Michael Baker International Acquires MLU Services

Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning, and consulting services, acquired MLU Services, Inc. (“MLU”), a national logistics and disaster response firm headquartered in Athens, Georgia. MLU will operate within Tidal Basin Group, an industry-leading program management consulting firm providing integrated technology, resilience and emergency management solutions.

The acquisition of MLU strengthens Michael Baker’s and Tidal Basin’s national capabilities in its industry-leading disaster management and technology solutions for the government and private sectors, including the full emergency management spectrum of services from pre-disaster preparedness, sustainability and resilience services to emergency response in the critical hours and days following a disaster, to long-term disaster recovery and hazard mitigation preparedness to build stronger, more resilient organizations and communities.

MLU’s turnkey logistics and disaster response services, combined with Tidal Basin’s grant and case management technology and program management expertise, and Michael Baker’s technology, planning, engineering design and construction solutions, sets a new benchmark in the industry and differentiates the combined team as the leader of full-spectrum program management and technology solutions.

“Integrating MLU with Michael Baker International to complement and diversify the offerings of our Tidal Basin team enhances our combined capacity to offer swift, comprehensive resiliency consulting and technology solutions nationwide for the public and private sectors,” said Brian A. Lutes, Chief Executive Officer of Michael Baker International.

This partnership adds to a growing team of over 4,500 professionals and expands local operations with more than 100 physical offices and service locations nationwide, enabling rapid and effective disaster response and providing timely, on-the-ground support to affected organizations and communities.

Comprehensive Project Portfolio Demonstrating Integrated, Holistic Solutions

Adding MLU bolsters the combined firms’ nationwide portfolio of projects across the government sector, including the following key clients and programs.

Federal Government (Civil and Department of Defense [DoD]) Sector Projects

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): MLU has successfully delivered temporary housing under the $2.7 billion LOGHOUSE IDIQ contract, installing over 82 thousand units nationwide. Through the Vanguard joint venture, Tidal Basin has conducted over 2 million post-disaster housing inspections since 2013 for FEMA’s Housing Inspections Services (HIS) contract. Michael Baker has contributed to flood risk management and hazard mitigation, supporting FEMA’s $1.05 billion flood map modernization and resilience programs under the Production & Technical Services (PTS) contract. Additionally, Michael Baker’s joint ventures have enhanced FEMA’s hazard mitigation and community resilience efforts through comprehensive technical assistance, communications and outreach, and innovative preparedness strategies for the Hazard Mitigation Technical Assistance Program (HMTAP) and the Community Energy Resiliency Centers (CERC) contracts.

  • Various U.S. Military Installations: Michael Baker International has significantly contributed to various U.S. military projects, emphasizing sustainability, security, and efficiency. At the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) headquarters in Virginia, they provided comprehensive design services for a new facility that meets high security and environmental standards. For the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, they developed a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan to promote environmental stewardship. At the Customs and Border Protection’s Advanced Training Center in West Virginia, they implemented a Sustainability Component Plan focusing on energy and resource management. Furthermore, Michael Baker is leading the design and construction efforts for the Hurricane Florence recovery at several Marine Corps bases in North Carolina, focusing on resiliency and sustainable rebuilding of damaged infrastructure.

State Government Sector Projects

  • State of Hawaii: Tidal Basin has been a critical partner to Hawaii for over a decade, offering unmatched expertise and managing over $1.8 billion in federally funded declared disaster programs. Their work has enhanced disaster response, recovery, and federal funding for the state. Following the Maui Wildfire in August 2023, Tidal Basin swiftly provided comprehensive emergency management services to support immediate response and long-term recovery efforts. Their collaboration with partners like Michael Baker and MLU bolsters Hawaii’s resilience and infrastructure against future disasters.

  • State of CaliforniaThe Tidal Basin team, including Michael Baker, was contracted by CalRecycle and successfully executed structural debris and hazard tree removal monitoring services in California’s inland counties affected by the 2019-2020 wildfires. The team coordinated with arborists, managed environmental cleanup aspects, secured necessary permits, protected sensitive areas, complied with regulations, and meticulously tracked removal activities. In addition, MLU significantly contributed to disaster response during the Paradise Fire in 2019 and the Creek Fire in 2020 by quickly establishing temporary housing, setting up 400 Mobile Housing Units for the Paradise Fire, and providing 170 bunk trailers with over 2,040 beds for the Creek Fire.

  • State of Florida: Tidal Basin, Michael Baker and MLU have played pivotal roles in Florida’s resiliency and recovery initiatives. MLU provided housing and wrap-around services for emergency workers post-Hurricanes Sally and Ian. Additionally, Tidal Basin’s extensive program and grant management, contact center support, technology solutions for Florida’s vaccine rollout, the $1.6 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program and immediate disaster response and long-term recovery services following Hurricanes Ian and Idalia combined with Michael Baker’s management of the State Highway System Resilience Action, showcases significant contributions to public health initiatives, housing recovery and infrastructure resilience in Florida.

Healthcare Sector Projects

  • Veteran Affairs Las Vegas Medical Center: The 936,468-square-foot facility is the first major project by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in over 15 years. The complex includes a hospital, behavioral health facility, skilled nursing-community living facility, outpatient clinics, and more on a 160-acre site. Employing a modular design for flexibility and expansion, the center focuses on a holistic approach to veteran care, integrating the latest healthcare concepts for optimal service and incorporating state-of-the-art technology for future medical advancements.

  • Major U.S. Healthcare Institutions: Tidal Basin has enhanced disaster recovery and mitigation efforts across several major healthcare institutions. Tidal Basin developed a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan at the University of Texas’s MD Anderson hospital system, significantly improving disaster preparedness and securing mitigation funding. Their efforts were instrumental in recovering millions in federal grant funding following Hurricane Harvey, boosting the hospital system’s resilience. Similarly, after Superstorm Sandy, NYU Langone Medical Center collaborated with Tidal Basin to overhaul its disaster response, developing comprehensive emergency and business continuity plans and securing $1.13 billion in federal grants.

Energy Sector Projects

  • Photovoltaic and Water Storage for Homeowners in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico: Tidal Basin is managing the $300 million Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)-funded Community Energy and Water Resiliency Installations (CEWRI) Program, improving energy and water resilience for homeowners in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, with photovoltaic systems with battery backup and water storage. The project has successfully installed 3,500 systems. Additionally, Tidal Basin provided FEMA Public Assistance and program management expertise to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), obtaining the highest single funding allocation of $11 billion to date, enabling them to rebuild infrastructure.

  • Solar Generation Facilities in CaliforniaMichael Baker has provided comprehensive engineering and design services for the world’s largest solar generation facilities, including the 242-MW, 2,100-acre Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project with nearly four million solar panels generating enough energy to power 75,000 homes and prevent over 140,000 metric tons of carbon emissions yearly. Similarly, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility is the largest solar thermal power plant globally, using over 300,000 mirrors to direct sunlight to power towers, producing enough electricity for more than 140,000 homes during peak hours and reducing carbon emissions by over 450,000 tons annually. Both projects highlight significant advancements in solar energy technology and their substantial contributions to renewable energy production and carbon emission reduction.

Transportation Sector Projects

  • Various Airport Facilities Nationwide: Tidal Basin and Michael Baker International have enhanced airport safety, efficiency and emergency preparedness across major U.S. airports, including Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles World Airports, MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and more. Tidal Basin has delivered comprehensive consulting, including FAA-compliant exercises and emergency management, improving airport readiness, and Michael Baker has significantly improved airport infrastructure and technology with runway replacements, drone inspections, and green engineering practices.

  • Various Road and Rail Transit Facilities Nationwide, Engineering Design, Sustainability, and Resiliency Solutions: Michael Baker and Tidal Basin have been at the forefront of advancing road and rail transit safety and infrastructure resiliency through enhanced incident training, freight logistics, infrastructure improvements, and urban connectivity for major U.S. transit companies like CSC, CTfastrak, SEPTA, Oregon Tri-County and more. Infrastructure improvements include

As illustrated through these diverse projects and clients, the collaborative efforts between Michael Baker, Tidal Basin and MLU have had a significant positive impact on communities nationwide. Their government and critical infrastructure work underscores a commitment to resilience, recovery and sustainability. This portfolio showcases their ability to manage and execute large-scale projects under challenging conditions and their dedication to enhancing the well-being of affected communities and advancing environmental sustainability.

“This acquisition marks a significant milestone for our companies and clients. It is a testament to our unwavering commitment to deliver top-notch disaster response and resiliency solutions,” said James Kelley, President of MLU Services, Inc. “Combining the companies allows us to focus on immediate relief and long-term success for our clients in a better and more diversified way.”

With a larger, more diverse portfolio and a unified team of experts, organizations and communities can expect even greater value with more effective turnkey solutions, helping them to be stronger than before.

About Michael Baker International

Michael Baker International is a leading provider of engineering and consulting services spanning five distinct Verticals: Infrastructure, Design-Build Services, Federal Programs and Services, Consulting and Technology Solutions (CTS), and Sustainable and Resilient Solutions (SRS). The firm’s Practices encompass all facets of infrastructure, including design and civil engineering for diverse bridge, highway, water, rail transit, and aviation projects, as well as planning, architecture, environmental and construction, and program management. For over 80 years, the company has been a trusted partner to clients, providing comprehensive services and solutions, delivering expertise and quality, and embracing emerging technologies and the latest innovations – like intelligent transportation, engineered models, and public safety software as a service (SaaS).

The firm’s more than 4,000 employees across nearly 100 locations are committed to Making a Difference for clients and communities through a culture of innovation, collaboration, and technological advancement while Reimagining Michael Baker to become a full-service engineering and consulting firm over the next five years. To learn more, visit mbakerintl.com.

About Tidal Basin  

Tidal Basin Group is an industry-leading program management consulting firm providing integrated technology, resilience, and emergency management solutions that build resilient organizations, communities, and infrastructure. Our solutions are tailored to your needs, drawing on extensive experience managing complex, large-scale programs. We have a proven track record of success, supported by a deep understanding of nuanced, braided funding opportunities, making us the ideal program implementation partner across the public and private sectors. With our skilled team, robust systems, cutting-edge tools, financial strength, diverse capabilities, and deep-rooted expertise, we are fully equipped to execute your programs with excellence. As your trusted partner, we cover everything from strategic advisory consulting, thorough emergency and resilience planning, and turn-key logistics and response support to proficient grant and financial program management, innovative design and engineering, and efficient construction management, complemented by customer relations, communications, and technology solutions. Count on us to be by your side, dedicated to advancing your objectives and solving your challenges. Together, we will build a resilient future where everyone can Be Stronger Than Before®. To learn more, visit tidalbasingroup.com.

About MLU Services, Inc.

MLU is a national disaster response and logistics leader, acclaimed as FEMA’s premier provider of temporary housing solutions. Since its inception in 1999, MLU has grown to command a formidable network of 3,000 ready-to-deploy first responders across the United States. Positioned for immediate action, we specialize in providing rapid temporary accommodations for those affected by natural disasters and setting up base camps for first responders. Our legacy, built on a foundation of integrity, responsiveness, safety, and quality, showcases our unique capability to mobilize our extensive experience swiftly and efficiently wherever needed. These core values anchor our operations and guide our commitment to fostering enduring client relationships. MLU Services holds itself to the highest standards, ensuring every project surpasses expectations and every client experience is exemplary. Discover more about our dedication to excellence and our comprehensive services at mluservices.com.