Sheboygan, Wis., engineer to acquire tradition-rich Chicago firm

The Midwest engineering firm Donohue & Associates Inc. is acquiring Alvord, Burdick & Howson L.L.C. (AB&H), a Chicago-based water and wastewater engineering firm for more than 100 years...

SHEBOYGAN, WI, Jan. 10, 2006 -- The Midwest engineering firm Donohue & Associates, Inc. is acquiring Alvord, Burdick & Howson, L.L.C. (AB&H), a Chicago-based water and wastewater engineering firm for more than 100 years. Based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Donohue & Associates is acquiring AB&H as part of a strategic plan to increase the firm's Midwest presence by elevating its planning and design capabilities in water treatment and distribution systems and large wastewater collection systems. AB&H is now known as AB&H, A Donohue Group.

"Our firms are completely complementary," said Larry E. Teunissen, PE, President of Donohue & Associates, which was established in 1997 as an employee-owned company providing water, wastewater, transportation, and civil engineering services, with wastewater as its primary focus. "We are both multi-disciplined, with in-house process, structural, mechanical, electrical, control system and civil engineering capabilities, and we have both concentrated on providing creative, innovative, yet practical solutions to our clients." Former AB&H partner and now Vice President of Donohue & Associates, William L. Meinholz, PE, added, "When you focus on a specific area of engineering, you become expert on the technologies available and what is the best application for each client's needs. By combining our two firms' water and wastewater specialties, we will be able to satisfy the full spectrum of our clients' engineering needs."

AB&H's downtown Chicago and Lisle, Illinois offices combined with Donohue & Associates' existing locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin give the firm a strong regional presence. In all, Donohue & Associates has 100 employees in 13 offices. Anticipated 2006 engineering revenues for the combined firms will total approximately $15 million.

Founded in 1902 by John W. Alvord and Charles B. Burdick, AB&H has a rich heritage of landmark projects. Alvord was the Chief Engineer of the Department of Surveys and Grades for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, a landmark event in American history and culture. Burdick designed the hydraulic and lighting display for Chicago's original Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. In 1908, Louis R. Howson joined the firm. One of his earliest projects was laying out sewer and water systems for a new city at Lake Michigan's southern end¯Gary, Indiana.

AB&H has been involved in the design of most of the water plants along the west shore of Lake Michigan, from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Gary, Indiana, including Chicago's Jardine Water Purification Plant, which was the world's largest water filtration facility when it opened in 1964. AB&H was tapped in the 1980s for a $380 million project to supply Lake Michigan water to 23 communities in DuPage County. The project received an Engineering Excellence award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois.

Meinholz noted AB&H's legacy in leading water technologies. "We have always explored new technology to improve water quality and reliability. Ozonation is considered cutting-edge technology today, but we produced a report on the use of ozone in drinking water treatment back in 1917. In the 1940s, we were pioneers in the design of split level settling basins, the technology on which plate settlers were developed." AB&H staff members are also highly conversant with technology such as membrane filtration, ultraviolet disinfection, and modern trenchless technology for underground pipe installation.

AB&H ( has a long history of active participation in professional organizations. Three of the firm's principals served as president of the American Water Works Association -- Alvord in 1910, Howson in 1941 and William H. Richardson in 1984. In 1916, Alvord created the Western Society of Engineers Washington Award. AB&H endowed the annual award to an engineer "whose professional attainments have advanced the welfare of all peoples." Recipients have included Herbert Hoover, Henry Ford, and Neil Armstrong.

"Donohue & Associates is recognized for its wastewater technology," said Teunissen, "most notably in five consecutive Best of State Engineering Excellence awards conferred by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin." Two Donohue & Associates employees were recognized by the Water Environment Federation as recipients of the prestigious 2005 George Bradley Gascoigne Medal for Research in Wastewater Treatment Plant Operational Improvement. The award recognized wet weather capacity improvements to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's Jones Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In addition to the new Chicago and Lisle locations, Donohue & Associates ( has offices in Champaign, Grayslake, Moline, and Monmouth, Ill.; Sheboygan, Milwaukee, and Madison, Wis.; Willmar, Minn.; Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Ind.; and Creve Coeur, Mo.


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