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History

A Foundation of Thinkers

At Freese and Nichols, we are proud of our history. Looking back over our 120-plus years, we see how innovative and practical our founders were, and we strive to maintain the spirit of innovation today. We invite you to read more of the Freese and Nichols story in our two history books: A Century in the Workscovering 1894 to 1994, and Continuing the Journey, covering 1995 to 2015.

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Death of Jim Nichols

2016

Jim Nichols dies on February 11, 2016, at age 92.

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Brian Coltharp Selected as Next CEO

2016

Freese and Nichols selects Brian Coltharp as its next President and CEO. Coltharp is now serving as Chief Operating Officer and will become CEO in January 2017.

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Death of Bob Nichols

2015

Bob Nichols dies on May 8, 2015, at age 88.

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World's First Envision-Rated Pipeline

2014

The Line J, Section 1 Pipeline, designed by Freese and Nichols for the Tarrant Regional Water District, is the first-ever pipeline project to receive Envision® recognition from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.

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Oklahoma City Office Opens

2014

Freese and Nichols opens an office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The firm's long history of serving Oklahoma dates to 1920, when founder Maj. John Hawley designed a highway system for southern counties. 

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Raleigh Office Opens

2013

Freese and Nichols opens an office in Raleigh, North Carolina. A location in the North Carolina State University research park allows great opportunites for strong relationships.

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Best Companies to Work for in Texas

2013

Freese and Nichols is ranked fourth among large firms in the 2013 Best Companies to Work for in Texas. The awards program is sponsored by Texas Monthly, the Texas Association of Business, and the Texas State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Frisco Office Opens

2012

Freese and Nichols opens an office in Frisco, Texas.

San Marcos Office Opens

2012

An office in San Marcos, Texas, allows Freese and Nichols to strengthen relationships in the Austin-San Antonio corridor.

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Ward County Water Supply Project Goes Into Operation

2012

This transmission system, an emergency response to the severe West Texas drought, was designed and constructed for the Colorado River Municipal Water District in just 18 months. The project received one of eight Grand Awards in the 2014 ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards and was one of five finalists for the 2015 ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.

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Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge Opens

2012

The Tilley Bridge, which spans the Trinity River in Fort Worth, is the first arch-supported stress ribbon bridge in the United States. In 2013, it received the Eminent Conceptor, the highest honor given by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Texas, and was named the Best of the Best Small Projects by ENR magazine.

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Top National Workplace Honor

2011

Freese and Nichols is named first among large firms in CE News magazine's Best Civil Engineering Firms to Work For.

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Acquisition of Nicol & Associates

2011

Freese and Nichols acquires Nicol & Associates, based in Richardson, Texas, expanding its capabilities for oil and natural gas producers and midstream clients.

Terminal Renewal Improvements Program

2010

Freese and Nichols is selected for DFW Airport's Terminal Renewal Improvements Program (TRIP).

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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

2010

Freese and Nichols is the first engineering firm to receive the award.

H&H Guidelines Win Top State Honor

2009

The Hydrologic & Hydraulic Guidelines for Dams in Texas, developed by Freese and Nichols for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, receive the Eminent Conceptor from the Texas Council of Engineering Companies. The guidelines simplify analysis for existing and new dams, provide protection to downstream areas, and define procedures for developing design flood estimates and performing breach analyses.

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Parker County Transportation Bond Program

2008

Freese and Nichols provides Program Management for the 30-project, $90-million bond program.

Lubbock Office Opens

2008

Freese and Nichols opens an office in Lubbock, Texas.

Corpus Christi Office Opens

2007

Establishing an office in Corpus Christi, Texas, allows Freese and Nichols to provide services to clients on the coast.

Denton Office Opens

2007

Freese and Nichols opens an office in Denton, Texas.

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Lake Brazos Labyrinth Weir

2007

Freese and Nichols designs the 3,000-foot-long labyrinth weir in Waco, Texas. In 2008, it received the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from ASCE Texas and the Excellence in the Constructed Project Award from the United States Society on Dams.

Acquisition of Dunkin Sefko & Associates

2007

Freese and Nichols expands its urban planning capabilities by acquiring Dunkin Sefko & Associates. The Dallas-based consulting firm had been in business since 1973, serving more than 60 municipalities across Texas.

FNB Project Partners Formed

2005

FNB Project Partners formed to provide dedicated design-build construction services to clients, particularly in the energy sector.

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Skylink Begins Service at DFW Airport

2005

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport debuts Skylink, the world's largest airport people mover system. Freese and Nichols was part of a team of consultants that designed the 864 million project.

Houston Office Opens

2004

The Houston, Texas, office location allows Freese and Nichols to expand services in water resources, stormwater and flood control, environmental services, and construction services.

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