Walter E. Allen, a Navy veteran, founded Acumen Building Enterprise as a sole proprietorship in 1994 to help finance his master’s of science degree in civil engineering/project controls at UC Berkeley. Before starting the firm, Allen specialized in operations and maintenance at Coopers & Lybrand, and performed productivity studies for Fortune 500 companies, but it was at grad school that his mind turned to researching the impact of change on $40 million-plus building budgets. He also developed an intense interest in intelligent building design and construction that has spread to a fascination with transportation infrastructure and high-speed rail.

Initially, Allen built Acumen’s business from his home, a one-stop engineering shop. However, as Acumen’s work grew in scope and reach, Allen began to hire staff to engineer power plants in Sacramento and perform testing and inspection for public buildings in Alameda. The firm’s evolution has included delivering transportation planning and fare collection systems for local and national transit agencies, complex cost estimating and scheduling for million-dollar construction and transportation projects, construction management for major projects such as the Port of Oakland and Vision 2000, and product development such as the Bill-to-Bill Changer and Acumen’s innovative AcuFare, a contactless smart card reader system.

A minority-owned firm, Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc. became an S Corporation in 2002, is headquartered in the East Bay and now has 35 employees in locations throughout the U.S. It is also certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise with a number of agencies across the nation.

With Allen at the helm, Acumen’s future goals are: expand transportation projects across the nation from Hawaii to Washington, D.C.; roll out AcuFare nationwide for automatic fare collection at transit agencies and for special security applications; improve the nation’s transit infrastructure to implement high-speed rail; and continue to be a solid source of jobs and small-business opportunities. To learn more about Acumen, email us at marketing@acumentransit.com for more details.