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I.C.Thomasson - A History

June 04, 2018

“The professional engineer is a skilled and experienced problem solver.  The professional consulting engineering firm is an association of individuals of diverse talents and specialties, each with a commitment to the profession and with a commonality of purpose – to achieve to the limit of the collective skill and knowledge of the firm in order to satisfy the engineering needs of the client.

We are I. C. Thomasson & Associates, Inc., a professional engineering consulting firm.  If we cannot contribute to the problem solving process, then we are of no use to the client.  Furthermore, if a problem exceeds our capabilities, we will not attempt its solution without seeking out and utilizing the requisite expertise.  Our first concern is the quality and utility of our service to the client.”

 - Words from our Founder, Irvin Claussen Thomasson (9/8/1906 – 2/8/1989) From a Qualifications Brochure published in the 1970’s

Portrait of Irvin Classen Thomasson, founder of I. C. Thomasson Associates, Inc.

From the tips of the ears of “The Batman Building” to the depths of the sounds heard at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, I.C. Thomasson Associates has been an influence in the engineering world for more than 75 years.

Irvin Claussen Thomasson was born in 1906. While attending Georgia Institute of Technology to become a mechanical engineer, he co-oped at the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis railroads. Later when working at the Vanderbilt University power plant, Mr. Thomasson saw the opportunities in Middle Tennessee for engineering services, and he later found appeal in consulting engineering. In 1942, the firm was born in the Tennessee Supreme Court Building where Mr. Thomasson served as Building Engineer.

Eleven years later, the growing firm moved to Cumberland Lodge Building. During this time the firm evolved into power plant design. In 1957, ICT then moved to a house on Lauderdale Rd. Next, ICT moved into 809 16th Avenue South. Here, the Steam Department was located on the first floor of the house, with HVAC on the second floor, Plumbing in the basement, and Electrical in an adjacent trailer that was brought in to accommodate the firm’s growth.

It was on December 30, 1964 that I.C. Thomasson was incorporated to be run by a Board of Directors and owned by the employees themselves.  When there was no more room to keep adding trailers behind the old house, Mr. Thomasson moved the firm into the old Sunday School Annex of Judson Baptist Church near Douglas Corner in 1968. At this time, ICT had grown to be about 60 employees.

 In 1978, Mr. “T” was named Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers’ Engineer of the Year. In the late 1980s, ICT found the utility and opportunities of cogeneration when a client had relatively high demands for electricity and heat year-round.

 In February of 1989, Mr. Thomasson passed away. Current employees can still remember Mr. T visiting the office in his later years. He is said to have even taken a nap on occasion. Around this time, ICT was working on The Opryland Cogeneration project, over 100 hospitals a year, and specialized in design of HVAC systems and the design and operation of central energy plants.

The late ‘90s did not slow down without Mr. Thomasson. In 1996, ICT joined forces with a Mississippi firm to form an LLC, and the Brookhaven office was born. A year later, ICT acquired the Tampa office, and in 1998 the Nashville office made its latest move to our current location. Right before the end of the millennium, ICT extended its reach even further and opened the Knoxville branch.

Today, I.C. Thomasson Associates employs over 190 individuals. Our steady growth over the last 76 years has been quite intentional as Mr. Thomasson prioritized maintaining our quality and refused to sacrifice it to growth or returns.

 If you have experienced Nashville, you have experienced ICT. From TPAC, Country Music Hall of Fame, and Music City Center, to Ascend Amphitheater and the Titans’ stadium, our work continues to influence the city.