University classmates Geoff Wallbridge and Mark Gilbert began their engineering careers together at Kinnaird Hill deRohan & Young, before a handshake agreement in 1982 formed a formidable partnership and the launch of Wallbridge and Gilbert (W&G).
Setting up practice in a historic former brewery in Wyatt Street Adelaide, a separate brand, Aztec Analysis was also created to deliver specialist capabilities including cranes, heavy lifting and haulage.
From humble beginnings as a team of five, with two drafters and a part-time receptionist on staff, we occupied one room in the iconic Wyatt Street building amongst a variety of architects, project managers, builders and quantity surveyors.
During those early years, the foundation of W&G’s business culture of working hard, delivering technical excellence and having fun in what we do was cemented. Initially good projects were hard to come by, but our reputation and strength steadily gained momentum. Soon we were awarded significant commercial projects such as the Myer Centre redevelopment in 1989, the EDS building on North Terrace in 1994 and the Adelaide Airport Terminal in 1999. Aztec Analysis was simultaneously carving out a patch of its own, working with flagship companies such as Esso, Santos, Woodside and BHP.
The ’90s saw the continuing growth and diversification of both brands resulting in the purchase of our historic office building in 1991 and other senior staff progressively invited to share business ownership.
A group of five highly regarded Civil Engineers and Designers joined our team in 2006, which catapulted our civil and infrastructure capability that now generates a third of our turnover. Milestone projects for our civil engineering team include the O’Bahn tunnel, the Torrens Road to River Torrens (T2T) project and major urban development projects including Blake’s Crossing and Orleana Waters.
In 2015, a strategic decision to pursue Defence contracts in both engineering and project management resulted in our recent appointment to a number of Defence panels.
In recent years W&G has been proudly associated with many landmark projects such as the Adelaide Oval redevelopment, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and the award-winning vertical school in South Melbourne. Aztec Analysis has also consolidated a national leadership position in specialist fields through our involvement in Project Magnet, Olympic Dam expansions, the submarine industry and the Onslow Marine Supply Base. Over time, areas of overlap and opportunity have emerged in the expertise of W&G and Aztec Analysis. As such, the need for two distinct brands in the marketplace disappeared and in April 2017, the unified brand WGA (Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec) was launched. The ownership and culture remain the same, however as one national multi-disciplinary team, we continue to add value to clients by providing streamlined access to a broader range of integrated services.
Our growth in numbers has been steady throughout the last 40 years with geographic expansion into Melbourne in 1998, Darwin in 2004, Perth in 2012, New Zealand in 2017, Brisbane in 2020 and most recently Newcastle in 2022.
In 2022, WGA turned 40 and reflecting on a successful past, we look to the future – WATCH