Throughout our 50-year history, we have offered clients deep expertise with consistent leadership. Mueller has had four visionary presidents during our five decades of practice, overseeing a team of engineers committed to the highest standards for professional performance, ethics, and integrity.
While we enjoy exploring the past through our many historic preservation projects, Mueller’s practice remains focused on the future. This includes embracing new innovations, technology, and advances in the profession. We were among the first design firms in the region to implement renewable energy systems in the 1970s; in recent years, we have been leaders in applying breakthrough sustainable strategies and were among the first to become 100% trained in Revit® building information modeling technology. Now, as we enter our second half-century of professional practice, our Technical Applications Committee continues to explore technological innovations that will enhance our work processes and products.
We are especially proud of our portfolio. A look back at our projects and clients reveals a “Who’s Who” of world-renowned museums, esteemed colleges and universities, and Fortune 500 corporate clients. We’ve assisted many of them, including the Smithsonian Institution, Georgetown University, Northrop Grumman, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with multiple projects over several years. We look forward to continuing these partnerships and building relationships with new clients in the years ahead.
Milestones at Mueller
1966 - Mueller is established in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and is originally known as Engineering Services Company, or ENSERCO.
1968 - Richard Mueller is named president. The company, which has eight employees, changes its name to Mueller. The firm engineers the expansion of North Arundel Hospital. Gene Nerf, one of the firm’s first employees, works closely on the hospital expansion with Richard Mueller.
1972 - Began work for the Washington National Cathedral. Over the next several years, projects would include the design of custom-fit HVAC systems for the cathedral’s west front.
1973 - Andrew Parker joins the firm. Mueller begins to implement innovations in solar technology and designs a solar energy system for the White House.
1976 - Mueller completes its first office build-out project for Northrop Grumman (formerly Westinghouse), beginning a relationship that has spanned 40 years and nearly 1,000 projects.
1978 - The firm begins working for the Smithsonian Institution, and completes more than 100 projects over the next four decades.
1982 - Mueller moves into its own building on S. Edgewood Street near Caton Avenue.
1982 - Mueller provides MEP engineering for the Bunn Intercultural Center at Georgetown University, beginning a client relationship that has spanned more than three decades.
1984 - Andy Parker is named president.
1984 - Mueller expands its innovations in technology applications with R&D efforts for fuel cell development under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.
1985 - Robert Marino joins the firm as a young graduate of Penn State. His first project involves the renovation of the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ historic DC building.
1991 - Gene Nerf is named president. Mueller begins work for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, the first of many projects for the hospital campus over the next two decades.
1994 - Dick Mueller retires as chairman of the board after a highly distinguished career as an engineer and company leader.
2004 - Mueller begins the engineering of the Duke University School of Nursing, among the firm’s earliest LEED projects.
2005 - Construction is completed on the Family Theater at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the first of several projects for the renowned venue.
2006 - Bob Marino is named president. Gene Nerf continues to serve as chairman of the board. Mueller celebrates its 40th anniversary and expands its offices on S. Edgewood Street.
2009 - Mueller provides MEP services including design of a geothermal heat pump system at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center at Monticello.
2010 - Mueller’s entire engineering team is trained and proficient in Revit®.
2012 - Bob Marino is named chairman of the board. Gene Nerf retires the following year.
2014 - The University of Baltimore Angelos Law Center wins more than 20 awards for design and sustainability. At the University of Delaware, the new Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Laboratory opens with state-of-the-art labs and teaching spaces. The Performing Arts and Humanities Building at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, also opens.
2015 - Mueller moves into new offices at Airport Square in Linthicum. The firm begins work on George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts, Duke University’s new Arts Center, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s new Allied Health Building.
2016 - Mueller celebrates 50 years of MEP engineering practice.
Richard Mueller, PE
President, 1968 - 1984
Mueller Associates got its start in June 1966, and was originally known as Engineering Services Company, or ENSERCO. The company was based in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and was a very small operation. Within two years we had a staff of eight, and I became president.
I had always wanted to be at the helm of my own firm, and I envisioned growth—but I didn’t envision the success we experienced. One of the reasons for our success over the years is that Mueller has always had a great nucleus of exceptional people. There has always been a lot of talent at Mueller, along with integrity and a love of the profession.
Perhaps the biggest turning point for me was the decision to expand the leadership and ownership of the firm. I realized that by bringing in partners—including my former classmate, Andy Parker—I could broaden our opportunities. I knew Andy could open new doors with his expertise in emerging technologies. And he did—he helped bring us national exposure and enhanced our building systems work.
Gene Nerf was also on board from the beginning. It was the professionalism of engineers like Gene that kept clients coming back.
It was always important to us to build strong relationships with clients, and to build trust. That doesn’t happen overnight.
The Leading Edge
Andrew Parker, PE
President, 1984 - 1991
When I joined the firm in 1973, I had known Richard Mueller for years—we were classmates at Johns Hopkins.
Beginning in 1974, we began to support the EPA with its efforts to explore alternative fuels. The environmental movement was really starting to gain momentum. So much of our work at that time was not typical to engineering firms like ours. It was pioneering—we were on the leading edge of our profession.
Many of our innovations during the 1970s were in the application of solar technology. We did several exciting projects—the first solar projects in Washington, DC and Baltimore. We designed a solar energy system for the West Wing of the White House and one of the Congressional buildings.
I was interested in breakthrough technologies that were just about to transition to everyday use. The culture at Mueller has always embraced that kind of innovative approach. It’s a philosophy that asks, how can we think ahead of the curve? How will that benefit our clients?
Innovation isn’t the only thing that sets Mueller apart. It’s the business culture as well. The level of trust and respect within the firm is very high. We always believed strongly in credentials—the engineers are all highly qualified and well suited to this work. There is never a question that Mueller will deliver upon its promises to clients.
Eugene Nerf, PE
President, 1991 - 2005
When we started out, we were very small, and it was simply a matter of survival. Our first big project came in 1968—the expansion of North Arundel Hospital. Richard Mueller’s expertise made it all work. I learned something from him on every job. He was a terrific mentor, with high integrity and strong convictions.
Another early milestone project was the west front of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. It was a challenge to design custom-fit HVAC systems that could be installed within the stone and marble structure. We worked on it for more than ten years. It was a unique experience.
When Andy Parker came on board, we began to specialize in energy conservation and new technologies. Then, in the mid-1970s, we landed a couple of important cultural projects—the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Lyric Theatre, which led to work with the Smithsonian. These experiences were important building blocks to becoming the firm we are today.
The construction of our own building in Baltimore in 1981 was another milestone. We were stable and growing quickly. From the beginning, Richard Mueller established a culture that was quality-driven. We never made assumptions on projects; we never guessed. The details were important. His values and professionalism became inherent qualities here. I see that in Bob Marino today. Bob is an exceptional leader—people-oriented, honest, and an excellent engineer.
We’ve worked hard to set ourselves apart. We’ve tried to be selective about our staff, and our work. We believe that specialization can be a good thing—we focus on our strengths. The future holds a lot of promise. This firm has been a big part of my life and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
Robert Marino, PE, LEED AP
President, 2005 - Today
After graduating from Penn State, I was looking for a firm that could provide good training and feed my desire to problem-solve on unique and interesting projects. That firm was Mueller. I started work in the summer of 1985.
My first project was the National Museum for Women in the Arts, a renovation of the old Masonic Temple building in Washington, DC. The challenge of designing a museum HVAC system within a historic building ignited my passion for this business. I was fortunate to work with Gene Nerf. He was the ideal professional mentor. The start of that relationship and friendship was a milestone in my career.
As a young engineer, I was also intrigued by the management of the business. I wanted to provide input to strategic decisions and enjoyed the relationships with architects and building owners. This encouraged me to pursue my postgraduate degree in business administration. The leadership of the firm has always provided opportunities for professional advancement.
There are many things that set Mueller apart. We are focused, and we have a talented and creative staff. We are fortunate to have sophisticated clients who expect high-quality engineering solutions. Our client relationships are extremely meaningful to us. They consistently drive us to be at our best.
We are very optimistic about the future of Mueller. We have accomplished a significant transition of ownership that will provide continuity of the firm without disruption. We have new office space that allows for growth and we have reorganized our project teams to be more responsive to clients and have given senior managers more line responsibility. We are well prepared to succeed over the next 50 years.