Our History

Our History


A group of six Carnegie Mellon University graduate students and their professor forms E. D’Appolonia & Associates, an engineering consulting firm in Wilkinsburg (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, that specializes in foundation and soil mechanics engineering. This union on August 28, 1958 sets in motion the future for what would become GAI Consultants, Inc.


The new firm’s business begins to flourish as the US Steel Corporation becomes one of its first clients, requesting specialized services in foundation engineering for its many facilities in the southwestern Pennsylvania region.


Coal-fired power generation stations across the country experience environmental and engineering problems with coal combustion byproduct (fly ash) disposal in landfills. GAI embarks on landmark research into the engineering properties of fly ash, setting the stage for the creation of innovative and beneficial uses for fly ash. Duquesne Light Company and Allegheny Power become loyal clients foraging a partnership that would endure for the next 50 years.


GAI begins work for the nuclear industry when the Westinghouse Electric Company hires GAI to complete concrete analysis for one of its nuclear containment facilities.


The young engineers who originally founded E. D’Appolonia Associates break away to form General Analytics, Inc., and name Dr. Anthony M. DiGioia as President. The technical expertise of these young principals, including geologist Richard E. Gray, set the foundatioin for GAI’s future reputation as a technically innovative firm providing solutions to the unique engineering needs of the coal, steel, and electric utilities.


General Analytics is rapidly growing and builds its first headquarters in Monroeville, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The partners of General Analytics build a new facility at 570 Beatty Road in the Monroeville suburb. As plans are made in the Monroeville suburbs to build the area’s largest shopping mall, new neighbor General Analytics is called upon to perform the foundation investigation.


As one of the founding firms of ASFE, General Analytics plays an active role in the organization as it leads the way to new contracting concepts and limitation of liability for the engineering industry. Embracing risk management techniques such as altenative dispute resolution and promoting quality-focused programs including peer reviews, ASFE is recognized by “Engineering News-Record” as one of the most innovative construction industry association programs ever formed.


A young engineer from Pittsburgh’s Point Park College, Gary M. DeJidas, PE, future CEO and President of the firm, begins his career at GAI as an Engineering Technician.



General Analytics becomes GAI Consultants, Inc. Corporate restructuring results in a name change for the firm from General Analytics, Inc. to Gai Consultants, Inc., along with a new look and logo. GAI has grown to 160 engineers with over 60% of their professional staff holding master’s or doctoral degrees, and project work expands to other states as well as to the western United States and Canada.


GAI sets itself apart from other engineering and environmental consulting firms by adding a Cultural Resources Management Group, and completes its first archaeological excavation on prehistoric sites at East Fork Lake for the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Louisville District.


To take advantage of the “building boom” in central Florida following the opening of Walt Disney World, GAI opens a subsidiary in Orlando, Florida through the acquisition of Thigpen & Treon, Inc. GAI Consultants-Southeast, Inc. opens at 1833 Edgewater Drive in Orlando, offering site development, structural and transportation engineering and surveying services.


GAI Consultants is hired by the City of Orlando, Florida as the civil engineer responsible for overseeing the city’s first major downtown redevelopment effort, the Orange Avenue Streetscape Project. This new-wave urban redevelopment project in the heart of Orlando’s business district is designed to make this downtown area more conducive to pedestrian traffic.


GAI Consultants opens its first office in West Virginia (Charleston) to pursue additional opportunities in the chemical and mining industries, and to provide full-service transportation and environmental engineering to state and local agencies there.


GAI acquires the transportation and construction monitoring divisions of Green International Inc., an engineering firm based in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. This doubles GAI’s highway and bridge design capabilities and brings construction monitoring to the wide array of engineering consulting services offered by the firm, opening the door for state Department of Transportation (DOT) work.


GAI conducts archaeological excavation of Voeghtly Cemetery in advance of I-279/579 construction for Penndot District 11. Over 744 graves were relocated our of the project area to make way for construciton of the highway. PennDOT and GAI wins award for environmental excellence.


GAI conducts traffic studies and assists with the permitting process for redevelopment of the former Homestead Steel Works site on the Monongahela River in Homestead, Pennsylvania, not knowing that fourteen years later GAI would move into a signature building on the same site renamed The Waterfront.


GAI Consultants opens an office in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to serve environmental engineering and remediation clients in the Midwest. A decade later this office will play an active role in the development of an alternative fuel source, ethanol.