Black & Veatch History

What began 100 years ago — an unwavering commitment to safety, accountability and customer service — is alive and thriving today. Since 1915, we have delivered reliable, innovative infrastructure solutions that have made life possible and prepared us for tomorrow.

Black & Veatch History

What Commitment Means

Throughout the years, we’ve defined what it means to be committed to customers. Black & Veatch has stood by you, aligning our goals with yours, to build long-lasting relationships. Just as we did 25, 50, even 80 years ago, let’s continue to work together to improve the lives of people in the communities you serve.

Our story began in 1915 when two former University of Kansas graduates, Ernest Bateman (E.B.) Black and Nathan Thomas (N.T.) Veatch, formed a partnership with 12 employees in one office. Over the next 100 years, Black & Veatch would grow to become one of the world’s most successful engineering, procurement, consulting and construction (EPC) companies.

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  • 1915 - 1924

    The August 12, 1915, issue of Engineering News reported the reorganization of E.B. Black’s previous firm, Worley & Black, under the name of Black & Veatch. In its first years, the new company employed 12 people and established an office in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

    1925 - 1934

    As the country struggled through the Great Depression and utilities went through financial troubles, Black & Veatch tapped into a new area of business: appraisals and rate studies.

    1935 - 1944

    As its third decade approached, the company had weathered the worst of the Great Depression and was making headway into a full recovery. In 1935, Black & Veatch was experiencing great growth and moved its headquarters to the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.

  • 1945 - 1955

    As the company entered its fourth decade, the biggest challenge it faced was keeping up with the incoming tidal wave of business. One of the company's founders E.B Black passed away in 1949.  

    1955 - 1964

    The company was outgrowing its offices, expanding its scope of work, increasing its client roster and expanding internationally.

    1965 - 1974

    Managed under the new partnership plan, Black & Veatch kept up with immense growth. N.T. Veatch announced his retirement in 1972. Tom Robinson was named managing partner.

  • 1975 - 1984

    At the start of the company’s seventh decade, Tom Robinson was two years into his leadership as managing partner and the company continued one of the fastest growth periods in its 60-year history.

    1985 - 1994

    By 1985 the computer age has arrived and Black & Veatch was at the forefront. Adapting to new technology and establishing leadership strategically allowed the company to better serve its clients and emerge as an industry leader.

    1995 - 2004

    The 90s were a boom time for the U.S. economy and for Black & Veatch. The world was being connected by the internet. Black & Veatch was right in the middle of the rising wave.

  • 2005 - 2014

    New initiatives were introduced as Black & Veatch approached 100 years as a company. A major restructuring was put into place, making solutions more seamless across business lines, geographies and services.

    2015 - Present

    As the company celebrated its centennial in 2015, it has much to honor from its past and a world of opportunity in the decade to come.