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Our history

Headquartered in Croydon, UK, Mott MacDonald was founded in 1902 (as Mott & Hay) by engineers Basil Mott and David Hay. Since 1888, both men had worked together on the City and South London Railway, under the direction of Sir Benjamin Baker and James Henry Greathead. Greathead was known as the foremost soft-ground tunneler of his time, while Baker was famous for his work on London’s District Railway, the Forth Bridge in Scotland, and the first Aswan Dam, which was completed in 1902.

The Mott MacDonald Group gained its current name in 1989, when Mott, Hay & Anderson (as it was then called) merged with Sir M. MacDonald & Partners, a company with its own connection to the original Aswan Dam. As Advisor to Egypt’s Ministry of Public Works, Sir Murdoch MacDonald was involved in the construction and the first heightening of the dam, which was completed in 1912. In 1921 he returned to England, entered a partnership with Archibald MacCorquodale, and continued his work in hydroelectric development, including the second heightening of the Aswan Dam, completed in 1933.

Mott MacDonald has expanded over the years through the acquisition of companies including Husband and Company, James Williamson & Partners, and Ewbank Preece (1994), Cambridge Education Associates (2000), Dalal Consultants (2001), Franklin + Andrews (2002), HLSP (2003), Fulcrum Consulting (2009), and Hughes Trueman (2010). The company now spans the globe, with 180 principal offices in nearly 50 countries.

Mott MacDonald in North America

In 1996, Mott MacDonald and the Canadian company Hatch created a joint venture called Hatch Mott MacDonald to take advantage of engineering opportunities in North America.

Hatch Mott MacDonald initially focused on the transportation market, providing services in tunnels, rail and transit, rail systems, bridges and highways, and aviation. The company grew rapidly, gaining a reputation as one of North America’s premier tunneling and transit engineering firms.

In 2001, Hatch Mott MacDonald expanded its expertise by acquiring Killam Associates, a water, wastewater, and environmental services firm. With roots dating back to 1937, Killam brought a strong presence in the northeastern and southeastern US.

In 2016, after winning a series of landmark engineering projects and quadrupling its revenue over the previous ten years, Hatch Mott MacDonald was divided into two separate businesses, with Canadian operations joining Hatch and US operations joining Mott MacDonald. Mott MacDonald in North America pursues projects in the US, Canada, and around the world.

Mott MacDonald leaders at the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project site.