Henneman Engineering Builds on 57 years of success

In 57 years of operation, Henneman Engineering has transformed from a small group of engineers to a firm with nearly 100 to 300 engineers and technical employees in five cities across the Midwest of the USA. Projects range from small engineering studies to $200-$500 million building facilities or infrastructure systems. The mission of Henneman has remained the same: to provide innovative, cost-effective and quality engineering solutions that are responsive to the client’s needs in a professional and profitable manner.


Engineering has always been a Henneman family tradition with roots in electrical engineering and construction going back to the 1910s in Chicago, Illinois. When Ralph Henneman Sr. and his half-brother, George Henneman had an electrical construction firm doing DC electric installations in the Chicago downtown loop area.  


In 1961, Ralph Henneman founded the firm in Urbana, Illinois with his partner Raymond Carroll. Early in Henneman’s history, the firm developed many significant relationships with various Architectural firms that helped establish it as a leader in the areas of healthcare, higher education and military government work. These key relationships were built on trust, innovative quality design and a desire to achieve the highest level of client satisfaction and longevity. This paved the way for Henneman’s future growth.


One of Henneman’s largest healthcare-related projects was for Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois in the early 1970s. This led to other projects in the healthcare industry and helped to establish Henneman as an expert in this design field. Another of the firm’s early projects outside of Illinois was for the Army Corps of Engineers where Henneman completed a project for the Minute/Man Ballistic Missile training facility at Chanute Air Force Base/Rantoul, IL. This required top security reviews with Ballistic System Division (BSD) of the US Air Force located in San Bernardino, California at that time. Numerous additional Army Corp projects were completed over a 20 year period. In addition, Henneman has always had strong ties to the University of Illinois where the firm has completed thousands of projects. One of the outstanding U of I projects was the entire redesign of the High Voltage underground distribution systems at both Urbana and Chicago campuses. This helped build Henneman’s reputation in higher education and led to many other projects with universities throughout the country. 


In 1982, the firm became Henneman, Raufeisen and Associates, Inc. when Al Raufeisen joined ownership. In 1992, Ralph Henneman stepped down as President and Michael Henneman became President. Michael Henneman began expansion of the firm in 1993. Over the years, Henneman has grown and expanded through a variety of mergers and acquisitions.


In 1995, Henneman purchased and merged with S & R Engineering of Urbana, Illinois. Henneman had a relationship with S & R as Joe Summers (current president) was mentored by Ralph Henneman and the Summers and Henneman families had been friends and business acquaintances for many years. In 1997, a new growth strategy focused on the manufacturing industry was implemented with the formation of the Industrial Technology Group (ITG). ITG specializes in industrial projects including infrastructure, power generation plants, food manufacturing (Kraft Foods) facilities and works with large heavy manufacturing industries such as Caterpillar Tractor, and GM Diesel Locomotive Division. 


The firm purchased Jaspal Engineering Services of Madison, Wisconsin, establishing Henneman Jaspal Engineering Services in 2002. Mr. Henneman sent Liz Douglas to head up the new venture. The Madison office has a high level of expertise in healthcare and building commissioning work.


In 2003, the firm changed its name to Henneman Engineering, Inc. to highlight its strengths as a multi-disciplined engineering firm. HEI opened offices in St. Louis, Missouri in 2004 headed by Tom Bice, Dallas, Texas in 2005 headed by Dave Mauck, and Iowa City, Iowa in 2006 headed by Todd Spacek, Each office was opened with a large individual project in place and more work propagated until the financial crisis effected the economy and large capital projects pulled back. These offices closed during the 2008-2012 period and work in these geographic areas shifted to the remaining offices.


In 2014 ownership of HEI was transferred to Henneman Family, LLC, a woman owned investment company. Laura J. Henneman was named Chairman of the Board and Rachel H. Beaupre and Michael J. Henneman, Jr. joined the Board of Directors. Liz Douglas was named CEO/President. In 2016, Laura Henneman was named Chairman/CEO and Joe Summers assumed the President role.  


Today Henneman Engineering is set apart by the outstanding team of professionals throughout its 5 offices – many of whom have been with the firm more than 20 years. Henneman also is focused on mentoring new talent and creating opportunities for young engineers. After more than 57 years in business, it is Henneman Engineering’s commitment to provide the highest standard of engineering and our ability to establish long-term client relationships that benefit the client’s success.