Where Have All The Civil Engineering Firms Gone?

April 16, 2008 at 7:42 pm 3 comments

By Carol Metzner, Managing Partner, www.civilengineeringcentral.com and President, The Metzner Group LLC, www.themetznergroup.com

Acquisitions in the civil engineering community exploded in 2007 with a steady group following this year. A client jokingly told me that eventually we will all work for about 5 firms…that is all that will be left!

While I think that is a slight exaggeration, the pace of these M&As does not seem to be slowing. What has happened to the traditional firms of the past? Certainly, these consolidations allow firms a great way to increase staff and presence in particular locations or technical arenas. But, if you joined a firm because of a specific company culture….what do you do now?

Are these large national and international firms of combined technical talents good for our industry?  What do you think?


Entry filed under: Civil Engineering Issues, Civil Engineering Shortage, Employee Retention. Tags: , .

Sustainability in Civil Engineering zzzzzzzzz….WAKE UP! (Your Job Descriptions)

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. CT civil engineer  |  February 15, 2009 at 4:08 am

    M & A is the way to go right now. Several small firms are struggling right now and looking for a solid income stream.

  • 2. Christopher  |  May 5, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    With the recent explosion of M&A activity even the smaller firms are getting in on the trend. What a better way to consolidate talent, remove competition, gain geographical territory, and a larger client base.

    With the recent trends in the economy, those firms that have had a M&A policy in place are the ones that are going to be able to weather the storm!

  • 3. aepcentral  |  April 17, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Lots of M&A activity for sure out there in the civil engineering industry, but what a great time for new civil engineering firms to spin off! Quite often it is circumstances like these that force people out, some voluntarily, some not; in any event, an act like this is just what many engineering entrepreneurs need to motivate them to go out and hang up their own shingle. Who knows, one day ten years from now we may find them in the ENR Top 500 acquiring firms themselves!


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