History of Crawford, Murphy & Tilly

A Shared Vision

The events that lead to the partnership of Leonard K. Crawford, James "Pat" Murphy, and Ray V. Tilly begin in North Dakota and play out further in a scene some 4,000 miles away in Europe before culminating in 1946 in Springfield, Illinois.

After completing their studies in engineering at the University of North Dakota (UND) in 1937, Murphy lands a position at the North Dakota Department of Transportation while his friend Crawford takes a chance by accepting an offer from a small engineering firm in Springfield. There he joins Tilly, a 1924 UND grad and a partner in the firm of Wood, Walraven & Tilly.

WWII sends Crawford to Europe, where he eventually earns the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Army Corps of Engineers. There, at a PX in LaHavre, France, he has a chance meeting with Murphy who is serving as a civilian in the corps. The old friends' reminiscing soon gives way to talk of the future as they lay out their plans for after the war.

Crawford tells Murphy about Tilly, whose firm had dissolved during the war. After further correspondence, the three agree to partner in an engineering firm with the modest goal that if their venture could stick together for the first five years, then they could "probably make a go of it." By the time they celebrate their 10th anniversary in business, CMT and its 20 employees have served 200 clients on more than 500 projects.

Building a Reputation

During the '50s and '60s, CMT hones its highway skills when they are called on to contribute to the nation's new interstate highway initiative.

In 1964, CMT incorporates and begins a program of transitional ownership through stock offerings to principal employees. This move preserves the firm's identity that is based on the values of its three founding members and continues to the present day.

In the '70s, CMT responds to the challenge of meeting more stringent environmental standards by developing innovative solutions in civil design. Their work earns industry awards in such areas as water and wastewater treatment, pavements and design.

The firm continues to make its mark in the '80s, in part through its contribution to significant advancements in airport pavement design. A new Aviation Planning Group is also established during this time.

CMT reorganizes itself in the '90s to become a more market-oriented firm. Strategic planning efforts lead the firm to foresake the traditional organization by discipline for a new structure that focuses on its four core markets that are today known as: Aviation, Highways & Bridges, Water Resources, and Civil & Site Services.

A Future Anchored on a Strong Foundation

Since the firm's beginnings in 1946, CMT has enjoyed steady and healthy growth. Geographic expansion, historically the result of growing and promoting their own, has more recently been complemented by strategic acquisitions of firms that share CMT's values and reputation for integrity.

The firm, with its 260 employees located in 13 offices through the Midwest, continues to evolve based on the principles of hard work and steady growth instilled by its founders.

CMT and its fifth generation of leadership are positioned to address the opportunities and challenges of the future through a strong strategic vision and continued commitment to its clients