This article is part of a series on progressive surveying firms that was launched in POB's October 2011 issue. The series is now called Points of Progress. To inquire about having your firm profiled in an upcoming article, email

Company Name: Dynasty Group Inc.
Headquarters: Chicago
Year Established: 1994
Number of Employees: 40
Primary Services: Civil design engineering, construction engineering, surveying, nondestructive testing and BIM/GIS support services

In the initial planning stages of each project, President Zhong Chen, PE, PLS, issues a challenge to his staff: “Try to identify different ways to approach each task.” This focus on innovation has led Dynasty Group to broaden its scope beyond a typical engineering and land surveying consulting firm. The company was an early adopter of 3D laser scanning technology in 2001 and worked diligently to integrate scanning into its workflow in a way that made sense for its clients. The technology has opened doors for the firm in roadway projects, bridge construction, building information modeling (BIM), industrial plant scanning and historical documentation both in the United States and in China. The company also recognized early on that information is power and began developing its BIM and GIS support services.

Then, in 2008, Dynasty Group added nondestructive testing (NDT) to its service offerings under the leadership of Aldo De La Haza, principal and manager of NDT Services. "Very few companies that offer NDT services have expertise in surveying or dimensional control,” says Chen. “Likewise, most surveyors doing dimensional control and surveying work, and even laser scanning, don’t usually have NDT capabilities. By putting the two together through data fusion, we’re able to look not only at the surface but also beyond the surface of any given object or structure to provide greater intelligence for improved decision-making. That’s given us a competitive edge in the market.”

To maintain that edge, Dynasty Group invests heavily in its people. Professional development is a big focus for the firm. A number of Dynasty Group’s employees have been with the company for more than 10 years--a track record Chen notes is unusual for a small firm. “Whenever we hire somebody, we hope to keep them for their career,” he says. “We put quite a bit of effort into helping them identify their areas of interest and develop their skills.”

New hires are given the opportunity to spend time exploring both field and office work and are encouraged to bring new ideas to the table. But experience drives the success of the firm. "Most of the younger members of our group enjoy technology and love what they call their ‘toys,’ but they lack experience,” Chen says. “That’s where the senior people come in--to coach them and make sure that the focus with that technology is on developing a solid product to send to our clients.” Dynasty Group has also been working in research and development with manufacturers of NDT equipment around the world, for instance, the 3D ultrasonic shear wave devices from Acoustic Control Systems in Moscow, Russia.

Being able to identify the best technology for a project and then create an efficient workflow to accomplish the task is primary strength of the firm. “In this economy, everyone is looking for ways to save money and shorten their schedule,” Chen says. “With our experience and knowledge, we can usually come up with an innovative way to approach a project so our clients can achieve these goals.”

Innovation and diversification are solid business strategies for any firm. But Chen cautions against stretching too far. “The surveying profession today is so broad that very few companies can actually have all of the different specialties under one roof,” he says. “We as surveyors need to understand our role in a project. We need to acknowledge our limitations and use our strengths to provide increased value to our clients.”