ECS History

ECS: A History of Excellence

At ECS Group of Companies (ECS), our mission is simple: To be the engineer of choice in the markets we serve. We fulfill our mission through our values to collaborate, focus and lead, and we approach business with a mindset of abundance, entrepreneurship and having fun.

ECS: A History of Excellence

At ECS Group of Companies (ECS), our mission is simple: To be the engineer of choice in the markets we serve. We fulfill our mission through our values to collaborate, focus and lead, and we approach business with a mindset of abundance, entrepreneurship and having fun.

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214 ECS © 2007 David Galen
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Yuppie with Mobile Phone 1988
Throwback 1
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214 ECS © 2007 David Galen
ECS 002
ECS 013
ECS 014
ECS 016
Yuppie with Mobile Phone 1988
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Our entrepreneurial spirit

ECSHistory1

The ECS origin story begins with our founder, Henry Lucas, PE, envisioning and building a company that provided sound engineering services to clients that would help build communities and infrastructures in the Washington metropolitan area.

Our first office was located in an office-park developer’s construction trailer. It was then moved into a temporary space at 14000 Thunderbolt Place, Suite C, Chantilly, VA, while a new space was built out. Our headquarters remains in Chantilly, but ECS has grown to 85+ offices and testing facilities with a presence in all regions of the United States.

Building relationships

The first ECS client came from years of relationship building. In fact, we can trace those first conversations back to 1983, five years before ECS was established. By the time our plans for ECS were realized, we lined up a project with global real-estate developer Trammell Crow for materials-testing services on Market Square at Seventh St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW, in Washington, D.C.

“We chose to number our projects starting at 1000 to show that while we may be a new company, we were not new to our business,” Henry says.

More projects followed as we pivoted to service the needs of companies through the D.C.-metro area. In 1988, ECS was chosen as the Fairfax County New Small Business of the Year, which was just the beginning of our history of awards and accolades.

ECS growth

Founders

Henry recalls, “We thought we could grow to about 300 people, but when we reached that level, we decided to keep going.”

Today, ECS has more than 2,500 employees. Through this growth, we remain nimble and maintain an entrepreneurial spirit. Through this growth, our founder, Henry is still with us, serving as chairman of the board for the ECS Group of Companies.

We may be an engineering firm providing environmental, geotechnical, materials-testing and facilities services, but the reality is that we are in the people business. Our people and culture make us the best in the industry, setting us apart from other firms.

The secret to our success? Getting good people and giving them ownership (did you know that we are an ESOP?). We give our employees the tools they need to succeed in their jobs and grow their careers, whether they stick with ECS or move on to new opportunities in the industry—or outside of it. We are fortunate to have many “boomerang employees” who have returned to ECS with fresh perspectives from other work environments. We also have team members who’ve built careers with staying power, including 96 employees with at least 20 years working for ECS and 14 with at least 30 years. (Accurate as of December 31, 2023)

Landmark projects

We work with clients in a variety of markets and have had our hands in many high-profile projects over the years. Some of our staff’s favorites include the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago; the I-85/485 interchange in Charlotte, NC, and post-9/11 repairs at the Pentagon.

Our entrepreneurial spirit

ECSHistory1

The ECS origin story begins with our founder, Henry Lucas, PE, envisioning and building a company that provided sound engineering services to clients that would help build communities and infrastructures in the Washington metropolitan area.

Our first office was located in an office-park developer’s construction trailer. It was then moved into a temporary space at 14000 Thunderbolt Place, Suite C, Chantilly, VA, while a new space was built out. Our headquarters remains in Chantilly, but ECS has grown to 85+ offices and testing facilities with a presence in all regions of the United States.

Building relationships

The first ECS client came from years of relationship building. In fact, we can trace those first conversations back to 1983, five years before ECS was established. By the time our plans for ECS were realized, we lined up a project with global real-estate developer Trammell Crow for materials-testing services on Market Square at Seventh St. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW, in Washington, D.C.

“We chose to number our projects starting at 1000 to show that while we may be a new company, we were not new to our business,” Henry says.

More projects followed as we pivoted to service the needs of companies through the D.C.-metro area. In 1988, ECS was chosen as the Fairfax County New Small Business of the Year, which was just the beginning of our history of awards and accolades.

ECS growth

Founders

Henry recalls, “We thought we could grow to about 300 people, but when we reached that level, we decided to keep going.”

Today, ECS has more than 2,500 employees. Through this growth, we remain nimble and maintain an entrepreneurial spirit. Through this growth, our founder, Henry is still with us, serving as chairman of the board for the ECS Group of Companies.

We may be an engineering firm providing environmental, geotechnical, materials-testing and facilities services, but the reality is that we are in the people business. Our people and culture make us the best in the industry, setting us apart from other firms.

The secret to our success? Getting good people and giving them ownership (did you know that we are an ESOP?). We give our employees the tools they need to succeed in their jobs and grow their careers, whether they stick with ECS or move on to new opportunities in the industry—or outside of it. We are fortunate to have many “boomerang employees” who have returned to ECS with fresh perspectives from other work environments. We also have team members who’ve built careers with staying power, including 96 employees with at least 20 years working for ECS and 14 with at least 30 years. (Accurate as of December 31, 2023)

Landmark projects

We work with clients in a variety of markets and have had our hands in many high-profile projects over the years. Some of our staff’s favorites include the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago; the I-85/485 interchange in Charlotte, NC, and post-9/11 repairs at the Pentagon.

South Capitol Street Bridge GBA. Frederick Douglas Memorial Bridge
DC Pentagon
Air and Space Museum
stock photo chicago usa october art institute of chicago modern wing 1093556015
South Capitol Street Bridge GBA. Frederick Douglas Memorial Bridge
DC Pentagon
Air and Space Museum
stock photo chicago usa october art institute of chicago modern wing 1093556015
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Our team is deeply invested in the success of our projects—sometimes our projects become personal. It’s not uncommon for our staff to directly benefit from the final product of the projects they work on, whether it be taking family to visit the new wing of one of the world’s major art museums or simply commuting on the roads they drive every day.

Our team is deeply invested in the success of our projects—sometimes our projects become personal. It’s not uncommon for our staff to directly benefit from the final product of the projects they work on, whether it be taking family to visit the new wing of one of the world’s major art museums or simply commuting on the roads they drive every day.