Austin in the News

The Austin Company Creates Northrop Grumman Center of Excellence

From the April 2016 issue of Dixie Contractor, by Debra Wood

The Austin Company recently completed three projects at Northrop Grumman's Centers of Excellence in Melbourne and St. Augustine, Florida, including a new production home for the U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Aircraft – Building 100. 

“The new facility is a ‘hybrid’ between an aircraft hangar and manufacturing building,” says Ken Stone, Vice President and Project Executive of Austin. It was designed with flexibility to accommodate for future uses if Northrop Grumman’s needs change over the building’s anticipated 50-plus year life.

Austin provided planning, architectural design, engineering and construction services for the new production center. The company completed the first and largest phase of the project two months ahead of the original 18-month schedule.

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Understanding the Aerospace Industry Workforce

How Communities Can Attract This Industry Through Smart and Strategic Workforce Practices

The March/April 2016 issue of Expansion Solutions magazine included a feature article written by Frank Spano, Bianca Holtier Coury and Susan Riffle on "Understanding the Aerospace Industry Workforce."

In 2016, The Austin Company is celebrating 100 years of service to the aviation, aerospace and defense industry. Join our mailing list, follow us on social media, and read our blog to receive articles, whitepapers and more as we recognize this milestone and reflect on this industry's remarkable history. 



The Austin Company Celebrates 100 Years of Serving the Aviation, Aerospace and Defense Industry

Since 1916, The Austin Company has served the aviation, aerospace and defense industry, and is proud to celebrate 100 years of service to this industry in 2016 – a centennial that we share with The Boeing Company and Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine.

Throughout these 100 years, Austin architects, engineers and constructors have accomplished great feats and devised many innovations for the aviation sector. We designed and built the largest industrial building in the world for The Boeing Company in Everett, WA. Our innovations include bi-fold hangar doors, fiberglass wall panels for WWII bomber plants that saved metal, induced airflows to improve ventilation in large plants, and rolling work platforms to speed schedules.

These innovations have contributed to the success of our clients by enabling them to operate in more efficient environments, optimize the flexibility of their operations, and meet aggressive schedules.

Aviation is in Our DNA

Wilbert Austin, son of our founder Samuel Austin, joined his father’s business in 1904 after graduating with his engineering degree. He conceived the then heretical idea of combining engineering and construction in one firm to offer a complete facility service. This was the dawn of The Austin Method®.

Wilbert was also fascinated with flight. His passion drove the Company’s pursuit of and growth in the budding aviation industry.

In 1916, America was on the brink of entering the war in Europe. The aviation industry had progressed from primitive gliders to innovative and more sophisticated military aircraft required to support the war effort. In this time of anticipation and innovation, The Austin Company saw great potential in utilizing The Austin Method® and its standard building designs to fast-track complex projects.

Implementation of The Austin Method® coincided with the growth of the aviation industry.

Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation

Placing ads in The Literary Digest in 1916, Austin promoted the speed in which it could design and build industrial facilities. These ads caught the eye of representatives at Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation in Buffalo, NY.

Glenn Curtiss, one of the early visionaries in American aviation, was a driving force in aircraft development. Given his reputation and America’s entry into the war, Curtiss received a large contract from the U.S. government to build aircraft for the U.S. Army and Navy.

As a result, Curtiss developed a simple, easy to fly, two-seat training aircraft – the JN-4 “Jenny” for the Army and the N-9 seaplane version for the Navy. Curtiss needed expanded manufacturing facilities to fulfill the government’s large order, so a connection was made with The Austin Company to determine whether Austin could deliver on its claims of speed and economy.

Austin promised Curtiss the design and construction of a new 540,000 square-foot aircraft manufacturing facility in 120 days. Ultimately, another 63,000 square-foot building was added and the project was completed in 90 days. This was the world’s largest industrial facility of its time, and Curtiss became the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer during the war.

“In 1916, The Austin Company was one of the few companies in the U.S. that would integrate design and construction,” explains Mike Pierce, president of The Austin Company. “It was wartime and production had to move quickly. There was an unbelievably aggressive schedule.”

The resulting facility was so well designed and constructed that it continued to function as an aircraft production plant through World War II. After Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation, the facility was home to Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Bell Aircraft Corporation, M. Wile Clothing Co., and a portion still exists today as a Home Depot shopping center.

Continuing to deliver “Results, not Excuses”®

Speed and economy continue to be cornerstones of Austin’s work. In fact, nearly 100 years after Curtiss, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems needed a project completed on a highly accelerated schedule, and they, too, turned to The Austin Company. The resulting facility, a highly specialized 210,000-square-foot program engineering and laboratory building, was implemented in just over one year – a planning, design, engineering and construction effort that under industry standards would have taken three years to complete. This facility was later recognized with regional design-build awards from the Design-Build Institute of America and Engineering News Record.

We’ve Been There, We’ll Be There

Throughout 2016, Austin will be featuring milestone projects, releasing a 100-year history video, and publishing a commemorative book. Materials and additional information can be found at

Representative clients include:

  • Northrop Grumman
  • Embraer
  • Douglas
  • Eastern
  • Northwest
  • The Boeing Company
  • Airbus
  • Continental
  • Fairchild
  • McDonnell
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Bombardier
  • Consolidated Aircraft
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • United

Austin would also like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their relationships, collaboration and support. It is a pleasure to serve you and we look forward to the next 100 years.  

Related Resources

The Meaning of 100 Years – Blog by Mike Pierce, president of The Austin Company

Aviation, Aerospace & Defense – Information on The Austin Company website


Design & Construction Leader Makes Shift to The Austin Company

National industrial plant design and construction leader makes big move to America’s original industrial design-build firm, The Austin Company.

The Austin Company, March 16, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio: The Austin Company (, a leading international design, engineering, construction, design-build and site location consulting firm is pleased to announce that J. Brandon Davis has joined the firm as Vice President and General Manager of Austin’s Cleveland operations. In this role, Davis will have overall responsibility for Austin’s largest operation, which includes consulting, design, engineering, planning, construction and design-build operations.

“Brandon is a great addition to our executive team and we are confident that he will help drive and continue our growth and our commitment to high-quality, on-time, on-budget, project delivery. We are proud to welcome Brandon to the team – his values, leadership style and commitment to excellence fit in perfectly at The Austin Company,” said Mike Pierce, president of The Austin Company.                              

Davis joins The Austin Company from AECOM, where he most recently served as Sr. Vice President, Industrial Group. He joined AECOM’s legacy company, Morrison Knudsen (MK), as a construction superintendent in the late 1990s and worked in various field and home office roles throughout his career, working through the transitions from MK to Washington Group International, then to URS in 2008, and to AECOM in 2014. At AECOM, he held roles in construction, project controls, facility management, project management, business development, accounting, strategic planning and management, all focused on the company’s industrial business units.

Davis is an alumni of Cleveland State University and the University of Findlay, and is active in the community, serving in leadership positions or on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations. He has received multiple recognitions for business and community leadership, including those from the Engineering News Record (ENR), Crain’s Cleveland Business, Inside Business Magazine and the Oil & Gas Awards. 


New Hires and Promotions Across U.S. Offices

Cleveland, Ohio – The Austin Company is pleased to announce the addition of multiple associates located in Ohio, California and Missouri.

The Austin Company welcomed the following associates as of January 31, 2016:

In Cleveland, Ohio …

  • Jim Neveu, Project Executive
  • Anthony Osuma, Senior Mechanical Engineer
  • Jim Nutter, Estimator
  • Michael Ferguson, Location Consultant
  • Erin Fantozz, Architectural Designer

In Irvine, California …

  • Michael Wright, Assistant Superintendent
  • Frank Alani, Field Engineer

In St. Louis, Missouri …

  • Wayne Hileman, Superintendent

In addition, Austin is pleased to announce the following promotions:  

  • Chris Jackson to Director of Preconstruction Services, Cleveland
  • Steve Francis to Project Executive, Cleveland
  • David Oshins to Manager of Engineering and Design, Cleveland
  • Frank Rowe to Chief Electrical Engineer, Cleveland
  • Mickey Jackson to Senior Process Engineer, Atlanta
  • Brandi Smith to Associate Purchasing Agent, Cleveland
  • Robby Morgan to Associate Project Manager, Atlanta

The following Austin associates advanced their professional credentials:

  • Mark Osborne, Engineer in Irvine, received his Professional Engineer (PE) license.
  • Erica Compton, Austin’s Corporate Manager of BIM located in Cleveland, received her Professional Certification in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2016.
  • Brian Zuzik, Austin’s Corporate BIM Coordinator located in Cleveland, received his Professional Certification in Autodesk Revit Architecture, Revit Structural, Revit MEP Electrical, and Revit MEP Mechanical for 2016.

For information on career opportunities with The Austin Company, visit:


Management Team Additions and Promotions

Experienced professionals expand and play key roles on The Austin Company’s management team and provide expertise for continued growth of leading design-build firm.

The Austin Company, Cleveland, Ohio: The Austin Company ( continues its growth through the hiring and promotion of senior personnel. The Company has appointed Jim Neveu, Project Executive; Steve Francis, Project Executive; Chris Jackson, Director of Preconstruction Services; and David Oshins, Manager of Engineering and Design.

“The expertise and leadership of these individuals will drive and continue to support Austin’s growth in the marketplace and continuous improvement in the services we provide our clients,” stated Mike Pierce, president of The Austin Company.

Jim Neveu, Project Executive, Cleveland

Jim’s background includes 35 years of experience in Manufacturing Operations, Engineering and Construction in the food, chemical, pharmaceutical and process manufacturing industries. His focus has been in Project Management, having managed over $2-billion of projects for many Fortune 500 companies on behalf of the Owner, Consultant and Design-Build efforts. He also has significant experience in Project Controls and is a Certified Cost Engineer.

Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Youngstown State University.

Steve Francis, RA, Project Executive, Cleveland

Steve has more than 35 years’ experience in the architectural and engineering design field, with 25 years at The Austin Company. Most recently, Steve served as Manager of Architecture and Engineering in Austin’s Cleveland office. As Project Executive, Steve will advance company-wide continuous improvement efforts in Virtual Design and Construction Technology, Quality and Safety, and Lean Design and Construction.

Steve is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio), with a Bachelor of environmental design degree in architecture, and is a Registered Architect. 

Chris Jackson, Director of Preconstruction Services, Cleveland

As Director of Preconstruction Services, Chris will manage project transitions from the design to the construction phase, matching design needs and market pricing to fit within the client’s budget. Chris’ background includes work with various General Contractors as a Senior Level Lead Estimator, Project Manager, Estimator and Estimating Manager on projects up to $750-million in locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. 

Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in construction management from Western Michigan University.

David Oshins, PE, LEED®, Manager of Engineering and Design, Cleveland

David has more than 20 years of experience in mechanical engineering and project management, specializing in building design. Previously, David was principal of regional design operations with an international design and construction firm. His background includes significant experience in HVAC, plumbing and fire protection design. 

David holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is a Licensed Professional Engineer in six states, and is a LEED® Accredited Professional.


Globe Targeting February '17 Go-Live in Taunton

Globe targeting February '17 go-live in Taunton, an article in News & Tech's January/February 2016 issue, features The Boston Globe's new 328,000 square foot production facility, for which The Austin Company provided architectural design and engineering services. In the article, Mike Pusich, Manager of Facilities Development for Austin, described the unique design requirements involved in converting the existing warehouse facility into a state-of-the-art newspaper production facility.

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Setting Your Sites on Solid Ground

Setting your sites on solid ground, an article in Food Engineering's December 2015 issue, features Frank Spano, Managing Director of Austin Consulting, and discusses some of the considerations a company must evaluate when selecting a new location for a plant, including utilities and water costs, access to transportation, labor availability, incentives and sustainability issues.


Happy Holidays from The Austin Company

As the holiday season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and those who have helped to shape our business. 

Thank you for a great year!

We hope your holidays are filled with peace and joy. We wish you and yours a happy and prosperous New Year.  

Happy Holidays from everyone at The Austin Company!



Holiday messages from the Austin Blog archive:

The Annual Marathon That We Run

Balancing New Year's Resolutions with Continuous Improvement

Some Thoughts on Thankfulness

Making the Most of Your Year-End Activities

Thanksgiving ... Giving Light and Hope to Others


Steel Supports Aviation Manufacturing Facility

The December 2015 issue of Metal Architecture magazine included a project feature on Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems' Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence, Building 100. The Austin Company designed and built the new facility located in St. Augustine, Florida.

Read More Here

Learn More About Building 100