Our History

Our History


Medal, three Rust brothers, Stirling Murray Rust, Edmund Jennings Lee Rust and Ellsworth Marshall Rust.

The Rust Engineering Company was formed in Birmingham, AL, as a partnership among three Rust brothers: Stirling Murray Rust, Edmund Jennings Lee Rust and Ellsworth Marshall Rust. Initially, the three brothers sold and installed a patented water-tube boiler invented by another Rust sibling. In the early 1900s the company sold and erected steam plants throughout the Southeast.


Rust established an office in Pittsburgh, PA and added an additional office in Washington, D.C. a year later.


The first "official" entry in the company contract book was with Babcock & Wilcox for setting boilers in Hubbard, OH.


Rust Historical Chimney Construction

E. M. Rust insisted that everyone who had bought a boiler had to have a chimney and that the company should enter the chimney construction business. Rust subsequently became one of the major chimney builders in the country, adopting the slogan “To Build for Permanence.”


Rust was incorporated, officially establishing its headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA.

Project Highlights:

  • Henry Clay Hotel –Ashland, KY
  • Government Printing Office Addition –Washington D.C.
  • 10-story American Bank Building – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Major Power Plant for Ford Motor of Canada


Rust's first pulp and paper project in Crossett, Arkansas.

Rust constructed its first pulp and paper project in Crossett, AR. This early experience provided solid entry into the pulp and paper field. Rust grew to be a leader in the construction of grassroots mills and mill modernization projects.


The Allegheny Industrial Electrical Company (AIE) was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rust. AIE provided electrical construction services for industrial projects, principally for Rust companies, but also for other engineers and constructors.

1939 - 1945

The advent of World War II presented an opportunity for major construction work. Contracts for complex government equipment and facilities were performed for the Corps of Engineers, Navy, Air Force, Dept. of Interior, and other agencies.

Project Highlights:

  • Atomic Energy Commission plant at Oak Ridge, TN that employed 3,500 at peak activity
  • TNT plant in Paducah, KY in 1942 which received a government award for excellence
  • Vanadium plant in the mountains of South America


The Rust Process Design Company was formed to handle the firm’s expanding work in the chemicals processing industry. It was later merged into Rust Engineering.


Rust participated in the company's first joint venture, which included three other firms providing architectural and engineering services for the Air Force Titan facilities program. Work was completed in 1963.

Project Highlights:

  • Granite City Steel, Granite City, IL – mill expansion
  • American Viscose Co., Front Royal, VA – rayon plant addition


Rust Constructors Office Building

Rust created an international affiliate, Coppee-Rust, in Brussels, Belgium. Coppee-Rust offered complete engineering and construction services worldwide.

1967 - 1969

Following its acquisition by Litton Industries, Rust procured North American licensing rights to the Von Roll technology, which was being used in refuse-to-energy plants in over 50 major cities in Europe and Asia.

Project Highlights:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – design of the mobile service structure for NASA’s Launch Complex 39 at Merrit Island, FL
  • Uniroyal, Opelika, AL – engineering and construction of a new tire plant to produce 10,000 tires per day


Rust headquarters were officially moved to Birmingham, AL from Pittsburgh, PA.


Waste-to-energy plant in Saugus, Massachusetts

Wheelabrator-Frye, Inc. acquired Rust. Wheelabrator-Frye was known worldwide for work in the environmental systems field. This experience blended well with Rust’s expertise in air and water pollution control. Rust and Wheelabrator-Frye developed the first independently owned, commercially successful waste-to-energy plant in the United States, which was located in Saugus, MA.


Rust formed an open-shop construction arm, National Industrial Constructors.

Project Highlights:

  • Revere Copper & Brass, Scottsboro, AL – aluminum reduction smelter
  • Mead Paper Co., Chillicothe, OH – 450,000 pound-per-hour coal-fired boiler


Corning Maintenance Project

Through a series of mergers and acquisitions involving several companies, Rust's expertise grew to include metals and ceramics, civil work, solid and hazardous waste services, and municipal recycling services. The company emerged as Rust International, Inc., offering engineering, construction, environmental consulting, and project management services worldwide.

Rust was consistently ranked in Engineering News Record’s Top Ten Construction Firms throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Headquartered in Birmingham, AL, Rust International, Inc. operated via 200 offices around the globe.

Project Highlights:

  • Lockheed Missile Systems Co. (NASA), Yellow Creek, MS - $500 million advanced solid rocket motor manufacturing facility
  • R.J. Reynolds, Winston-Salem, NC – new $1.2 billion cigarette manufacturing plant
  • Wheelabrator, North & South Broward, FL– new $460 million waste-to-energy facilities
  • Union Carbide, Moses Lake, WA – polysilicon manufacturing facility
  • Newsprint South, Grenada, MS – new $250 million newsprint mill.


Rust Constructors Inc. was acquired by Raytheon Engineers & Constructors Inc.


Morrison Knudsen Corporation acquired Raytheon Engineers & Constructors, Inc. and related subsidiaries, including Rust Constructors Inc. At the same time Morrison Knudsen Corporation changed its name to Washington Group International, Inc. and transferred ownership of Rust to its parent company.


Rust Constructors commitment to safety was recognized by Occupational Hazards magazine, which ranked Rust among "America's Safest Companies" for industry-leading safety performance and programs.

2004-2006 Project Highlights

Automotive Plant Expansion
  • Mercedes-Benz, Vance, AL - $600 million new automobile plant expansion
  • Hyundai, Montgomery, AL - $1.1 billion grassroots automobile plant
  • Entergy Power Ventures, Harrison County, Marshall, TX - $52 million power plant restoration


Washington Group International, Inc., its parent company, and Rust Constructors Inc. were acquired by URS Corporation.

2007-2008 Project Highlights

Gerber Facility Conversion
  • South Florida Rapid Transit Authority, Fort Lauderdale, FL - $55 million double-track and a new high-level twin-roadbed fixed bridge
  • Gerber Products Company, Fort Smith, AR - $58.9 million conversion to new process/packaging manufacturing system
  • Georgia Gulf Corporation, Plaquemine, LA - $100 million modernization and expansion of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins product plant
  • ExxonMobil Piceance Basin, CO - $183 million outside battery limit facility
  • Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, San Juan, PR - $250 million 500-megawatt combined cycle power project
  • Louisiana Energy Services, Eunice, NM - $1.5 billion nuclear power plant


            Energy & Construction, Weaver, Iowa

URS Corporation and related subsidiaries, including Rust Constructors Inc., was acquired by AECOM. Rust Constructors Inc. relocated headquarters to Houston, TX.

Current Project Highlights:

  • Orascom E&C USA, Inc., Weaver, IA - $360 million grassroots construction project
  • Freeport-McMoRan Morenci Inc., Morenci, AZ - $114 million tailing storage expansion
  • Chevron Environmental, Questa, NM - $200 million water regulatory
  • Dakota Gasification Company, Beulah, ND - $116 million urea plant

Contact Us

Rust Constructors Inc.
19219 Katy Freeway, Suite 100
Houston, Texas 77094
(281) 646-6475