Like most good stories, it all started when two people met—in this case, when George Dunham met his future wife Nancy while studying at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Fittingly, one was a mechanical engineering student; the other, electrical. They married (both personally and professionally), founded Dunham in 1960 and remained with the company until Nancy’s retirement in 1997, followed by George’s in 1999.

Along the way, much has happened to make Dunham one of the Upper Midwest’s most respected engineering firms. Here are some of the milestones that have crafted our business and culture for over 50 years.

Dunham History

1960
1960
Dunham is founded in Rapid City (SD) by George and Nancy Dunham.
1969
1969
Dunham opens its Minneapolis office.
1987
1987
Company ownership is expanded to Partners & Associates.
1996
1996
Katy Kolbeck is named Dunham's President and CEO.
1998
1998
Dunham begins a partnership with Hoare Lea Engineers in U.K. This relationship leads to Dunham’s early adoption of CFD modeling and thermal displacement ventilation—a "viable/accepted" option for efficiently ventilating spaces in the buildings, previously only viewed as a "common/accepted" design choice with European engineers.
1999
1999
Dunham hires a Ph.D. and begins modeling air flow using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software.

Dunham completes the design of its first project to utilize thermal displacement ventilation (TDV).

As part of its DO2000 initiative, Dunham internally restructures by forming business units to better serve individual markets. These dedicated teams gain valuable knowledge and expertise by having a primary focus on specific project types.
2004
2004
Dunham helps establish a local chapter of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and becomes one of the founding members of the USGBC Minnesota Chapter.

Dunham becomes an early adopter of LEED® and works to achieve accreditation of all PEs on staff.
2005
2005
Dunham begins a mentorship program for its staff to help employees with both career and personal development.
2006
2006
Dunham moves from its Twin Cities suburban location to its current headquarters in Minneapolis’ Central Business District.
2007
2007
Dunham becomes an early adopter of BIM software (Revit MEP) for advanced 3D modeling of buildings.

Dunham's Board of Directors unanimously approves and officially adopts the 2030 Challenge, recognizing ecological stewardship to be a fundamental responsibility of the engineering profession.
2008
2008
Dunham signs a contract for renewable energy credits, thus purchasing 100% of its energy from renewable sources.

Dunham opens an office in Duluth, MN.
2010
2010
Dunham opens an office in Rochester, MN.
2011
2011
Jay Rohkohl is named Dunham's new President and CEO.
2015
2015
Dunham expands its presence in Rochester by increasing staff size to better serve clients in the region.