URS Corporation

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URS Corporation
Type Public
Traded as NYSEURS
Industry Engineering
Architecture
Construction
Planning
Management
Information Technology
Operations
Decommissioning
Founded 1951 (1951)
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Martin M. Koffel (CEO and Chairman)
Revenue Increase US$ 10.6 billion (2012)
Operating income Increase US$ 600 million (2012)
Net income Increase US$ 400 million (2012)
Total assets Increase US$ 7.04 billion (2012)
Total equity Increase US$ 3.905 billion (2009)
Employees Increase 56,000 (2012)
Website URS.com
URS in Canada

URS Corporation (formerly United Research Services) was an engineering, design and construction firm and a U.S. federal government contractor. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, URS was a full-service, global organization with offices located in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific. URS was acquired by AECOM on October 17, 2014.

History[edit]

URS Corporation’s oldest predecessor company was founded in 1904. URS was established in 1951, and incorporated in 1957 as Broadview Research—a research group active in the area of physical and engineering sciences. In 1967, management developed a growth strategy focused on building a multidisciplinary professional services firm. In 1968, Broadview Research acquired United Research Incorporated of Cambridge, Massachusetts. During this period, the name Broadview Research was changed to United Research Services and later shortened to URS.

As of June 2013, the firm had more than 50,000 employees worldwide, in nearly 50 countries.[1]

On July 13 2014, URS announced an agreement to be acquired by AECOM for about $4 billion in cash and shares. The final acquisition was decided on October 17, 2014 and URS was officially part of AECOM as of October 20, 2014.

Rankings[edit]

FORTUNE Magazine

  • #248 on FORTUNE's List of America's 500 Largest Companies

ENR– The Top 500 Design Firms

Ranked #2 Overall and ranked as one of the Top 3 Firms for more than a decade.

Among the top 20 in:

  • #1 in Bridges
  • #1 in Hazardous Waste
  • #2 in Highways
  • #2 in Transportation
  • #2 in Airports
  • #2 in Pipelines
  • #3 in Aerospace
  • #3 in General Building
  • #3 in Manufacturing
  • #4 in Mass Transit & Rail
  • #4 in Marine & Port Facilities
  • #5 in Water
  • #6 in Petroleum and Industrial
  • #10 in Power

Mergers and acquisitions[edit]

In 1996, URS acquired Greiner Engineering for $73.5 million.[2] Greiner Engineering had been established in 1908 by John E. Greiner. Greiner was a former engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and worked at one time for Gustav Lindenthal, including on the Seventh Street Bridge.[3]

The Woodward-Clyde Group joined URS in 1997, bringing additional environmental capabilities and a broader international presence to the organization.[4] When Dames & Moore Group joined in 1999 (which had recently absorbed the Australian firm Hardcastle & Richards), URS further strengthened its program and construction management expertise and added to its FORTUNE 500 client base.[5] In February 1999 URS also acquired transport consultant Thorburn Colquhoun.[6]

In 2002, URS acquired EG&G Technical Services, positioning the company as a leading U.S. federal services contractor.[7]

In November 2007, URS acquired Washington Group International of Boise for $3.1B and currently operates it as the "Energy and Construction Division".[8]

On June 12, 2009, URS Chief Executive Officer Martin Koffel indicated the company is still on the hunt for "transformative acquisitions". An analyst with Gabelli & Co. stated that KBR, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, and Foster Wheeler AG may be possible takeover targets.[9]

On September 10, 2010, URS completed its acquisition of the British engineering firm Scott Wilson Group.[10]

On June 2, 2011, URS completed its acquisition of Apptis Holdings, Inc. for a purchase price of $260 million in cash.[11]

URS announced its acquisition of Flint Energy Services, a provider of construction services in the oil and gas industry, based in Calgary, Alberta, on February 20, 2012.[12]

On October 20, 2014, URS was officially acquired by AECOM.

Projects[edit]

URS provides ongoing management and operation of the 4,200-acre Kennedy Space Center complex, including its 900 mission-specific facilities, 16,000 unique NASA systems & equipment, and 600 unique U.S. Air Force systems & equipment.[13]

In the United Kingdom, a URS-led team is responsible for management and operation services at the Sellafield nuclear complex, including the commercial operations, waste management, support services, decontamination and decommissioning and new construction projects. Sellafield is one of the largest and most complex nuclear sites in the U.K., storing and treating nuclear waste from both the U.K.'s military and civil nuclear programs.[14][15]

URS provided comprehensive project and construction management services for the reconstruction of the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, the largest building project ever undertaken by the University of California.[16]

URS was the contractor for the Port Washington Generating Station in Wisconsin, an 1100 MW combined-cycle power plant, which was recognized by Power Magazine as one of its top plants of 2008.[17] URS also helped build the state-of-the-art Holcim cement manufacturing plant in Missouri, one of the world’s largest cement manufacturing facilities in the world.[18]

The I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed in August 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145. In 2003, URS had been retained by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to conduct a fatigue evaluation and a redundancy analysis of the bridge. Lawsuits filed in 2008 and 2009 cite the company with negligence. In 2010 these lawsuits were settled out of court without the finding of negligence or wrongdoing on the part of URS.[19]

In November 2008, The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause of the collapse of the I-35W bridge was the "inadequate load capacity, due to a design error by Sverdrup & Parcel and Associates, Inc., of the gusset plates at the U10 nodes, which failed under a combination of (1) substantial increases in the weight of the bridge, which resulted from previous modifications, and (2) the traffic and concentrated construction loads on the bridge on the day of the accident." URS was not involved in the work being conducted on the bridge at the time of the collapse or in the design of the bridge.[20][21][22]

For more details on this topic, see I-35W Mississippi River bridge § Collapse.

The Martin Olav Sabo Bridge over Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis experienced failure of two of its longest support cables on February 20, 2012. URS Corporation was the design consultant for the bridge that was completed in 2007. These failures resulted in closures of Hiawatha Avenue and the adjacent light rail between Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis for safety precautions while support structures were put in place. Rail service was restored after four days while Hiawatha Avenue road traffic remained closed for staging of construction equipment.[23] This failure occurred less than 18 months after URS Corporation settled out of court the lawsuits surrounding the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse.[24]

For more details on this topic, see Martin Olav Sabo Bridge.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "URS Corporation > About Us > History". Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  2. ^ COMPANY NEWS-URS ACQUISITION OF GREINER IS PUT AT $73.5 MILLION, New York Times, January 12, 1996.
  3. ^ Weingardt, Richard (2005). Engineering Legends (Google books). ASCE Publications. pp. 42–45. ISBN 978-0-7844-0801-8. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  4. ^ Muto, Sheila (September 10, 1997). "URS, Building on Acquisition, Could Have More Room to Rise". The Wall Street Journal. 
  5. ^ "URS Corp. to Buy Dames & Moore Group In $312 Million Deal". The Wall Street Journal. May 6, 1999. 
  6. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/URS+Corp.+Acquires+United+Kingdom's+Thorburn+Colquhoun%3B+Combination...-a053671938
  7. ^ "URS says agrees to buy EG&G for $500 million". Reuters. July 17, 2002. 
  8. ^ Dvorak, Todd (November 15, 2007). "Washington Group shareholders approve $3.2 billion buyout, creating construction giant". Associated Press. 
  9. ^ "URS Seeks ‘Transformative Acquisitions' for Growth (Update2)". Bloomberg. June 12, 2009. 
  10. ^ MarketWatch.com
  11. ^ URS 0.01 : URS Completes Acquisition of Apptis Holdings, Inc. | 4-Traders
  12. ^ James Shotter (February 20, 2012). "URS agrees to buy Flint Energy". Financial Times. 
  13. ^ "URS To Provide Services At NASA's Kennedy Space Center". Space Ref. June 19, 2008. 
  14. ^ "URS-Led Team Named as Preferred Bidder for Sellafield UK Nuclear Complex". Energy Central. July 11, 2008. 
  15. ^ "URS Corp. preferred bidder for Sellafield nuclear complex". MarketWatch. July 11, 2008. 
  16. ^ "URS - Projects - UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center—Replacement Hospital". URS Corporation. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  17. ^ Dr. Robert Peltier (September 1, 2008). "Cover Story: Gas-Fired Top Plants, Port Washington Generating Station, Phase 2, Port Washington, Wisconsin". High Beam Research. 
  18. ^ "URS - Projects - Holcim Grassroots Cement Plant". URS Corporation. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ URS – Investor Relations - Financial Press Releases - Individual Releases
  20. ^ http://www.ntsb.gov/pressrel/2008/081114.html
  21. ^ "Minnesota Bridge Engineering, Load Cited in Failure (Update2)". Bloomberg. November 13, 2008. 
  22. ^ URS – Investor Relations - Financial Press Releases - Individual Releases
  23. ^ [1]-Firm to look into failure of cables on Martin Sabo bridge, StarTribune.com, February 22, 2012.
  24. ^ [2]- Star Tribune, March 16, 2012.

External links[edit]