Ardurra

King Engineering Merges with Ardurra Group

TAMPA, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–King Engineering, a Florida based Engineering firm, is merging with the Ardurra Group, a Texas, Louisiana, and New York Engineering and Disaster Recovery firm.

“The merger will help our employees continue to grow and attain national leadership in strategically important Water/Wastewater and Disaster Recovery areas.”

The combined entity will retain significant employee ownership, with sixteen employee shareholders from King Engineering and ten employee shareholders from the Ardurra Group owning a portion of the combined entity.

The companies will continue to operate as King Engineering in the Florida Market and the Ardurra Group in Ardurra’s existing markets and will pursue certain cross-regional work as Ardurra-King.

The combined entity strengthens its leadership position in three areas:

  • Nationwide Water/Wastewater engineering and Water Resources
  • Nationwide Disaster Management
  • Land Development in the Southeast, with capabilities in Civil, Ecological, Survey, and transportation planning

Ardurra Group CEO Dan Gerrity explained: “The merger will help our employees continue to grow and attain national leadership in strategically important Water/Wastewater and Disaster Recovery areas.”

King Engineering EVP, Chris Kuzler, explained that “Our employees and clients come first and we feel this merger strengthens our ability to pursue exciting and challenging projects for our employees and deliver best-in-class solutions for our clients.”

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C. acted as legal counsel, and BDO USA, LLP acted as financial and tax advisor on behalf of RTC Partners and its affiliates.

The combined entity will operate as a portfolio company of RTC Partners, a New York based Private Equity firm that partners with managers of Middle Market companies to unlock growth opportunities. Further information is available at   www.rtcpartners.com .

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[Ardurra] Acquires Stouten-Cramer

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Firms Unite as a Unified Market Leader: Ardurra Group

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Ardurra Announces Two New Offices: Fort Myers, FL and Salt Lake City, UT!

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Case Studies in Engineering

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Cite this chapter

king engineering group case study

  • Fiorenzo Franceschini 12 ,
  • Domenico A. Maisano 12 &
  • Luca Mastrogiacomo 12  

Part of the book series: International Series in Operations Research & Management Science ((ISOR,volume 319))

219 Accesses

This chapter presents several examples of practical applications of the ranking aggregation problem in the field of Engineering, mainly in the context of design, development, and evaluation of the quality/reliability of products, services, and manufacturing processes.

These examples prove (1) the diffusion of the ranking aggregation problem within the Engineering field and (2) the great flexibility/adaptability of the aggregation techniques previously shown in this book (e.g., BC, EYA, and ZM II ) to the most varied practical contexts.

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This notation is in partial contrast to that used in Sect. 7.2.2 to denote the number of so-called “ t -objects” of an incomplete ranking.

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Franceschini, F., Maisano, D.A., Mastrogiacomo, L. (2022). Case Studies in Engineering. In: Rankings and Decisions in Engineering. International Series in Operations Research & Management Science, vol 319. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-89865-6_7

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King: Playing to win with Google Cloud

King logo

King, an independent unit of the Activision Blizzard family, is a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, with people all around the globe playing one or more of its games. It has developed more than 200 fun titles, offering games with a broad appeal and embedded social features to enhance player experience.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

King used bigquery to build a cloud-based data warehousing platform that reduces its overhead costs and boosts its analytics capability with google cloud machine learning., google cloud results.

  • Ingests, stores, and analyzes data from hundreds of millions of players while reducing infrastructure management burden
  • Solves game design challenges with Google Cloud Machine Learning
  • Improves agility by speeding up the data analysis process and enabling teams to find solutions faster

Stores petabytes of data with minimal overheads

In the world of mobile and social gaming, it takes more than a good idea for a games company to stand out from the competition. King , the makers of Candy Crush Saga and hundreds of other games, has achieved success in its market space with a focus on bite-sized entertainment, and a blend of art and science. “We have great game designers of course, but we’re also a very data-driven company,” says Åsa Bredin, FVP (First Vice President) Technology at King. “We try to validate our design with data to see how engaging a game is, and whether it’s at the appropriate difficulty.”

“Our infrastructure needs to support hundreds of thousands of concurrent connections per second, as well as our data warehouse, and we saw that Google has the capability to handle our needs. At the same time, we were very excited by its focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

With 270 million players a month (as of Q2 2018), King operates at a scale that few other companies can ever hope to achieve, with its data archives in double-digit petabytes. Recently, the company had started to ask themselves whether a monolithic on-premises Hadoop environment set them up to tackle future challenges. Concerns centered around a future in which public cloud is a big part of the IT landscape, and when much of the innovation in data science and data engineering is now taking place in public cloud. When King began looking for alternative solutions, it knew it needed a cloud-based data platform that could maintain stability at scale and offer the latest analytics technology. After assessing a number of alternatives, King turned Google Cloud .

“Our infrastructure needs to support hundreds of thousands of concurrent connections per second, as well as our data warehouse, and we saw that Google has the capability to handle our needs,” says Jacques Erasmus, CIO at King. “At the same time, we were very excited by its focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

BigQuery for scalability, reliability, flexibility

For years, King maintained one of the largest on-premises Hadoop clusters in Europe, but with an open source query engine suffering from stability issues, infrastructure management became a priority. “Maintaining a petabyte-scale data infrastructure on-premises costs a lot of time, manpower and, most importantly, organizational focus,” says Kenneth MacArthur, Senior Technical Project Manager at King. “One of the key drivers was to offload our infrastructure operations so that we could focus on what adds value to our business.”

In addition to the resource costs of an on-premises solution, King also had to split its data across different platforms to maximize efficiency, which could lead to data science teams waiting for data to be migrated before they could start work. Building a new data platform provided the opportunity to unify all its data in one place.

After taking some time to evaluate its options, King decided that Google Cloud had the best combination of scalability and analytics capability for its needs, and began work on building two new solutions: the company’s data warehousing infrastructure and a stand-alone platform for machine learning. For the former, King began migrating data from the on-premises cluster to BigQuery at the start of 2018, expecting to be finished by the end of the year.

“Nested fields in BigQuery let us efficiently query our data without needing to join big tables. This has been very useful in allowing our business units to quickly drill down from top level numbers to very granular data.”

BigQuery formed the core of the new data warehouse, with its facility for scaling and easy-to-use functionality. Its innovative features also meant that the warehousing team could experiment with new data structures to improve performance.

“Nested fields in BigQuery let us efficiently query our data without needing to join big tables,” says Tom Starling, Principal Data Warehouse Engineer at King. “This has been very useful in allowing our business units to quickly drill down from top level numbers to very granular data.”

In addition, with Cloud Storage , King could hold its massive data archive more securely. “It took us out of the capacity planning game,” says Kenneth. Meanwhile, Cloud Dataflow proved a cost-effective way for the data warehouse team to ingest data without the complications of its on-premises precursor.

New solutions with Cloud Machine Learning Engine

Alongside the data warehousing platform, King’s technology team began exploring Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine tools to look for solutions for the company’s data scientists. The Game Platform Technology group, headed by Åsa Bredin, works with multiple game teams, acting as a force multiplier where solving the problems of one team can often lead to new solutions for the whole company.

A challenging problem King is trying to solve with machine learning is determining the appropriate level of difficulty for a game without having to manually playtest it over a long period of time. The team used Cloud Deployment Manager to deploy Google Kubernetes Engine workloads to create hundreds of virtual players, trained with machine learning models. The resulting data is then piped back to King’s data analytics modules with Cloud Pub/Sub . This creates a powerful feedback loop that lets King very quickly optimize the design of its games based on a foundation of solid data.

“When we ran on-premises, we didn’t have a clear way to deploy all our applications simply, so Cloud Deployment Manager has been really useful for us,” says Alex Nodet, AI Engineer at King. “If I have to deploy our pipeline tomorrow, I can do it very quickly.”

"Our scaling capabilities were not dynamic enough, Google Kubernetes Engine solved that issue. It's also a great complement to Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine when developing AI applications. We have been able to turn our prototype into a production-scale support tool that people want to use,” adds Alex.

“Speed of delivery is crucial to us and with the new setup, our teams can solve their own problems with fewer dependencies. It makes us so much more agile when teams can find their own solutions.”

Promoting agility, reducing dependency with Google Cloud

With Google Cloud, King has built a reliable, scalable data warehousing and analytics platform that will reduce overhead management and offer exciting opportunities with cutting-edge machine learning technology. Freed from the burden of building and maintaining servers, King’s engineers can stay focused on adding value to the business says Åsa: “Now we can spend our manpower on making the best games we can instead of managing clusters.”

According to CIO Jacques Erasmus, King’s data scientists have already seen notable improvements to the efficiency of their workflows with the new data platform.

“With the old cluster, when our analysts wanted to work on a project, they’d spend perhaps a day building out the environment, importing the data, and so on,” says Jacques. “Today, with Google Cloud, they can set up their data and environment with just a few button clicks.”

With a stable, easy-to-use data platform built with BigQuery, King has reduced dependencies and empowered its teams of analysts and data scientists.

“Speed of delivery is crucial to us and with the new setup, our teams can solve their own problems with fewer dependencies,” says Åsa. “It makes us so much more agile when teams can find their own solutions.”

Cutting-edge tools for a brave new world

With the migration nearly complete, King is already looking to see what new opportunities it can work on with Google. Expanding its use of machine learning across all aspects of the business is a major focus. Meanwhile, the company is currently working to develop its analytics platform into a service for external customers, and Google Cloud provides an easy, more secure way of segregating data for new users without exposing King’s own proprietary information. This multi-tenancy model, with segregated data, is already being used in recruitment where candidates can be evaluated not just for their general data skills but also their facility with the technology that King uses. Google Cloud itself has proved to be an effective recruiting tool for King, providing the company with a solid foundation for the future in terms of talent as well as technology.

“Google Cloud has been helping us attract the kind of people that you need to manage operations of this scale and complexity,” says Jacques. “Top talent likes to work with cutting-edge tools and technology, and our engineers are very happy with our decision to move to Google.”

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Using Engineering Case Studies

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The analysis of engineering failures is an essential part of many engineering curricula today. This focus enables modern engineers and scholars to learn what not to do and how to create designs with a greater chance of success. Key to learning is establishing the nature of each failure—structural, corrosive, electrical, etc.—and understanding that element.

The engineering field needs a comprehensive and authoritative resource to provide in-depth, impartial analysis of key engineering failures. Engineering Case Studies Online is a collection that will grow to include 250 hours of video and 50,000 pages of text resources to meet this growing need. Content is displayed alongside targeted learning objects designed to facilitate detailed understanding of the causes and impact of these failures. Materials in the collection include:

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• Bibliographies of authoritative materials from newspapers, Web sites, and journals.

• Specially written cases that explore engineering ethics.

The collection provides in-depth coverage for more than 50 of the most frequently taught and seminal case studies around the world together. Example cases include:

All materials in Engineering Case Studies Online are carefully cultivated by expert editors, with the assistance of an advisory board of engineering librarians and faculty. Materials come from a wide range of content partners, including the Digital Rights Group, BBC, Future Media, TVF International, as well as leading academic publishers such as Princeton University Press, John Wiley & Sons, Harvard University Press, and engineering associations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers.

More than 60 percent of video material in the collection was produced since 2000, and new content is added regularly. The database is global in focus, and originates from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, with selections from across Europe and Asia. And because Engineering Case Studies Online addresses cases from a variety of angles, including their legal and ethical implications, the collection has broad applications for fields including architecture, business, law, urban planning, health and safety, environmental studies, science, sociology, media, and technology.

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Land Planning

Our projects are responsive to the site and community, meshing the natural and built environments to meet our clients’ goals. Our projects range from small in-fill projects to 1,200-acre master planned communities.

Engineering Design

We design all aspects of civil improvements -- “everything from the curbs down” we like to say. We deliver efficient civil infrastructure designs that are well thought out, meet agencies requirements, are clear to contractors, and exceed clients’ expectations.

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Striving to provide the best civil engineering solutions available to today’s complex and challenging projects, we have performed exemplary design expertise and consultation on hundreds of projects for the past 38+ years. King Engineering’s impeccable reputation in the industry and scores of successful projects is a testament to our high standards and excellent results.

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Browse Course Material

Course info.

  • Prof. Lionel C. Kimerling

Departments

  • Materials Science and Engineering

As Taught In

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronic Materials

Learning Resource Types

Principles of engineering practice, case studies.

Case Study and Project Reports will be presented by the assigned Teams. The process is as follows:

Prof. Kimerling will lead a short in-class discussion on the approach for each Case Study or Project. Q&A is encouraged to clarify specific details.

The Instructors and TAs will moderate online Discussion Forums: within this Forum students should post their team’s tentative outline, develop concepts, discuss sources and preliminary findings. Instructors and TA will provide feedback within this Discussion Forum.

An optional office meeting with Prof. Kimerling is available if desired by any Group.

On the day of presentations, each Group must present a 20 minute presentation of 5-6 slides. Each member of the Group must present one slide from this presentation. Slides must be posted to the Web site the night before.

Students are expected to bring hard copies of all presentations to class.

Corrected slides and a final 2-page report must be posted to the Web site two days after presentation.

Grade assignment for the Case Studies and Projects will account for the following:

  • presentation and writing skills
  • clarity and rationality of the design execution
  • presentation of background, issues, alternatives and conclusions

All student work is presented with permission of the authors.

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Transaction

Generational Equity Announces Sale of King Engineering Associates to Kain Capital

By Generational Equity

Generational Equity , a leading mergers and acquisitions advisor for privately held businesses, is pleased to announce the sale of its client, King Engineering Associates Inc., to Kain Capital LLC. The acquisition closed May 1, 2017. Details were not disclosed.

King Engineering Associates is an engineering consulting firm that serves the private and government sectors in the southeastern United States with a diverse set of professional engineering services that includes civil, wastewater, water, solid waste, land surveying, land planning, ecological, construction management, water resources and transportation planning.

The firm, based in Tampa, Florida, has three offices in the Sunshine State and one in Austin, Texas.

"For 40 years, King Engineering has strived to provide clients with the best solutions to their engineering needs," said King Engineering CEO Keith Appenzeller.

"In that time, we have built a full-service firm with value recognized by our clients. We believe Kain's investment provides our employees with an opportunity to grow our business and further improve service to our clients."

Kain Capital , based in New York City, is a sector-agnostic private equity firm focused on long-term value creation. When assessing a potential acquisition target, Kain looks for management teams interested in professionalizing, optimizing and growing their operations while remaining closely involved in the business.

The company acquired King Engineering to use as a platform company.

"Our partnership has begun with all existing managers remaining in place and 16 senior managers retaining an ownership stake in the company," said Kain Capital Managing Member Kunal Kain.

"We expect Kain's investment will help King grow while maintaining the quality of service clients have come to expect."

Generational Equity's Executive Managing Director Edward Weber established the relationship with King Engineering and Generational Equity Managing Director William Hunter led the deal to a successful close.

"It was a pleasure working with Keith and Kain Capital," said Hunter. "I always enjoy working with local clients in my community."

About Generational Equity

Generational Equity, part of the  Generational Group  headquartered in Dallas with over 200 professionals located throughout North America, helps business owners release the wealth of their business by providing merger, acquisition and strategic growth advisory services.

Their four-step approach features exit planning education, business valuation, value enhancement strategies, and M&A transactional services. The M&A Advisor recently named the company its 2016 Investment Banking Firm of the Year.

For more, visit  http://www.genequityco.com  or the  Generational Equity press room .

About Generational

Headquartered in Dallas, Generational is one of the leading M&A advisory firms in North America.

With more than 350 professionals located throughout 17 offices in North America, the companies help business owners release the wealth of their business by providing growth consulting, merger, acquisition, and wealth management services. Their six-step approach features strategic and tactical growth consulting, exit planning education, business valuation, value enhancement strategies, M&A transactional services, and wealth management.

The M&A Advisor named the company Investment Banking Firm of the Year three years in a row, Valuation Firm of the Year in 2020, and North American Investment Bank of the Year in 2022 as well as Consulting Firm of the Year. For more information, visit https://www.generational.com.

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