History

Since 1947, the Donan name has been synonymous with integrity.

Donan is a third generation engineering firm that began in 1947 in Madisonville, KY, by John Donan Sr., a Civil and Mining Professional Engineer.  Since its beginning, the company has been family-owned and values-driven, building its reputation by being a consistent source of unbiased expertise.

The Beginning
In the company’s early years, John Donan Sr. offered mining design and drilling services primarily to coal companies.  John G. Donan Jr., Donan’s current Chairman of the Board, joined his father’s business in 1964, specializing in soil and foundation investigations, as well as boundary and topographic surveys. The first computer in Madisonville was purchased by the company in 1965 to perform surveying calculations, giving the Donans an early reputation as innovators.

Expertise in High Demand
The surveying and mine businesses flourished. The company also gained large contracts for mineral appraisals.  Because of his superior knowledge and experience in mining design, John Donan Sr. worked with the Kentucky Highway Department to align several major parkways through the state in order to minimize disruption and loss of coal reserves.  In 1973 the Donans continued to be sought-out for their expertise, this time for coal consulting services for a high-profile client in South America.  Anastasio Somoza, the President of Nicaragua, was a client until his assassination in 1980.

Forensic Engineering Takes Off
By the mid-1960s, Donan Engineering, Inc. was regularly performing forensic engineering investigations as a result of claims against surface and underground mining companies for blasting and subsidence damage.  As forensic investigation became a larger part of the business, fire and explosion origin and cause was added to the company’s services.  By 2000, the company had offices in Jasper, Evansville, Indianapolis, and South Bend, Indiana, as well as in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky.  Market challenges associated with design work and ongoing growth in forensic investigations prompted the decision to focus solely on forensic engineering and fire investigation.

A Leader in Innovation
Today Donan is one of the largest forensic investigation firms in the country.  Since 2000 the firm has grown to more than 50 offices spanning coast to coast, with diverse service offerings including Forensic Engineering, Fire Investigation, Component Testing, and HVAC Forensics. Donan continues its legacy of innovation with constant technological development (Donan Mobile launched in early 2014) and leading-edge investigation tools.  For nearly seven decades, clients have turned to Donan for first-rate expertise, conclusive answers, and superior insights through innovation.