25 Years of DGT, 144 Years of Legacy, Many Years to Come

25 Years of DGT, 144 Years of Legacy, Many Years to Come

A letter from one of our co-founders, Michael A. Clifford.

On this silver anniversary, we’re taking a moment to reflect on where we came from and where we’re going. Having been in the industry for much longer than DGT’s inception, I’ve learned that it’s not just how long you’ve been in business, but the impact you’ve made, that matters. And I’m proud to say that we’ve made our mark and are just getting started.

We have a rich legacy of 14 companies that were homes to some of the most prominent surveyors and engineers of our time and now are part of our family: Aspinwall & Lincoln Civil Engineers, William S. Crocker Civil Engineer, NESS, Schofield Brothers, Sullivan Surveying, Gunther Engineering, J. F. Hennessy, Cullinan Engineering, Leftovith, Kaufman, and most recently, Mattern Land Surveyors. We carry each of their reputations for excellence, accuracy, and partnership through the work we do daily.

From our legacy companies, we’ve acquired archives that have pieced together the keys to New England’s surveying and engineering history. There’s not much land in the region that we don’t have a record of. We’ve not only acquired archives but also taken in teams that have become integral to our daily service and are some of the best around at surveying, façade mapping, 3D laser scanning, wetlands, site planning, subsurface utility mapping, and many more skills and specialties.

Like our total stations in the field, we stand firmly and proudly on our three legs of services: surveying, civil engineering, and subsurface utility mapping. But what would a total station be without the professional commanding it? We’ve had many, many valuable team members in the field and in the office contribute to our work over the years, and we’re eternally grateful for them all. We’re especially grateful to provide a professional home to 44 employees today across four offices and appreciate what they bring to this company every single day.

Throughout our 25 years in business, our crew has completed more than 6,000 projects for more than 1,300 clients. Our work and stamp are on of some of the most iconic sites in Greater Boston, including Fenway Park, The Prudential Center, The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Harvard Business School, Kendall Square Research Park, and, of course, The Big Dig (I-90/I-93).

In our industry and our region, every veteran AEC professional has a Big Dig story. Ours actually led to the start of DGT. Bob Staples, Mike Twohig, and I met on the project. Bob and I went on to found DGT with our partner, John Silveri. And during DGT’s first year, we reconnected with Mike Twohig, a world-renowned expert in subsurface utility mapping (SUM), who now leads our SUM efforts that have brought us collaborations from California to Israel.

I’m most encouraged by the technological advances we’ve seen in the industry over time in SUM, and beyond, that allow us to better serve the asset owners and developers we work with. What used to require excavation in city streets to reveal underground assets can now be done in a matter of hours with GPR, LiDAR, and mobile scanning tools. Drones now capture highly detailed 3D imagery to enhance our plans and maps. Vans drag highly sophisticated radar tomography tools over streets to capture the underground in seconds. And crews now walk around in virtual reality goggles to see plans come to life.

Moving forward, it’s not just new technology needed in the field, but also new blood. As a conglomerate of legacy firms, being inclusive of others’ ideals is in our DNA. We will continue to empower diverse voices across genders, races, belief systems, and experiences. And we will continue to advocate for the next generation of surveyors who will bring fresh perspectives and new skills to our industry.

We thank all of our clients through the years for their support. Many firms in our industry don’t make it past 25 years, often only lasting the timespan of one person’s career. But because of your commitments to us and our commitments to always evolving to serve your needs, DGT will live long past our present-day team. So here’s to the next 25 years.

Michael A. Clifford, PLS
Co-founder & Principal