BOSTON — GEI Consultants, Inc., a geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firm, marked its 40th anniversary on July 1, 2010.

Established in 1970 as Geotechnical Engineers Inc., the firm was founded by five partners who set high standards of technical excellence and client services for all staff. The founders, project managers, and staff worked together in the office and in the field, encouraging and motivating each other to safely perform to the peak of their potential. The firm has earned widespread recognition for its high quality, innovative, and practical solutions to challenging projects. Originally located in Winchester, Mass., GEI is now headquartered in the Boston suburb of Woburn, Mass. and employs 400 staff in 20 offices across the United States.

A vital part of GEI’s heritage includes the important legacies of firms acquired over the years, firms that are fully integrated into the GEI’s client service delivery capability. Those firms include Roger Foott & Associates, founded in 1988 (the genesis of the firm’s Oakland, Calif. office); Atlantic Environmental Services, founded in 1985 (which expanded GEI’s environmental presence in the Northeast); Bookman-Edmonston, founded in 1959 (which expanded GEI’s California and Western presence in water resources engineering), and Chadwick Ecological, founded in 1983 (which doubled GEI’s Rocky Mountains service capability).

As the firm observes its 40th anniversary, it remembers the following milestones from the past four decades:

  • In the1970’s, Geotechnical Engineers, Inc. established itself as a state-of-the-art leader in soil liquefaction behavior, and provided geotechnical testing and engineering services for more than 20 nuclear power plants. This practice continues with the emergence of a new generation of nuclear facilities. GEI also established a leading position in dam safety, inspecting more than 500 dams in New England, and began working with clients such as Gillette, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Dana Farber, all of whom remain clients today.
  • In the 1980s, the firm began excavation and foundation work supporting the city of Boston’s infrastructure; the environmental practice was established; its Colorado office opened; and the firm officially changed its name to GEI Consultants, Inc. It performed its first high-rise project at 53 State Street, Boston; its first mini-pile project for Burberry’s department store; and won a major federal contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to perform inspections and safety evaluations for 93 dam projects.
  • In the 1990s, GEI was heavily involved in Boston’s Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel project; the Carlsbad California office opened; and Atlantic Environmental joined the firm, establishing a Connecticut presence. In addition, GEI started working with Keyspan Energy; received a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dam Safety Contract; and began strengthening its Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site remediation capabilities.
  • In the first decade of this century, GEI nearly tripled in size. It continued the transition of leadership and ownership from the original founders — four of whom are active with the firm and at the highest levels of the profession to this day — to dozens of employee-owners; added its Ecology group including fish passage expertise; both Bookman-Edmonston and Chadwick Ecological joined GEI in the West; support of the California Department of Water Resources and a host of California Water agencies was greatly expanded from offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Bakersfield, Glendale, and Carlsbad; new offices were opened in Portland, Maine; Ithaca and Long Island, N.Y.; Montclair and Mount Laurel, N.J.; and Washington, D.C. GEI also renewed its commitment to the nuclear energy market with site investigation work for Constellation Energy’s proposed new nuclear reactor at 9-Mile Point near Oswego, N.Y., and greatly expanded its work supporting municipalities and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of dam and levee safety across the country.
  • As the firm enters the century’s second decade, GEI is expanding its Midwestern presence by opening offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, supporting existing as well as new private and public clients. The company is in a strong financial position, is committed to remaining a private, growth-oriented employee-owned firm, and continues to build new areas of technical excellence to support evolving client requirements, while fostering employee growth, leadership, and satisfaction.

To coincide with GEI’s company-wide 2010 Project Manager Retreat, 150 GEI staff from throughout the U.S. celebrated the anniversary with dinner and dancing at Wentworth by the Sea in Newcastle, N.H.

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