Our history

Our history begins in 1881 when two young and ambitious engineers Johan van Hasselt and Jacobus de Koning set up the first independent engineering firm in the Netherlands. The journey continued when, some decades later, three civil engineers Dwars, Heederik and Verhey started their firm the Vereenigde ingenieursbureaux voor bouw- en waterbouwkunde in 1917. Both companies joined forces in 2012 as Royal HaskoningDHV.
In our history, we see the roots of our work. From the independent thinking enabling clients to thrive and communities to flourish, to the deep domain knowledge that is our DNA, branching out into new market sectors. Since their foundation, both companies diversified step by step and from the 70s onwards, they started to expand their knowledge base with the acquisition of specialised consultancies, both in the Netherlands and abroad. 

Our family tree

Our founders shared a passion for the profession of engineering, an indestructible belief in progress and the drive to make the world a better place. This family tree (dated 2021) shows how we have grown from a small passionate group of people to an international community of 6,000 employees focused on enhancing society together with the same perseverance and ingenuity as our founders displayed. We are still an independent, employee-owned organisation. And by growing digital competences in recent years, Royal HaskoningDHV has opened up a new world of virtual engineering, enabling completely new services and business models.

Infographic describing the history of Royal HaskoningDHV

Key moments in our firm’s history

celebrating 140 years of Royal Haskoning DHV


Royal HaskoningDHV celebrates its 140th anniversary. Much has changed over the years, but we remain focused on enhancing society together with the same perseverance and ingenuity as our founding fathers displayed. Nowadays it’s with the support of the latest digital solutions.
port installation


Engineers and environmental scientists of British engineering consultant Posford Duvivier joined our company. Their specialist expertise working on port installations represented a major expansion for our company.
Solar panel farm


Our company entered a golden era of prosperity and growth when we joined Nedeco, Netherlands Engineering Consultancy. This umbrella organisation for overseas projects provided a wealth of experience and laid the foundations for further international expansion.
community kitchens during Second World War


During the Second World War, DHV made a valuable contribution to the national food supplies in the Netherlands by designing dozens of so-called Centrale Keukens, or community kitchens.
sewage system developed by DHV


From 1919 onwards, DHV provided advice on sewage systems. In 1968, they invented the Carrousel to carry out wastewater treatment. And in 2005 the first fully functioning industrial wastewater treatment system based on Nereda® technology was put into use.
Women working at Royal HaskoningDHV


Women started working in our company. Their role changed dramatically in more than 100 years since they started.
Old bridge in the Netherlands


A collaboration with a Dutch beer brewer lead up to the start of engineering firm Dwars, Heederik & Verhey (DHV).
Port of Egypt


Jacobus de Koning travelled to Egypt to create a design for a railway bridge across the Nile.
Portrait of Johan van Hasselt and Jacobus de Koning


Johan van Hasselt and Jacobus de Koning set up the first independent engineering firm in the Netherlands. It’s the only engineering firm in the Netherlands that has been able to keep its independency until today.


1881, 1917, 2021: Company archives Royal HaskoningDHV
1889: H. Arnoux, Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde
1917: Heineken collection
1919: Stadsarchief Amsterdam/Gustaaf Oosterhuis
1940: Historisch Centrum Leeuwarden
1951: Nedeco archives
1994: Steve Cadman/Flickr, Creative Commons