LJA Engineering - Employee Owned
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LJA Engineering, Inc. is the largest local employee-owned civil engineering firm in Houston. (Source: Houston Business Journal).

The company's history dates back to 1972, when John "Dutch" Lichliter established The Lichliter Company which evolved into LJA Engineering & Surveying in 1997, with a subsequent name change to LJA Engineering, Inc. in 2011.

The firm has enjoyed phenomenal growth since becoming LJA. The number of employees has grown from 47 to over 600. In addition to its headquarters in Houston, LJA has expanded its Texas presence with offices in East Houston, The Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Deer Park, Beaumont, Galveston, Austin, Cedar Park, Dallas, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio. LJA has also recently opened up offices in Omaha, Nebraska and Jacksonville, Florida.

From the beginning, LJA has kept pace with the times, recognizing the importance of innovative engineering solutions and visionary leadership. The company stands by its mission statement: "To establish LJA in our chosen disciplines as the premier engineering firm in Texas by providing high quality, innovative, and cost-effective services to our clients."

LJA's earliest projects included First Colony, a 9,300-acre master-planned community at US 59 and Highway 6; The Woodlands, a 25,000-acre master-planned community north of downtown Houston; and Steeplechase, a 1,000-acre development in northwest Harris County.

Landmark projects dating from the 1980s through the present include the prestigious Barton Creek Development in Austin; the Flat Bank, Oyster Creek, and Stafford Run flood control project in Fort Bend County; The Woodlands Waterway; the Brays Bayou Federal Flood Control Project for Harris County; and major land development projects including Telfair, Aliana, Shadow Creek Ranch, and Sienna Plantation.

LJA's Public Infrastructure Division has seen significant growth in recent years, with clients ranging from the Texas Department of Transportation to the City of Houston. The merger with SCL Engineering in 2006 added to the division's expansion.

In 2012, LJA acquired LEAP Engineering, LLC and diversified its services to include coastal engineering, midstream infrastructure, and environmental services, with additional offices in Galveston and Beaumont. LJA also added rail engineering to its list of services that year.

In April 2013, LJA acquired Grounds Anderson, LLC, a Houston-based firm that specializes in storm water management, analysis and design of water resource systems, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. The addition of Grounds Anderson's innovative water resource systems and floodplain management expertise complemented LJA's 40-plus year history of providing successful solutions to complex drainage, detention, and flood control challenges in Houston and the surrounding areas.

In September 2013, LJA acquired Land Surveying, Inc. (LSI), a professional surveying services firm serving Harris County and the greater Houston area for the past 20 years, and added an office in Deer Park.

In July 2014, LJA acquired Northwest Technical Solutions, LLC (NWTS) and Northwest Technical Services, LLC (NWT). NWTS is a leader in innovation and consulting for the oil and gas sector in areas of deep-water high specification drilling equipment and support systems. Key staff brings over 60 years of industry experience in offshore drilling platforms. NWTS assists companies with staffing, engineering assistance, and consultation including focus on BOP systems, vessel management, dynamic positioning, drilling systems, and fire and gas systems. The management team at NWTS includes proven leaders and innovators in offshore technology risk with global field experience in threat remediation. The NWTS Cyber Team is comprised of a hand-picked cadre of top consultants with bodies of work in military, government, and corporate cyber risk mitigation. The firms retained their existing names, and operate as subsidiaries of LJA.

Also in July 2014, LJA acquired SeaTech Offshore, LLC. SeaTech is the industry leader in offshore inspections whose focus is on multidimensional protocols providing immediate feedback on current equipment status, and methods to increase compliance, safety, and reliability. SeaTech retains its existing name and operates as an LJA subsidiary.

In December 2014, LJA acquired Frank J. Dillard & Associates, Inc. (FJD&A) and its partner firm, Design Support Solutions, Inc. (DSSI), which enhances LJA's client and project support capabilities across multiple technical and process related perspectives. The addition of FJD&A and DSSI adds to LJA's service offerings in the areas of planning, design, and construction phase supervision of electrical, instrumentation, and control (EIC) related projects.

In May 2015, LJA acquired RVE, Inc., a Corpus Christi based engineering firm. The addition of RVE brings a 15-person firm with over 56 years of experience serving a diverse mix of clients, many of whom have been satisfied clients for decades. RVE brings subsurface utility engineering, structural engineering and bridge condition assessments, windstorm design and inspections, and security systems to the menu of LJA's full service offerings, in addition to enhancing engineering services, project management, and surveying services.

In September 2015, LJA acquired WORTECH Land Surveyors, Inc. (WORTECH), a professional land surveying firm based in Beaumont, Texas. WORTECH was founded in 1997 by Richard Worthey, RPLS, to serve the Southeast Texas region. WORTECH joins LJA with a great reputation in the industry with both clients and fellow professionals. This acquisition broadens LJA's services and client base, and bolsters an already strong survey division. The combination of WORTECH and LJA expands our services and provides our clients with the best surveying and mapping products, utilizing the latest in Advanced Geospatial Technology. This alliance immediately doubles the size and revenue of the Beaumont Survey Division.

In January 2016 acquired Carroll & Blackman, Inc. (CBI), a Beaumont-based, diversified engineering and environmental firm. CBI has served municipal, commercial, industrial, and private sector clients in Texas since 1944. This acquisition broadens LJA's services in the areas of drainage services, environmental reporting and assistance, flood control planning, land development planning, transportation services, water utilities studies and design, grant coordination, GIS services, and MS4 permit management. CBI joins LJA with a great reputation in the industry with both clients and fellow professionals. The current office remains and continues to service existing clients, as well as marketing LJA's expanded, comprehensive services. For more information on CBI, visit www.cbieng.com.