Company History

Originating in Brisbane in 1945 as a small engineering consultancy known as Cardno & Davies – contributing significantly to the development of Queensland through the post-war boom years – Cardno today has more than 6,500 staff worldwide delivering physical, environmental and social infrastructure projects in more than 100 countries. We have much to celebrate in our history, and our future.

1945 to 1997
Gerry Cardno and Harold Davies were local engineers employed by the United States Army Australian Base Command in Brisbane during the Second World War. Davies was a visionary engineer who was part of the team that created one of the most internationally recognisable Australian structures, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Following the end of World War II, the two men combined their engineering expertise to establish Brisbane-based consultancy Cardno & Davies.
 
During the post-war boom years through to the 1970s, Cardno & Davies was a driving force in the development of Queensland. The company designed and supervised the construction of water supplies, bridges, dams and roads throughout the state, as well as sewerage systems in Brisbane and regional towns. Cardno & Davies designed the first residential canals in Australia, at Florida Gardens on Queensland's Gold Coast.
 
During this time, Cardno had offices in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Papua New Guinea.

1997 to 2003 
In 1997, when Andrew Buckley joined as Managing Director, Cardno had 180 employees and an annual turnover of AU$14 million. 
 
In a fundamental move for the company, Cardno & Davies in 1999 merged with McMillan, Britton & Kell, a consulting engineering practice based in New South Wales Australia with origins dating back to 1936. The company then became known as Cardno MBK.
 
Following the 1999 merger, Cardno grew from strength to strength through mergers with other Australian consulting companies and the organic growth of its existing operations in Queensland and New South Wales. Cardno’s service areas steadily grew to encompass a broad range of planning, surveying, engineering and environmental services, as well as project management of development assistance programs internationally. 
 
In 2002 Cardno MBK was rebranded as simply Cardno as we commenced the next cycle of growth for the group.

2004 to 2012 
This was a pivotal time for Cardno, with growth high on the agenda. In May 2004, Cardno Limited (ASX: CDD) listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, allowing access to funds for major expansion. In 2007, we broke into the North American consulting market with the acquisition of WRG Design Inc. We also made our first move into New Zealand.
 
The Zero Harm safety program launched in 2011, embedding our company-wide commitment to ensuring the safety of all employees, clients and the communities in which we work, every day.
 
In May 2012, Cardno's market cap exceeded AU$1 billion for the first time, and in June 2012, the company became part of the ASX 200, the register of the 200 largest companies listed on that exchange. 
 
Between 2004 and 2012, Cardno made a number of defining mergers and became a leader in delivering outstanding services in physical, environmental and social infrastructure across the world.

2013 to 2016
Today, 6,500 Cardno staff in 200+ offices deliver community-shaping projects in more than 100 countries. We have a strong focus on sustainable client relationships and organic growth, and continue to expand our already extensive capabilities in new markets across the world.
 
We became the proud recipient of two Australian Export Awards, awarded for outstanding achievements in international business. In 2013 we won the excellence award for Infrastructure and Construction and in 2014 we were the winners of the Business Services Award. 

We were also awarded the number one position on the ZweigWhite 2013 Hot Firms List for three years running, recognising Cardno as the fastest growing engineering and environmental services firm in North America over the period from 2011 to 2013.
 
In 2014, Andrew Buckley retired after 17 years at the helm of the company.
 
Richard Wankmuller became Cardno CEO and Managing Director in 2015, bringing more than 30 years’ experience in professional engineering services to the role.
 
From early beginnings as a Brisbane-based engineering firm, Cardno is now a global company with a mission to shape the future sustainably for communities around the world.
 
 
Read the stories of some of our long-standing employees, reflecting on their experiences (and Cardno's) throughout our journey.