Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies made up of more than 7,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and entrepreneurs with offices across the country and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned and is proud to be on Fortune’s 2019 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Main: +1 (816) 333-9400
Locations: Headquarters: Kansas City, Missouri, with more than 50 offices globally.
Why Kansas City?
Our company got its start in 1898. Two new Stanford University engineering graduates — Clinton S. Burns and Robert E. McDonnell — sought a professional home base teeming with opportunity, a place to continue the partnership they forged while working for the city of Palo Alto, California. They intentionally chose Kansas City as the headquarters location after determining that hundreds of cities within a 200-mile radius lacked sanitary sewer, water works and electric lights.
At Burns & McDonnell you approach your business from a unique perspective, can you give us a glimpse into your view?
Design-build continues to be a growing part of our business offering, providing risk-sharing, cost and schedule certainty to our clients. And we offer many different delivery models to provide those benefits: fully integrated direct hire, joint ventures, multiple subs to get more local contractors involved. Every project is unique. We believe you need a suite of models to make each customer successful.
Ignite is our internal innovation program that enables our entrepreneurial employee-owners to identify and solve industry challenges, turning them into business opportunities. We launched the program in 2016 as a means to harness the technical prowess and creativity of our employee-owners to deliver new solutions to our industries and customers. On a daily basis, our employee-owners are working with our customers to solve complex problems. Through this daily interaction, our employee-owners are able to identify microtrends and, with our Ignite program, have a formal mechanism for creating and delivering macro level solutions to our industries. Ignite is a multiphase competition that is kicked off with a challenge statement and culminates in a pitch day, an event where our finalists pitch their solution to a panel of senior executive judges.
Throughout the competition, our employee-owners have access to research resources, office hours, education sessions, mentorship, senior management and subject matter experts to support the transformation of ideas into actionable and investment-worthy businesses. To date, we’ve completed four iterations of the competition, with the fifth iteration currently underway. The program has received nearly 500 innovative submissions, developed over 60 detailed business cases, enabled 20 pitches to senior executives for investment, and mentored hundreds of participants through education sessions or one-on-one coaching. Over 1,000 employee-owners have participated in the program whether as a participant, subject matter expert, mentor or judge. We like to think that our program demonstrates the powers of corporate innovation and serves as a great example of intrapreneurism in a corporate setting. Ignite has already generated material market traction in the emerging electrification/electric vehicle market, with several other opportunities advancing through an incubation process.
In 2018 we launched our Ampersand Series — a quick-hitting series of sessions, which brings our 7,000 employee-owners from around the world together to create thought-provoking conversations. The concept is simple, but powerful. Each quarter, an industry expert from Burns & McDonnell is selected to lead a casual yet meaningful discussion on a trending topic that is disrupting the normal. From chats about the next decade of power to autonomous vehicles, we think outside of the box, highlighting the endless possibilities for the future of our technology-driven world. Together, we believe we can turn challenges into possibilities, making the world an even more amazing place. And united, we are knocking down barriers to innovation.
Our unique data collaboration system — OneTouchPM® — simplifies project management by keeping details on track. Whether it is routing transmission lines, building highways, enhancing collaboration during an emergency event or delivering any complex project — large or small — OneTouchPM keeps it organized. Our unique browser-based system integrates real-time data from disparate systems into a web-based dashboard accessible to all team members, anytime and anywhere. It includes a reporting module that allows view-based, real-time queries and reports to be displayed on screen. The system is part of our adaptive technology approach that brings together the right mix of technologies to deliver clients’ projects seamlessly, precisely and efficiently from start to finish.
Burns & McDonnell has received many awards throughout the years, what are some recent ones?
Burns & McDonnell offers more than 350 services with a focus on 10 primary industries ranging from aviation and construction to oil and gas and power. The firm ranks among the top 10 design firms in the U.S. and No. 1 in Power, according to Engineering News-Record, and among the top five on Building Construction Design’s Giants 300 Report in military sector engineering, airport facilities engineering, engineering/architecture firms and office sector engineering. Burns & McDonnell has also been recognized as one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, one of Forbes’ Best Employers, and by more than 20 additional publications across the U.S. as a best place to work.
Please share a handful of projects that represent the work of Burns & McDonnell.
La Guardia, Terminal C
NEW YORK CITY, NY
Burns & McDonnell is providing design and construction support services for Delta Air Lines new Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport.
The design-bid-build project is $4 billion and spans 1.1 million square feet. The new Terminal C facility includes visitor processing, conferencing, 171,000 square feet of administrative support, new access roads and expanded parking garage. It will be Delta Air Lines’ new signature facility in the Northeast and a gateway to other Delta Air Lines locations. The new architecture design takes into account views from the Grand Central Parkway and adjacent areas.
Electrification Road Map for Foothill Transit
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA
Burns & McDonnell was selected to develop an electrification road map for Foothill Transit, allowing the environmentally friendly transit agency to convert to a 100 percent electric bus fleet by 2030.
The electrification road map will provide a conceptual plan to incrementally build out the infrastructure needed at the depots to support an electrified fleet. Burns & McDonnell is collaborating with partners on the project with Foothill Transit as well as a broader program to integrate electric vehicle charging infrastructure with a variety of technology platforms that will be needed in the future as EVs become more commonplace. A pilot test of charging technologies is currently underway at the Burns & McDonnell world headquarters.
BC Hydro: Northwest Transmission Project
TERRACE, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The Northwest Transmission project was awarded by BC Hydro, the Crown Corporation utility serving the province, as a means to provide more reliable and cleaner power to remote northwestern communities as well as the mining industry in the area. The 287 kV, 213-mile transmission line cost $746 million (Canadian) to build and was completed in mid-2014. Burns & McDonnell served as engineer-procure-construct (EPC) contractor on the project.
Kansas City Union Station Expansion
KANSAS CITY, MO
After years of planning and anticipation, the $7.5 million Union Station western expansion is the largest enhancement project since the station’s 1999 restoration. The design-build project consisted of five major components: the south plaza; east plaza; bridge; north plaza; and several interior improvements on the theater district level. Integrated project delivery allowed the client to make significant changes to the design while construction progressed. No other delivery method could produce this kind of dynamic project while giving the owner ultimate control over schedule, cost, quality and safety.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
In their quest to make Kansas City a leading smart city, local leaders envisioned a streetcar system that would connect riders, both physically and digitally.
Burns & McDonnell worked with many project team members to lay the groundwork for the intelligent infrastructure to support smart city capabilities. By relocating utilities, coordinating the replacement and expansion of elements, and helping coordinate laying the fiber under the tracks, an integrated platform was built for both the streetcar and smart city to run on.nIn 2016, Burns & McDonnell continued the City’s quest to continue to connect and thrive using the streetcar system to bridge over the railroad tracks that historically have separated the City’s downtown core from its riverfront.