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ECS’ 30th Anniversary Story: A Look Back to 1988


ECS was established on February 15, 1988. Things were a bit different back then. We transport back to 1988 to take a look at what it was like when it all started.


First Office - Then

Located in the office park developer’s construction trailer. It was then moved into a temporary space at 14000 Thunderbolt Place, Suite C while the new space was being built out.

Now:  ECS has grown to more than 60 offices and testing facilities spread across the Mid-

Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast and Southwest.


Number of Employees - Then

ECS started with 11 employees. By the end of the first month there were a total of 16.

Now:  We have over 1,600 employees.


Technology - Then

It consisted of a few PCs. The largest hard disk at the time was 30MB. Boring logs were typed on a typewriter with symbols drafted by hand.

Now:  Everything we do is at our fingertips with quick report turnaround times.


No Cell Phones – Then

The first portable phones were hard mounted phones installed in the vehicles. A big deal at the time, they were very expensive and exclusive.

Now:  Everyone has a cell phone and is accessible everywhere on the jobsite.


Transmission of Data – Then

The fax machine was the only digital transmission available. The computer network was referred to as the “sneaker network,” otherwise known as bringing a floppy disk to someone’s desk.

Now:  It’s instantaneous!


Awards – Then

In 1988, ECS was chosen as the Fairfax County New Small Business of the Year.

Now:  ECS is currently ranked 81 in Engineering-News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms (ENR, April 2017)



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