EBA Engineering Inc.

CEOCFO-Members Login

December 12, 2016 Issue



Mid-Atlantic Civil and Environmental Engineering Services and Consultants providing Pipeline, Drainage, Sewer, Stormwater, Wastewater Design, Management and Testing and Geospatial Services



Rizwan Siddiqi

President/Chief Executive Officer


EBA Engineering Inc.


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published - December 12, 2016


CEOCFO: Mr. Siddiqi, would you give us a general overview of EBA Engineering?

Mr. Siddiqi: EBA Engineering was founded in 1981 with about 25 employees. We have grown to about 250 employees over the last 35 years or so. We are primarily a civil and environmental engineering company and offer services in 12 service areas. We have five offices. Most of our work is in the Mid-Atlantic region, with projects and clients in Virginia, Maryland, DC and Pennsylvania. This is the area where we cover most of the time. We have also done work in Texas for different opportunities. We have two offices in Maryland, one in DC, one in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania.


CEOCFO: What are some examples of projects that you have worked on, maybe something somewhat typical and something a little more unusual, just to get a feel for what you are actually doing?

Mr. Siddiqi: On the civil engineering side we do a lot of water and wastewater work. Basically, we do all three types of water design work, which includes water, sewer and stormwater. We design and update both pumping stations and treatment plants. As far as the sizes of the pipelines are concerned, we have done all the way from 6-inch-diameter pipeline designs to 120-inch-diameter pipeline designs on the wastewater side. For the civil side, we do a lot of site engineering like grading, drainage and stormwater management. We also perform construction management and inspection. One of EBA’s largest projects is the Intercounty Connector, or ICC, in Maryland. We provided quality control for this almost a billion dollar construction project. That includes construction management, inspection and testing services. We have two AASHTO-accredited labs to do the concrete testing, soil testing and asphalt testing. Another signature project that we are currently working on in Virginia is the Silver Line, which is extending the metro rail from Tysons Corner all the way to Dulles Airport in Virginia. It is a $350 million design-build contract, and we are also providing construction management and inspection and testing on that project. Going back to structural engineering, we do a lot of design and inspection of bridges, schools, facilities, utilities and underground vaults. Our structural engineering team does a lot of work all around Maryland and some work in Virginia. We also do environmental engineering, such as environmental Phase I and Phase II studies, as well as studies of underground and aboveground storage tanks for hazardous materials. We do a lot of remedial design for lead paint, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. We also do surveying and mapping and GPS surveys. Another area of expertise that we have is geospatial services, combining GIS and technology. Our programmers can develop any type of phone apps or computer apps. We can also develop workflows. We are working on some projects to convert agencies all the way from paper to one hundred percent digital documentation. Everything that they are doing right now is on hard copy. We convert all of the client’s processes under one shared GIS platform.


CEOCFO: How did you get involved in this technology area as it seems outside standard engineering?

Mr. Siddiqi: We acquired a company just this year, in January of 2016. The company is called geographIT, and they offer GIS, information technology and asset management services. We acquired this company to provide the technology platform to augment or enhance our asset management capabilities. Now we can not only generate asset management data, we can also put it to some use and analyze the data, like life cycle cost analysis. We do consequence of failure assessments, and then we can actually rate the system from one to five. Then we can also roll our assets into capital improvement programs for different agencies and develop their CIP distributed over the next 5, 10, 15, etc., years based on the information we have. That is why geographIT’s technology capabilities are so important.


CEOCFO: Are people who are using your services skeptical because it seems like such a different process or are they glad to see that someone with a basis in engineering is actually working on the other side and see that as an asset? What has been the reaction?

Mr. Siddiqi: I think it is really an augmentation to our service area. We have been providing GIS services for almost 15 years on the application and user end. We work with maps all the time to design utilities, roads, and infrastructure. You need maps, and the smart mapping is done using GIS technology. Now we can actually generate those smart maps ourselves. Geospatial services are another core service area that we offer.


CEOCFO: Prominent on your site is “Where commitment counts”. How does that translate, day to day, as you are working on your projects? 

Mr. Siddiqi: We branded our logo and company back in 2010. We surveyed many of our clients, and every client came back with the same general comments. They said things like, “You guys are very strict on your schedules. You guys deliver what you say. You guys meet your commitment.” We thought this was a very strong message from the client. That is why we adopted this tag line for our corporate brand. Every client likes you to meet your schedules. If commitment counts, that means that whatever it takes we will make sure that it happens on time and within budget. When you ask how making commitment count integrates into our operations, our employees know that we have to really work around this tag line, that when we work with our clients we make sure that whatever commitments we are making, we honor those commitments. We have been very successful in doing that, which is why we get 90 percent of our work from repeat clients. We are really proud of this commitment to our clients.


CEOCFO: How do you deal with some of the challenges in handling such a diverse business with lots of people, lots of projects and breadth? How do you handle it? What have you learned?

Mr. Siddiqi: I think it is through teamwork. No one can do everything alone. It is a team effort, and I am very happy and lucky and I would say blessed to have a great team around me. Our company structure includes a Vice President or a departmental manager for each group, who is responsible for the department operations, day-to-day operations, profit and loss, client relations and business development. Most of the departments have an officer running the departments. We meet every month and occasionally even more than that. I keep travelling between offices and meeting with different departments as a group. I think we have been very successful in keeping this model. When you say diverse, yes we are diverse, but we call it a little bit more horizontal rather than diverse. That is because we offer the full range of civil engineering services. Therefore, we really offer clients what you would call one-stop-shop services. That is something clients like. Take a building project for example. There will be structural engineering. There will be a site engineer. There will be a drainage engineer. There will be a surveyor. There will be a geotechnical engineer. There will be an environmental engineer. All of these experts will be required and, likely, 10 or 12 services will be needed. We can provide them ourselves. We will sometimes work with subconsultants for architectural, electrical, mechanical and instrumentation services. When we work on, let us say, a building project, architects provide the architectural services, and we can handle everything else ourselves. EBA can do their survey, engineering, permitting, infrastructure management inspections and even lab testing during construction. It is really a win-win situation for clients. They are not dealing with four or five or six different companies to get all this work done. They are really dealing with one person and one company, and we are taking care of all of their needs.


CEOCFO: Is it easy to find qualified engineers for EBA? What is the industry like today?

Mr. Siddiqi: That is a loaded question! It depends, but most of the time it is very difficult. Fortunately, EBA’s turnover rate is very low. We are blessed with that, because we have really created a company culture that is family-oriented and very flexible. We have flexible working hours. We take time off. We even let people work from home depending on their type of work. All of those things attract good people. Some of our employees have worked with us for the last 10 years, 20 years, and even 30 years. However, yes, it is a challenge to find new people. We always have about a dozen or so open positions on our website. We get many resumes, but one thing I always say about EBA is that we do not offer jobs here, but we offer careers. We don’t just hire somebody, we really scrutinize them to ensure they are compatible with our culture, our company and our type or work. Then when he or she comes on board, they are ready for a career. We do not hire people for contracts or for projects. We hire them assuming that they will retire from here. Therefore, it really takes a lot of effort to find the right people. We have hired people all the way from Nevada, from Arizona, from Texas or wherever we can find them. Therefore, we are not focused on the local market. We are willing to do a national search to find the right people and bring them on board.


CEOCFO: What do you understand about working with government and quasi government agencies? Do you have concerns with the change of administration?

Mr. Siddiqi: I would say yes and no. First of all, with the change in political environment, I think that day-to-day things will not change much on the ground level. But some international policy changes and other big decisions made can help or hurt anyone really, including us. What I am looking forward to is infrastructure development and investment, which was actually a focus for both presidential candidates. I hope the President Elect puts money where he is saying; half a trillion dollars or about five hundred billion dollars into infrastructure development, such as bridges, roads, water, wastewater, etc. If they make that decision and that money comes through, I think it will help us. Therefore, from that perspective, I am not very worried. If that helps our business and other similar businesses, I will be happy. Ninety to ninety-five percent of our work is with the public sector. Since day one, we have always been focused on public sector clients. There are a couple of challenges in working with the public sector. One is that generally the payments are late, but fortunately payments are always made. Therefore, you do not lose your money. It may be delayed, which can cause some cash flow issues, but you know that you will get paid. Second, whatever happens, infrastructure has to be maintained. Whether presidents commit money to new infrastructure or not, they still have to allocate enough money to maintain roadways, bridges and pipelines. Most of our work is infrastructure related, so even if new construction projects are not available, there will be maintenance work. Our model has been simply to provide value services to our clients. They are happy, and therefore we get a lot of repeat work from these clients.


CEOCFO: How do you spend your time as CEO? What is your day like?

Mr. Siddiqi: That is a tough question! It depends on what day it is! I basically work around the clock, even if I am at home, except when I am sleeping, obviously. My cell phone is always on. More than half of my work is done from my cell phone, just to keep things moving and to keep in touch with everybody—clients, customers, employees, or project managers. My typical day includes spending some time with my CFO, checking in on our finances, cash flow situation, payroll situation, relationship with our bank, and so on. I am also involved heavily on the business development side. Therefore, I would say that half of my time is spent with clients, existing clients as well as new clients. I develop many new market areas. For example, we are building relationships in the Philadelphia area right now. Also, all the way on the other side in Richmond, Virginia, is a new market area that I am developing. The rest of my time is spent on the corporate issues. We have a 5-year strategic plan called Strategic Plan 2020. I spend a lot of time making sure that the strategic initiatives are on track, that we are following our marketing plan, and that our projections are on board and our revenues are not dropping. It is extremely challenging to maintain and sustain work for 250 people. Therefore, my days are spent thinking about keeping our company’s commitment to 250 families. It is a lot of pressure, but thank God things are moving forward to satisfaction. We can always do better, but we continue pushing every day.


“What I am looking forward to is infrastructure development and investment, which was actually a focus for both presidential candidates. I hope the President Elect puts money where he is saying; half a trillion dollars or about five hundred billion dollars into infrastructure development, such as bridges, roads, water, wastewater, etc. If they make that decision and that money comes through, I think it will help us.”- Rizwan Siddiqi


EBA Engineering Inc.



Rizwan Siddiqi






Any reproduction or further distribution of this article without the express written consent of is prohibited.



Multidisciplinary Engineering Firm, EBA Engineering Inc., CEO Interviews 2016, Rizwan Siddiqi, Mid-Atlantic Civil and Environmental Engineering Services and Consultants providing Pipeline, Drainage, Sewer, Stormwater, Wastewater Design, Management and Testing and Geospatial Services, Industrial Companies, Clean Tech Company, Asset Management, Civil/Site Engineering, Construction Management and Inspection, Environmental Engineering, Geospatial Technology, Geotechnical Engineering, Materials Testing, Structural Engineering, Surveying and Mapping, Transportation Engineering, Water Resource Engineering, Water System Engineering, EBA Engineering Inc. Press Releases, News, Industrial Stock, Companies looking for venture capital, Angel Investors, private companies looking for investors, Multidisciplinary engineering companies seeking investors, environmental engineering companies needing investment capital does not purchase or make
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.