Howard M. Patterson met Harry D. Dewar while working on the Norris Dam project for the Tennessee Valley Authority. The two worked closely together, became good friends, formed a partnership, and started Patterson & Dewar Engineers, Inc. in 1947.
Located in a small town outside of Atlanta, the original employees shared office space in the historic Blair-Rutland Building. Their primary undertaking in the late 1940s was to provide engineering services for rural electrification programs extending service to towns and farms in the southeast. As a result, 8,000 miles of electrical lines were planned, engineered, and built under the supervision of P&D to service 30,000 consumers.
We continued to grow and expand our services over the next few years. One of our early accomplishments included engineering 19,000 miles of telephone lines for the Bell Telephone System and other independent telephone systems. Additional services added to our portfolio included civil engineering and surveying, highway engineering and design, subdivision planning, railroad design, and airport engineering and design.
Incorporated in 1956, P&D embraced the concept of employee ownership early. Mr. Patterson and Mr. Dewar encouraged stock ownership for employees to promote a stronger company culture, laying the foundation for the dedication our employees continue to bring to each project.
Also in 1956, P&D began using computer programs to analyze, plan, and engineer electric distribution systems. We believed in technological advancement so much that we dedicated an entire floor of the office to house the computer. Pioneers in leveraging computer programs in the utility industry, we received inquiries about the software from multiple companies in the United States and the Power Board of Sweden. We continue to see the importance of technology in our industry.
Fast-forward to today, and P&D has added multiple services lines, including the construction management department in 2006 and Hood Patterson & Dewar, our wholly-owned subsidiary that provides testing and commissioning services for critical facilities, in 1982. Currently, P&D has multiple offices and has grown to over 200 employees. Although we’ve changed considerably since 1947, we continue to value the strong relationships we have with our employees and our clients – many lasting for decades.
Mr. Patterson and Mr. Dewar founded our company upon integrity, professionalism, technical know-how, and a client-oriented approach to every project, every time. We continue their legacy today by holding on to these core values, ensuring that Mr. Patterson and Mr. Dewar would be proud of the company they founded.
This year, Patterson & Dewar Engineers celebrates 75 years of staying power.