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A History 34 Years In The Making


Hillis-Carnes Engineering Associates was founded by Richard Hillis, P.E. and William Carnes, P.E., in 1989. Even with the ups and downs of the real estate and construction markets since then, Hillis-Carnes has grown to over 400 employees with 18 locations. It’s been possible with our dedication to sound design specific to each building site, by investing in advanced equipment and by seeking the industry’s best people.

As engineers, we’ve always treated projects as if we were the owners, and with that mindset we have provided the most economical and safe designs for foundations and structures. Mr. Hillis and Mr. Carnes set out to develop loyal relationships with a core of private real estate developers and contractors who appreciate the value of this approach, and they did. In fact, many of our firm’s original clients and their offshoot businesses are still clients today.

Our entry into geostructural design and specialty geoconstruction in the early 1990s, although a leap at the time, proved our commitment to innovation and it has given us — and our clients — an advantage in design-build projects. Our breadth of in-house services lets us collaborate with project owners, contractors and one another to provide highly effective design, construction and project completion.

In 2012, Hillis-Carnes established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in which employees are given shares in the company, held in an outside trust. The more successful the company is, the more valuable the shares become. Everyone plays a role in profitability and directly benefits from it.

For the past eight years, Engineering News-Record named Hillis-Carnes to its ranking of Top 500 Design Firms in the nation for its continued rapid growth. With an ongoing commitment to technology and a full range of services we are in a position to meet the more sophisticated and complex needs of our clients. We can be the foundation for their success.