Company Profile

Black & Veatch

Company Overview

Want to make a difference in the world?
Join a company that’s doing just that! Black & Veatch is doing work every day, all over the world, that improves lives, provides environmental sustainability, advances public health and changes communities for the better.

We are a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company with the mission of Building a World of Difference®. Whether providing environmental stewardship, reliable energy, clean air and water, telecommunications, safety or security, partnering with our clients to improve the quality of life for families around the world is at the heart of what we do.

Think. What is important to you in your career? At Black & Veatch, not only will you work on vital infrastructure projects for the most prominent clients, you will work with the best professionals in the industry. You will make a difference everyday! Our projects, across the globe, touch the lives of millions of people each day.

Go. Where do you want to work? With more than 100 offices worldwide and projects completed in more than 100 countries, you will have opportunities to work on projects on a global scale, regardless of physical location.

Gain. Want market-competitive pay and benefits? Then get just that. We constantly monitor the marketplace to ensure that your compensation is current and competitive. As an employee-owned company, you can share in our success with competitive earnings, benefits and stock ownership. You’ll receive life and health insurance, vacation time, sick pay, holidays and dozens of additional benefits designed to increase security and enhance your quality of life.

Reach. Want to continue to grow and learn? To maintain and build your professional skills, you’ll get the time, resources and support you need. We are committed to continuous improvement through training, education, mentoring and learning opportunities for all our professionals.

Start. Ready to make a difference? Then start now! Every day, on every project we’re passionate about Building a World of Difference®. If you’re seeking that kind of purpose in your career, you’ll find it at Black & Veatch.

Company History

Black & Veatch was officially started as a two-person partnership in 1915, but its roots began developing years prior when Ernest Bateman Black met Nathan Thomas Veatch at the University of Kansas. Black later teamed with J.S. Worley and formed Worley & Black in 1912. When Worley left to pursue a government contract, Black remembered his former colleague and offered N.T. Veatch a partnership. Thus, Black & Veatch was formed.

The company began with 12 employees with offices in Kansas City, Missouri. It landed two large contracts, one in power and one in water, in its first year. The company's strong ties with government work began in 1917, as the United States Government War Department asked Black & Veatch to supervise construction of military training camps during World War I.

In the early years, the company mostly focused on water and power projects throughout the Midwest. In 1928, Black & Veatch designed and constructed 250 miles of roadways for Jackson County, Missouri, and during this time, N.T. Veatch formed a strong friendship with Harry Truman, which lasted throughout Truman's presidency. Following World War II, Black & Veatch became involved with the work at the United States Atomic Energy Commission at Los Alamos, New Mexico.

In 1949, founder E.B. Black passed away at the age of 67. Veatch directed the company for the next seven years, and in 1956 formed a general partnership with 29 engineers, in effect, giving them partial ownership and guaranteeing the continuance of the company. The next year, Black & Veatch opened its first branch office outside of Kansas City, a small office in Orlando, Florida, serving the power markets.

In the early 1960s, the company made a concerted effort to move into international markets. Although it took a few years of sowing, the company won a contract to build a 200 megawatt power plant in Thailand, beginning a relationship that has lasted to this day. In 1964, the company's first water office opened in Denver, Colorado.

Founder N.T. Veatch retired from the company in 1973, and passed away two years later, on October 8, 1975 at the age of 89. Veatch saw his company soar from the dozen initial employees to more than 1,200 professionals, with projects spanning the globe.

Black & Veatch grew "organically" during its first 60-plus years and expanded dramatically throughout the United States between 1977 and 1984, opening 11 regional offices. The company also began a series of acquisitions and mergers starting in the late 1970s, acquiring Trotter-Yodder & Associates in San Francisco, and then Southern Science Application and Moore, Gardner & Associates. In 1985, the company acquired the Pritchard Corporation, which put Black & Veatch in the gas, oil and chemicals field with the major energy companies as clients.

After a series of acquisitions plus continuing organic growth, the company had 35 offices in the United States by 1990 and was also expanding globally with six offices outside the U.S.

In 1995, Black & Veatch merged with Binnie & Partners of the UK, giving the company an opening in the UK, European and Asian markets. The next year, Black & Veatch also acquired Paterson Candy Ltd., a UK-based water treatment process contractor.

In 1999, the company changed its structure from the general partnership begun in 1956 to an employee-owned corporation. That change facilitated the company's growth, as many of its clients were involved in multiple markets across the core sectors of energy, water, information and government

Shortly after the new millennium, many market sectors were negatively impacted and damaged by world events - the information technology bust, 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Enron financial failure and a recession in the U.S. Black & Veatch demonstrated a strong level of resiliency during this time and emerged more diversified and able to serve ever-expanding global markets.

The company partnered with Chiyoda in 2001, a Japanese industrial company, for a licensing agreement for the CT-121 wet flue gas scrubber, as air quality control issues heightened at power plants. The company's coal power plant business and the power delivery business grew to unprecedented levels, and work progressed at the Lungmen Nuclear Plant in Taiwan. The company led a consortium of partners to win the Costa Azul LNG terminal project in Ensenada, Mexico, in 2004.

In 2005, the company made three acquisitions - R.J. Rudden Associates, Lukens Energy Group and Fortegra - doubling the size of its management consulting business, renamed Enterprise Management Solutions.

In B&V Water during 2005, the Tuas Desalination plant in Singapore came online and the Columbia Heights Membrane Ultrafiltration Plant both won awards for its design. Black & Veatch also made major expansion efforts in offices in Pune, India, and Beijing, China, and targeted new markets in Russia, China and the Middle East. The company was involved with reconstruction work in Iraq, and helped with the recovery efforts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Black & Veatch has always been marked by steady leadership. After the death of founder E.B. Black, founder N.T. Veatch ran the company until his retirement in 1973, and he turned the company over to managing partner Thomas Robinson. Robinson ran Black & Veatch for 10 years and retired in 1982. His brother, Jack Robinson, succeeded him as managing partner and guided the company for another 10 years. In 1992, P.J. Adam took over as Chairman and CEO and operated the company until current Chairman, President and CEO Len C. Rodman took over the reins on January 1, 2000.

In 2006, Black & Veatch is experiencing strong growth in most core markets, requiring the hiring of 1,000 additional professionals. The company currently has more than 8,500 professionals working in over 90 offices worldwide with projects in 70 countries on six continents.

Notable Accomplishments / Recognition

Rankings & Awards
Engineering News Record (ENR) - Rankings 2005
(Data from - Updated May 26, 2006)

Top 500 Design Firms (2006)
No. 15 Top 500 Design Firms
No. 18 Top Designers - International Markets
No. 1 Top 20 in Power
No. 5 Top 20 in Water
No. 5 Top 20 in Sewer Waste
No. 15 Top 20 in Telecommunications

Top 500 Design Firms Sourcebook (2005)
Energy (Power)
No. 6 Top 10 in Nuclear Plants
No. 5 Top 5 in Operations and Maintenance
No. 2 Top 10 in Transmission and Distribution

Energy (Petroleum)
No. 17 Top 25 in Refineries and Petrochemical Plants

Water (Environmental)
No. 24 Top 25 in Site Assessment and Compliance
No. 6 Top 25 in Wastewater Treatment
No. 3 Top 25 in Treatment and Desalination

Information (Telecommunications)
No. 8 Top 10 in Towers and Antennae

Top 400 Contractors Sourcebook 2006
No. 52 Top 400 Contractors

Top 100 Design-Builders
No. 6 Top 100 Design-Builders

Top 100 Construction Managers (For Fee)
No. 16 Top 100 Construction Managers-for-Fee Firms

Top 40 Program Managers
No. 11 Top 40 Program Management Firms

Top 200 Environmental Firms
No. 13 Top 200 Environmental Firms

Top 200 International Design Firms
No. 32 Top 200 International Firms

Top 150 Global Design Firms
No. 20 Top 150 Global Design Firms

Top 225 International Contractors
No. 97 Top 225 International Contractors

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