Our History

Our History

GAI’s 60-year history is marked by innovation, evolution, and achievement. Through the years since our founding in 1958, we’ve grown our expertise and services, and we’ve established a solid reputation as a trusted engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firm. Today, we have offices throughout the United States, providing local expertise to worldwide clients in the energy, transportation, development, government, and industrial markets.

It’s been quite a journey—and we invite you to explore some significant chapters in the GAI story.


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, forging 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.

NOTE: https://www.geoprofessional.org/news/asfe-changes-its-name-to-geoprofessional-business-association/


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 the 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 excavations of Voeghtly Cemetery in advance of I-279/579 construction for PennDOT  District 11. Over 744 graves are relocated out 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.


With steady growth in the central Florida market, GAI‘s subsidiary, Consultants-Southeast decides to expand its facilities and establish on office in Jacksonville, Florida to provide consulting engineering in the north Florida region. The office opens with an emphasis on construction engineering and inspection services, with plans for continued growth into a full-service engineering office.


Dennis Okorn is elected President of GAI Consultants, Inc., as Anthony DiGioia steps aside to become Chairman of the Board, and the founders of GAI transition operations to younger leaders


In a corporate-wide consolidation effort, GAI Consultants, Inc. merges with its subsidiary, GAI Consultants-Southeast, Inc. to reorganize the company’s processes for providing premier engineering consulting services to its clients. GAI introduces a new brand and logo to celebrate this significant milestone.


Gary M. DeJidas, PE is named President and CEO of the newly organized firm which retains the name GAI Consultants, Inc. This sets the stage for change and continued growth that will culminate in a celebration of 50 years in business in 2008.


GAI opens two more Midwest offices in Cincinnati, Ohio and Florence, Kentucky.


GAI made several exciting strategic acquisitions to enhance our services at various regional offices. Acquiring Hartman Consulting & Design added environmental engineering expertise and wastewater management in the Florida offices. The acquisition of Valley Forge Laboratories in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania adds geotechnical and materials testing laboratory services to GAI’s Philadelphia office. A third acquisition, BBS Engineering of Cincinnati, Ohio, adds mechanical engineering and boiler design to GAI’s capabilities.


GAI celebrates our 50th anniversary of transforming our clients ideas into reality.  As we approach a new Presidential election year in 2008 that is full of hope, change and renewal,  we at GAI looks forward to an exciting future of growth, prosperity and continuing to offer our personalized professional services to our long term partners, current and future clients.


GAI completes a merger with The Bonar Group, an engineering and environmental consulting firm located in Indiana. Bonar Group President Tom Cicero, P.E. becomes Vice President and manager of GAI’s Midwest operations, which includes offices in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. The merger brings together two companies whose reputations have been built not only on solid engineering practices, but more importantly, on customer service and trust. GAI opens new offices in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania (GAI-Murrysville); Charlotte, North Carolina; Boca Raton, Florida; and Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. The firm reaches 650 employees.


GAI begins construction on a new office building for its Orlando, Florida operations. The sustainable facility is designed for LEED® certification and is the first privately-developed green office in Orlando. The GAI Building opens for business in April 2011. GAI opens new offices in Richmond, Virginia; and Altoona, Canonsburg (Southpointe), and Cranberry, Pennsylvania. During this time, GAI reorganizes into a regional structure to better manage continuing growth. GAI operates a total of 19 offices in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeastern United States.


GAI expands its Midwest operations into Wisconsin by acquiring EnPower, LLC, an energy and environmental firm whose key clients are involved in electric transmission and generation. The acquisition adds GAI offices in Green Bay and Mayville, Wisconsin. In April, the GAI Building opens in Orlando, Florida. In September, GAI opens a new office in Columbus, Ohio and in November, an office is opened in Jackson, Michigan. The firm reaches 800 employees.


President and CEO, Gary DeJidas celebrates 40 years of service with GAI, as the firm transitions to a regional market-based organization, focusing on five market sectors: Energy, Transportation, Industry, Real Estate, and Municipal. In January, GAI completes the acquisition of Lee-Simpson Associates, Inc., based in DuBois, Pennsylvania, to expand GAI’s capabilities in airport design. GAI continues to expand in Pennsylvania with the opening of an office in Clarks Summit near Scranton. GAI acquires several small firms in Orlando, Florida including Real Estate Research Consultants, Inc., a real estate management consulting firm, Bellomo-Herbert, a landscape architecture firm, and Metz & Associates, LLC, a structural engineering firm that excels in design-build projects.


GAI acquires Lotspeich and Associates, Inc., an ecological consulting firm, expanding services in the Southeast. Experienced professionals in natural communities assessment, wetland mitigation, threatened and endangered plant and animal species management, and State and Federal permitting are welcomed into the GAI Building in Orlando, Florida. Crispell-Snyder, Inc. is acquired by GAI a few months later, adding four offices to GAI’s operations in Wisconsin. Their presence in the Midwest increases GAI’s capabilities in government, transportation, and real estate. By October, Lotspeich and Crispell-Snyder, along with Lee-Simpson acquired in 2012, officially change their names to GAI Consultants, Inc. By the end of 2013, GAI has surpassed the $100 million dollar mark in annual gross billings—a first for the firm.


GAI entered 2014 with over 850 employees in 29 U.S. offices throughout the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest. Almost 30 years after opening an office in Charleston, WV, a second West Virginia office opens in Bridgeport. At the same time, GAI’s laboratory and construction materials testing and inspection operations in eastern Pennsylvania reorganize as a subsidiary of GAI Consultants, Inc. under the name: GAI Construction Monitoring Services, Inc. d/b/a CMT Services Group (CMT).


GAI introduces Community Solutions Group (CSG), a diverse team of experienced planners, Landscape Architects, designers, economists, and public policy experts. CSG provides a strategic consulting practice to meet the evolving needs of government, agencies, institutions, and developers. GAI’s Business Unit organization continues to evolve with the announcement of a restructuring plan that will ultimately result in two major business lines: Energy and Infrastructure.


GAI acquires JBCPE in order to expand its’ planning and land development services in North Florida. Also, in order to fulfill a need for highly-skilled staff on demand for our clients, GAI formed Systems Planning Corporation (SPC) to provide staff-augmentation services. New offices crop up in Houston, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Tampa, Florida—and GAI’s reputation for excellence continues with more than 900 employees and $134M in annual revenue.