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Celebrating Canada 150

As Canada turns 150, Canadians across the company are telling their stories and voicing what it means to be Canadian. At Associated Engineering, we are proud to tell our distinctly Canadian story, which began in the mid-1940s in Edmonton, Alberta, and now has roots across Canada. After more than 70 years, and amid multi-national firms entering the Canada market, we remain uniquely Canadian and employee-owned. 

In 1945, civil engineer, Herb Ripley, founded the company that would become Associated Engineering. Returning home from World War II, Herb saw opportunities in consulting engineering. The Canadian government was providing financial support to towns and cities to build municipal infrastructure to support growth, as soldiers returned home and started families. Herb started a small consulting firm in downtown Edmonton designing roads, watermain and sewers for small towns throughout Alberta.

In 1948, with partners Norm Lawrence and Al Rowand, Herb renamed the small company to Associated Engineering Services Ltd. In choosing the new name, the partners wanted an inclusive name that would allow the firm’s continued growth as an employee-owned company.  

In the 1950s, the company expanded to Saskatchewan, with an office in Regina, and BC, sharing an office in Vancouver with Herb Ripley’s brother Charles Ripley. Charles later partnered with Earl Klohn and Cyril Leonoff to form a consulting firm specializing in soil mechanics (today, Klohn Crippen Berger). In 1986, we expanded our operations to Ontario.

As the company grew, so did our projects. The company was recognized for our ability to design “new” towns and communities for the resource sector, as well as for our expertise designing infrastructure in the North. Associated’s legacy includes the design of infrastructure for new towns in Gold River, Tumbler Ridge and MacKenzie in BC, and Hinton and Grande Cache, Alberta. 

Today, Associated Engineering has more than 900 staff in 21 offices from Victoria to Toronto, and north to Whitehorse and Yellowknife. We remain an employee-owned company, with more than 200 owners. Employee-ownership has given us the benefits of autonomy and freedom to chart our distinct course. Our core practices now include infrastructure, water, transportation, buildings, asset management, energy, and environmental science.

Further Reading: InfrastructureGovernment

Over the next 12 months, we’ll share more uniquely Canadian stories in our AE Today newsletter, as well as on our website.