES added services in roadways, construction, hydraulics, inspection, and testing related to transportation infrastructure improvement as the firm grew.

Carter & Burgess opened an Inland Empire office in Ontario, Calif. According to the firm, the new office "stands as a sign of the Carter & Burgess commitment to continuous growth in the state of California." The company’s other offices in the state are in Orange County, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Sacramento.

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