ENGEO Incorporated was founded in California as a geotechnical and engineering geology firm and a subsidiary of Earth Systems, Inc. ENGEO’s three founders, Bill Wigginton, Jean Meuris and Shalom Eliahu managed the firm, built up clientele, and eventually split from Earth Systems in 1974. ENGEO’s first office was an 800-square-foot space in Berkeley, California.
Selected to work on the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California, one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier outdoor venues hosting some of the biggest names in music.
Selected to work on the first project outside of California, a big levee project in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Selected to work on the Canyon Lakes Project, in San Ramon, California.
Pioneered the use of Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts (GHADs) for new communities and helped form the first GHAD in northern California. GHADs are formed to allow for the prevention, mitigation, abatement or control of geologic hazards (e.g. landslides, erosion, etc.) in perpetuity. GHADs provide a superior alternative for funding maintenance and management of open space parcels compared to HOAs and CFDs. The GHAD’s primary focus, guided by an Engineering-Geologist-Prepared Plan of Control, is to prioritize funds for preventive maintenance and reserve accumulation for large-scale repairs. Today ENGEO manages approximately 15 GHADS in California and leads the board of the California Association of GHADs.
401(k) Plan put into effect.
Opened new office and moved headquarters to San Ramon, California.
Selected to work on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) project: PAX (Pittsburgh Antioch Extension).
New Board of Directors was named: Uri Eliahu as President, Paul Guerin as CFO, and Brian Flaherty as Secretary. These new visionary leaders were inspired by everything the ENGEO founders built, and they were determined to enhance the ENGEO brand by growing the firm’s capabilities and geographic reach. Uri, Paul, and Brian focused on two main goals: (1) to create absolutely the best work environment by helping employees flourish, both professionally and personally, and (2) to provide the best client service of any organization, regardless of industry, by exceeding client expectations through excellent service and quality performance. The new Board also adopted a servant leadership culture where a firm leader serves all employees to help each individual with their growth and well-being.
First annual Team Business Planning (TBP). TBP is to review the firm’s accomplishments from the previous year and set goals for the upcoming year. ENGEO President, Uri Eliahu, recalls why TBP started “We wanted another element to our team culture. A new way to make informed decision by being inclusive and getting everyone within the firm involved.”
With everyone in the company invited to attend, the content and flow of each TBP is different. The events are fun and engaging, while focusing on challenges, solutions, relationship development, and financial goals. It is an opportunity for all ENGEO team members to share their feedback on ENGEO’s progress and ideas on how to improve operations and services. It is a big part of ENGEO’s culture to empower our team to achieve its potential and elevate our profession.
First female engineer joined Executive Committee.
Geographic Growth Spurt – Opened offices in Vacaville, Gilroy, and Tracy, California.
Selected to work on Mare Island in Vallejo, California, a 1,000-acre former Navy base. ENGEO set up their office in a historic Victorian mansion that was once used by Navy Admirals. The mansion even had hidden cabinets in the woodwork, supposedly to hide “prohibition” moonshine in the 1920s. The redevelopment of Mare Island included residential, commercial and retail space. In addition, unique historic buildings were preserved, such as St. Peter’s Chapel, which has over 30 original Tiffany stained glass windows (valued at over $30 million!).
It took the ENGEO team months to review Navy archives for previous geotechnical information, maps, records, and photos. From 2003 to 2008, the ENGEO office grew from 8 to 40 staff. It was during these 5 years that ENGEO operated a fully equipped testing laboratory and implemented radio GPS (a new technology at the time) to track construction volumes for backbone infrastructure and housing developments.
Selected to work on the River Islands Project in Lathrop, California, a 5,000-acre site proposed for 15,000 residential units, 500,000 square meters of commercial space, a town center, retail, golf course, recreational and educational development. Project design includes construction of interior lakes, associated water crossings and four new bridges across the San Joaquin River and Paradise Cut.
ENGEO has provided geotechnical and construction management services for approximately 10 million cubic meters of grading and subexcavation. Our scope of services included design consultation and field recommendations; testing and observation services; and performing QA/QC laboratory testing to support soil material specification conformance for levee construction. Additional services included contract item quantity tracking services through the use of GPS field measurement.
Acquired Anderson Consulting Group (est. 1971), establishing a presence in the Sacramento region with an office in Roseville, California.
Selected to work on the Treasure Island Redevelopment project in San Francisco, California, an approximately 171-acre parcel with a new ferry terminal, approximately 3,700 residential units, and 100 acres of parks and open space. ENGEO is the Geotechnical Engineer of Record for the project. The main geotechnical issues for the proposed development include seismic stabilization of the perimeter shoreline and causeway that connect Treasure Island to Yerba Buena Island, mitigation of long-term static settlements, and mitigation of liquefaction-induced settlement. ENGEO led an effort and engaged the renowned Professors at UC Berkeley to conduct a more thorough understanding of the liquefaction potential. The results were favorable and suggested some of the material that created the island was stable, resulting in more than $50 million in ground improvement savings.
Selected to work on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) extension to San Jose, California.
Crossed the state line and opened office in Reno, Nevada.
Ranked #1 Best Place to Work in the Bay Area in the 101-500 employee category. ENGEO was the only engineering firm to receive an award in its category this year. This recognition increased the firm’s visibility by clients and teaming partners. ENGEO’s focus is to meet client needs while maintaining its close-knit family atmosphere and stimulating work environment. In addition to comprehensive training, coaching and mentorship, ENGEO encourages and promotes involvement of all employees in important decisions of the firm. Through a combination of small committees, after-work activities and an open-door policy, the firm is committed to providing each employee with a voice and a strong connection to the team. ENGEO has consistently ranked as a Best Place to Work since 2005.
Acquired Land Marine Geotechnics.
Opened offices in San Jose and Valencia, California, moved Tracy office to Ripon, California, moved Roseville office to Rocklin, California.
First design work for offshore structures.
Opened office in Oakland, California.
Selected to work on the Heritage Fields Project in Irvine, California, an approximately 4,700 acre base reuse project for the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) and former Bordiers Nursery. The redevelopment is a master-planned community that will include roughly 9,500 residential units, schools, parks, open space, commercial, and industrial developments along with associated drainage and utility improvements. ENGEO provides geotechnical, environmental, and water quality consulting services to the design team and master developer. In addition, ENGEO assisted with preparing the “Soil and Geology” and “Water Quality” sections of the 2011 SEIR and 2012 SSEIR for the Great Park Neighborhoods project. The project is approximately 1,300 acres in the central portion of the former MCAS for public amenities such as botanical gardens, open park spaces, golf course and sports park. The Great Park Neighborhoods TTOD Project will incorporate mitigation areas in the Agua Chinon alignment and Alton Parkway wildlife corridor.
Opened office in Irvine, California.
Responded after earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Following the devastating damage, ENGEO was called upon to bring the firm’s geotechnical, geologic and seismic engineering expertise to New Zealand, based on our technical expertise and rapid emergency response in the United States. Three of ENGEO’s engineers relocated to New Zealand to lead a new office in support of the rebuilding and assessment efforts.
ENGEO worked closely with Geoscience Consulting (NZ) Ltd. (Geoscience), a 35-person firm with offices in Christchurch, Lyttelton, Wellington and Auckland, creating a team with a solid background in earthquake engineering, geotechnical engineering and engineering geology for some of the most seismically active regions on the planet, along with comprehensive environmental, stormwater, construction management and quality control services. The seamless partnership soon led to a merger of firms, bringing additional resources and a 40-year history of successful business practices to Geoscience’s projects in New Zealand.
ENGEO joined forces with Geoscience Consulting in New Zealand.
Expanded to New Zealand opening offices in Auckland and Wellington.
Selected to work on the Newhall Ranch Development in Los Angeles County, California, a 15,000 acre site that will be developed into many villages. The development is situated on a rugged hillside terrain immediately adjacent to the Santa Clara River. At build-out, for the Newhall Ranch Development will include 21,500 residential units, 11.5 million square feet of planned commercial/retail, elementary, junior high and high schools, health care, 275 acres of neighborhood and community parks, community and arterial streets, permanent water quality features, and 50 miles of trails. The community is a net zero greenhouse gas emissions development including use of geothermal heat exchange.
ENGEO provides geotechnical, geologic, environmental, and water resource services. In addition, ENGEO is providing geothermal heat exchange design and implementation, routine UAC flights for tracking site progress a dedicated project lab, and is hosting a project GIS web portal for tracking construction progress, field tests, BMPs installed, and other document management.
Selected to work on the Brooklyn Basin Project in Oakland, California, 65 acres of former Port of Oakland land adjacent to the Oakland Estuary and Jack London Square.
The project includes an environmentally sustainable, mixed-use urban master plan with 3,100 residential units; 200,000 square-feet of retail and commercial space; and 30 acres of parks, public trails and open space, new marinas and renewed wetlands. The project will consist of a combination of low-, mid- and high-rise construction and includes reusing a historic wharf structure founded on a combination of wood and concrete piles. ENGEO is providing geotechnical engineering and stormwater consultation for the redevelopment.
Geoscience Consulting changed its name to ENGEO Ltd.
Deloitte Fast 50 Second Fastest Growing Business in the South Island, New Zealand. ENGEO was named the second fastest growing business in the South Island and 19th nationally. The Fast 50 is a list of the fastest growing businesses in New Zealand over the past three years. Greg Martin, who co-founded ENGEO Ltd. shared his thoughts on the award “Making the Deloitte Fast 50 is a big deal for us as it is widely celebrated. Thank you to everyone who has helped grow ENGEO’s New Zealand presence into the great operation it is today. This reward is recognition of all the hard work and selfless contributions you have made.”
Selected to work on the Christchurch Adventure Park (CAP) project in New Zealand, a 360 hectare area that is made up of two valleys that is used for bike trails, zip lines and adventure walks. The CAP is the world’s first downhill bike park to operate 365 days of the year with a high-speed chairlift designed and built for the purpose of transporting mountain bikers and their bikes.
ENGEO was the lead geotechnical consultant for the project providing detailed geological mapping of the chairlift route, rockfall assessment and geotechnical investigations for structures including the 2 km long chairlift, 15 accommodation and hospitality structures, zip lines and a mountain coaster.
Selected to work on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, in Los Angeles, California, a 290,000 sf, 115-foot-tall building dedicated to gallery space, with other program elements including a movie theater, a lecture hall, a library, a restaurant and several digital classrooms. A publicly accessible green roof terrace will cap the building, and a 2,425-space parking complex will be located underneath. ENGEO was the geotechnical and environmental engineer of record, saving the original design from being changed using non-ergodic SHA procedures. This new approach more accurately and precisely predicted the ground motions for the site, reducing the amplitudes predicted for the design earthquake. Our team, together with leading expert Jonathan Stewart from UCLA, implemented state-of-the-art analysis procedures at the Lucas Museum site. These refined analyses indicate that the original base isolators will have the capacity to accommodate the anticipated shaking during the design earthquake event. Therefore, the need for what would have been substantial redesign of portions of the project was eliminated. Not only did ENGEO save the project millions of dollars in potential re-design costs; it also meant that the sleek, lofty design of the building could remain as planned.
Kaikōura Earthquake caused extensive damage in New Zealand. More than 20 faults are inferred to have moved in the M7.8 earthquake, which resulted in substantial damage to the coastal slopes and caused uplift at several locations. The transport corridor is located on a narrow coastal strip of land between steep mountainous slopes and the Pacific Ocean and was severely affected by landsliding to the north and south of Kaikōura. Over 80 landslides occurred along the road and rail transport corridor between Clarence and Oaro. ENGEO provided their expertise to re-establish this nationally vital portion of New Zealand’s transport infrastructure as quickly as practicable.
Selected to work on the Wellington Harbor Bores Exploration project in New Zealand. As part of Wellington Water’s work to improve the earthquake resilience of the water supply network across the region, the first phase of an exploratory drilling program was recently undertaken within the harbor to assess the confined freshwater aquifer present below the sea floor. The project will ultimately involve a sub-sea water well installation on the harbor floor into an artesian aquifer – something that has never been constructed before. ENGEO fostered a strong collaborative approach when working with the project team to determine key geological and seismic risks during the detailed design phase of the work.
Opened office in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
Selected to work on the Mission Village Project in Santa Clarita, California.
Selected to work on the Los Angeles Metro Purple Line Extension project in Los Angeles, California.
Opened offices in Queenstown, New Zealand and Los Angeles, California.
Entered the Australian market, and opened an office in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. With the plan to build a team of eight full-time staff over the next two years, the goal was to open three new Australia offices over the next five years. Guy Cassidy, CEO, of ENGEO Ltd (New Zealand and Australia) shared, “We could see the growth potential and opportunities that exist when we made our visits to the Sunshine Coast, and that really cemented the decision. There’s a market demand there for the responsive geotechnical and environmental engineering services that we provide. ENGEO has completed all types and sizes of projects in multiple market sectors and it’s exciting for us to get under way on the Sunshine Coast. We’ve built a reputation for finding solutions instead of problems and embracing project challenges as opportunities to serve and innovate.”
Opened office in Adelaide, South Australia.
Acquired Geotechnical Consultants (GTC), a long-time San Francisco local business enterprise (LBE). The transaction created one of Northern California’s most comprehensive geoscience companies. GTC also brought their expertise Hydrogeology Services, which is an ENGEO core service.
Neel Neelakantan of GTC, shared, “We’re excited to tap into ENGEO’s formidable resources and bring their unique, client-focused and technical capabilities to our clients. In addition, combining ENGEO’s and GTC’s intimate familiarity with the Bay Area’s geotechnical and seismic setting will significantly enhance the value that we bring to our clients.”
Opened office in Brisbane, Australia.
Selected to work on first project for Facebook.
Expanded to Guam, a small U.S. island territory in the Western Pacific. ENGEO employees from both the United States and New Zealand committed to set up, grow, and develop the office as well as our geotechnical and concrete testing laboratory, with the aim of becoming the go-to high end geotechnical engineering and testing firm. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) anticipates ten years of new construction and upgrades as approximately 5,000 marines relocating to Guam.
Acquired TerraCosta Consulting Group (TerraCosta), a long-time San Diego firm, known for their Coastal / Maritime Engineering service expertise. They have combined to create California’s most comprehensive geoscience company, with more Geotechnical, Geologic and Environmental professionals and a total staff of more than 350 professionals located in California, Nevada, Washington, Guam, New Zealand, and Australia.
Walt Crampton of TerraCosta, shared “We’re excited to join ENGEO’s deep bench of talent and bring their unique, client-focused technical capabilities to our clients. In addition, combining ENGEO’s and TerraCosta’s intimate familiarity with California’s geotechnical, coastal, and seismic setting will significantly enhance the value that we bring to our clients.”