History of Sunrise Engineering

Sunrise Engineering began in 1978 as a small land-surveying company in Fillmore, Utah. Founder Alden Robinson, former CEO, Evan Simpson, and current CEO, Mark Huntsman, have guided the company from a four-man firm to its current status of over 500 employees working in 21 offices in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. In addition to surveying and traditional civil engineering disciplines, our services have grown to include natural gas services, GIS, building code services, community development, and training services.

Sunrise’s strength is in its engineers and technicians who have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit of the firm’s founders. The core to the company lies in the values of integrity and teamwork that have permeated the Sunrise staff over decades of growth and expansion.

  • 1978 • Sunrise Surveying

    Sunrise was originally established as Sunrise Surveying, a small and unassuming land-surveying company. Its founder, James A. Cox, was a seasoned land surveyor with the Utah Department of Transportation. His thirst for change had been a long time coming. Casting aside the comforts of predictability, James set his sights on a small city named Fillmore, Utah — a part of the country that he had always called home. As luck would have it, this move put him on course to meet the man that would help him grow his seedling firm.

  • 1983 • Sunrise Engineering

    Enter Alden Robinson, a professional engineer that had been living and working in St. George, Utah. Although he was well established there, Alden had craved the comfort of his hometown, Fillmore, as well as the nearness of his father’s ranch and the Pahvant Mountain Range. Joining forces with James was his ticket back. With Alden as a new general partner, the company was incorporated as Sunrise Engineering on February 15th, 1983.

    James and Alden shared the same approach to life — they both had recognized latent opportunity and taken major leaps of faith to pursue their dreams. What they were able to accomplish together in the year that followed was a professional success that neither one of them had expected. Their “carpe diem” philosophies would also eventually set a precedent for the next round of partners.

  • 1984 • Two New Partners

    The year 1984 marked the addition of two principal partners, Val Kofoed and Evan Simpson. Over the next few years, Sunrise enjoyed tremendous prosperity and growth. During this time the original Sunrise Surveying founder, James Cox, relocated to Mesa, Arizona, for health reasons. His move spurred an interest in burgeoning the new firm’s presence elsewhere. James would once again catapult his firm into a new phase of growth with the official opening of the Phoenix, Arizona office.

  • 1986 • First Leadership Transition

    The company’s first leadership transition took place in 1986, putting Alden at the forefront of the firm as the newly-appointed President/CEO and Senior Engineer. Naturally, as a career engineer Alden had his own ideas for the future of the company — ideas that called for substantial growth of the firm’s engineering department.

  • 1991 • Natural Gas

    In 1991, Sunrise ventured into the natural gas sector of engineering consulting services, working with municipal and investor-owned natural gas pipeline and distribution companies. By this time, Sunrise had opened two new offices, Salt Lake City, Utah (1990) and Star Valley, Wyoming (1990), and grew to 14 employees.

  • 1994 • GIS

    In 1994, Sunrise started performing GIS and mapping services for clients throughout Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming. Sunrise staff also grew during this time to 46 employees.

  • 1996 • Training Services

    In addition to opening our St. George office in Southern Utah, Sunrise began providing training services as a discipline in 1996, with our employee count reaching 82.

  • 1999 • Building Code Services

    Fast forward another three years and Sunrise began providing another service for its clients, building code services. By 1999, Sunrise had 124 employees throughout five offices in Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming.

  • 2012 • Second Leadership Transition

    The company’s second leadership transition took place in 2012, appointing Evan Simpson as President/CEO for Sunrise. By 2012, Sunrise had four new offices in Cache Valley, Utah (2007), Cedar City, Utah (2007), Richfield, Utah (2010), and Cheyenne, Wyoming (2011), and the employee count grew to 161.

  • 2017 • Sunrise’s Third Leadership Transition

    After Evan Simpson’s retirement in 2017, Mark Huntsman was named CEO and President of Sunrise Engineering. Mark joined Sunrise in 1991 and led the expansion of its Natural Gas and Energy Training Divisions. By 2017, Sunrise had three new offices in Vernal, Utah (2013), Prescott, Arizona (2017), and Las Vegas, Nevada (2017). Additionally, the employee count grew to 230.

  • 2019 • Community Development

    As a result of Sunrise’s continuing devotion to creating solutions that work and relationships that last, the Community Development team was formed in 2019 to better suit some of our clients’ needs. By 2019, Sunrise had added three new offices in Springville, Utah (2018), South Ogden, Utah (2019), and Fort Collins, Colorado (2019). With over 320 employees, Sunrise operated out of five states serving a majority of the Intermountain West.

  • 2024 • Future

    By 2024, Sunrise added the Kingman, Arizona (2020) Laramie, Wyoming (2021), Steamboat Springs, Colorado (2022), Roosevelt, Utah (2022), Richfield, Utah South (2022), Pocatello, Idaho (2023), Nephi, Utah (2023) and Kemmerer, Wyoming (2024) offices to better serve the clients in those areas, with over 500 employees in Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, and Idaho. Although accolades through the years and perseverance through tough times are certainly a credit to Sunrise’s strength, neither defines the company’s success nor feeds the company’s future. It’s the many engineers and technicians who have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit of the company’s founders — the individuals that have taken their own leaps of faith by setting up seedling Sunrise offices in their hometowns. And it’s the values that have permeated the Sunrise staff over decades of growth and expansion — their commitment to creating solutions that work and relationships that last. For these individuals and for this company, the American Dream is alive and well.

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