1915 The August 12, 1915, issue of Engineering News reports that Ernest Bateman (E.B.) Black and Nathan Thomas (N.T.) Veatch formed a partnership called Black & Veatch, with 12 employees on the payroll. In the fall, Black & Veatch is awarded its first water supply and treatment contract from American Zinc, Lead & Smelting Co. in Dearing, Kansas.
1917 As the U.S. entry into World War I looms, the U.S. War Department requests that Black & Veatch supervise construction of Camp Pike in Little Rock, Arkansas. Other camps are built later in Oklahoma and New Mexico. The relationship with the U.S. government lasts until this day.
1928 The camaraderie between Harry Truman and N.T. Veatch is sparked by their close association during the Jackson County, Missouri, road project when Truman was a presiding judge. The friendship remains close throughout the years and Truman’s presidency of the United States.
1935 After weathering the Great Depression, Black & Veatch experiences a period of extreme growth and moves the company offices to the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.
1940 The U.S. War Department requests that Black & Veatch reactivate Camp Pike in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is renamed Camp Robinson and is ready for 25,000 troops in three months. Other camp projects include Camp Chaffee in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Camp Hale in Pando, Colorado, and other military installations in the Midwest.
1946 World War II ends in 1945, and soon after, Black & Veatch begins work on highly secret activities in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Atomic Energy Commission hires Black & Veatch to provide design work and engineering services, positioning the company at the forefront of the Atomic Age.
1949 July 4, 1949, E.B. Black passes away at age 67. The company mourns the loss of a great leader known for his civic work and illustrious professional career. N.T. Veatch continues the business as sole proprietor of a growing national company.
1950 N.T. Veatch is appointed to the President’s Water Pollution Control Advisory Board by his long-time friend U.S. President Harry Truman. Veatch, who never asked his friend for a single political favor, was cautious to take the job, but accepted and held the position as long as Truman’s presidency.
1956 N.T. Veatch forms a general partnership with 29 engineers, thereby ensuring the posterity of Black & Veatch. Of the 29, 23 are designated as general partners serving as project managers and department heads. The six others become executive partners with Veatch as managing partner.
1957 Black & Veatch opens its first regional office in Orlando, Florida, serving the power markets.
1963 Black & Veatch International is formed. Executive Partner Thomas B. (Tom) Robinson spearheads the plan for company growth beyond U.S. borders.
1964 Black & Veatch opens its first regional water office in Denver, Colorado. The company designs a 100 million gallon per day water treatment plant in Denver.
1967 Black & Veatch wins a contract to produce a 60-megawatt power generating unit for Yanhee Electricity Authority, now known as EGAT, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.
1973 After nearly 60 years with the company, hundreds of successful projects and numerous relationships forged, N.T. Veatch retires from Black & Veatch. He leaves the company in the capable hands of the leadership established through the partnership structure. Upon Veatch’s retirement, Tom Robinson becomes managing partner of the company, making him the third managing partner in the history of Black & Veatch.
1976 Black & Veatch opens a new building at the present-day location in Overland Park, Kansas. The new six-story building sits on 37 acres of land with workspace totaling 276,000 square feet.
1977 Black & Veatch’s work in the nuclear energy business begins in the late 1970s. Black Fox Nuclear Power Generating Station near Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the first project. By the 1980s, the company has nearly a dozen nuclear projects related to design, consulting and engineering.
1983 John H. (Jack) Robinson becomes managing partner in 1983, after the retirement of his brother Tom. Jack had followed in his brother’s footsteps, starting at Black & Veatch in 1949, just a few days before E.B. Black’s death.
1985 Black & Veatch acquires The Pritchard Corporation, gaining entry into the gas, oil and chemicals market.
1988 The Power Division introduces a new computer-aided engineering and project management system called POWRTRAK®. The goal is to reduce the amount of time required for projects, use engineers more efficiently and capture new business.
1990 By 1990, Black & Veatch has built multiple markets across the United States for Sprint’s first PCS network. Just a year before, Black & Veatch was engaged in building the first nationwide fiber optic network with AT&T that included 4,100 miles of fiber optic cable. This year, the number of regional offices across the United States reaches 35 with six international offices.
1992 P.J. (Jim) Adam, previously head of the Energy Group and assistant managing partner, succeeds Jack Robinson upon his retirement in 1992. Adam is the fifth managing partner and the first to come from the energy side of the business.
1995 Black & Veatch merges with Binnie & Partners, gaining 25 global offices and opening the door to the UK, European and Asian water markets.
1996 Black & Veatch acquires Paterson Candy Ltd., a UK-based water treatment process contractor, and PROWA, a German engineering firm. Black & Veatch also teams with General Electric to start design and construction on the Lungmen Nuclear Plant in Taiwan.
1998 As the company prepares for the new millennium, Jim Adam becomes Black & Veatch’s first Chairman, and Len C. Rodman is named President and CEO.
1999 Black & Veatch becomes an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program), transforming the company from a partnership.
2000 Len Rodman becomes Chairman, President and CEO.
2004 As natural gas prices rise in the early 2000s, liquefied natural gas (LNG) becomes an important priority in the company. Pioneering technology and an ability to lead a consortium of strategic partners help Black & Veatch secure a major win at the Costa Azul LNG facility in Ensenada, Mexico.
2005 Black & Veatch acquires R.J. Rudden Associates, Lukens Energy Group and Fortegra, a move that doubles the size of its management consulting business.
2006 Black & Veatch acquires the water business of MJ Gleeson, more than doubling the size of its existing UK water operations.
2007 Black & Veatch acquires Richard Conner Riley & Associates, a company that provides real estate and site acquisition services to the telecommunications industry.
2008 Kusile Power Station, a 4,800-megawatt supercritical, coal-fired power station, is under construction near Witbank, South Africa. Designed by Black & Veatch, it is one of the largest energy infrastructure projects under construction in the world.
2009 Black & Veatch announces the purchase of its current World Headquarters Building in Overland Park, Kansas, and makes plans for ambitious renovations. The company acquires Ariston Consulting & Technologies, a software systems integrator.
2010 Black & Veatch acquires Enspiria Solutions, a smart grid consultant.
2013 Len Rodman retires as Chairman, President and CEO, after 42 years with Black & Veatch and 15 years as CEO. Steve Edwards is named Chairman and CEO of Black & Veatch, only the seventh person to serve in the top leadership position in the company’s history.
2014 The company dedicates the Rodman Innovation Pavilion at World Headquarters, which is capable of operating on its own microgrid system.
2014 Black & Veatch ushers in the next era of employee ownership. The model moves the company to an S Corporation. This transaction preserves the intent of the company’s founders while positioning the company for continued growth.
2015 Black & Veatch commemorates its centennial with celebrations at its World Headquarters and office locations across the globe.