Henneman Engineering, Inc. - History of the Business

In August of 1976, in Champaign, Illinois, Ralph Henneman founded Ralph Henneman & Associates, Inc., known today as Henneman Engineering, Inc. (“HEI”). Prior to founding the company, Ralph Henneman founded Carroll Henneman and Associates, Inc. with his former partner Raymond Carroll in 1961. Over the course of sixteen years, Ralph Henneman and Mr. Carroll developed many significant relationships with various architectural firms in central Illinois that helped establish their company as a leading consulting engineering company in the areas of healthcare, higher education and military government work. Ralph Henneman brought this expertise with him when founding Ralph Henneman & Associates. 


The firm became Henneman, Raufeisen and Associates, Inc. in 1982 when Al Raufeisen joined the company. In 1992, Ralph Henneman stepped down as President and Michael Henneman, Sr. became President. Upon assuming the role of President, Michael Henneman began expanding the company through multiple mergers and acquisitions. 


In 1995, Henneman purchased and merged with S & R Engineering of Urbana, Illinois. And in 1997, in an effort to expand into the manufacturing industry, the firm formed “Industrial Technology Group” (ITG), which still operates today. ITG specializes in industrial projects including infrastructure, power generation plants, food manufacturing facilities (Kraft Foods), and works with large heavy manufacturing industries such as Caterpillar Tractor and GM Diesel Locomotive Division. Since 2018, ITG has been led by HEI Senior Vice President and Stockholder, Tracy Wilson. 


In 2002, the firm purchased Jaspal Engineering Services of Madison, Wisconsin, thereby establishing Henneman Jaspal Engineering Services. Former HEI Senior Vice President and Stockholder, Liz Douglas, led the new venture. Then and today, HEI’s Madison office specializes 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; Dallas, Texas in 2005; and Iowa City, Iowa in 2006. Each office was opened with a large individual project in place and more work propagated. These three offices closed during the 2008-2012 period, due to the effects of the financial crisis on the economy causing large capital projects to pull back.


Laura Henneman and Rachel Beaupré joined the HEI Board of Directors in 2014 and in 2016, Laura Henneman became Chairman of the Board. Also in 2014, former HEI employee and Shareholder, Liz Douglas, was named CEO/President. In 2017, upon Liz Douglas’ departure, Laura Henneman assumed the role of CEO and Joseph Summers became the President. In 2020, Diane Bell joined the HEI Board of Directors as its Controller.


Today, HEI operates five offices in the Midwest: two offices in Champaign, Illinois; Madison, Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Lafayette, Indiana. HEI’s team of engineers combines innovation, energy efficiency, and safety to offer a full range of services, including mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering; plumbing and fire protection design; commissioning; and information technology. We have successfully completed projects in the fields of energy, education, healthcare, industry, commerce, and government. After nearly 45 years in business, it is HEI’s commitment to provide the highest standard of engineering, establish long-term client relationships that benefit the client’s success, and evolve in order to meet our clients’ needs.