Our Journey

Knight Piésold was founded by Dr. F.E. Kanthack in 1921 as a sole consulting engineering practice. This practice in South Africa began our progress toward the vibrant, continually evolving company we are today. We now operate from 28 offices in 16 countries across four core industries: mining, power, water resources, and infrastructure.

Through organic growth for over 100 years, we have expanded our geographic reach, increased to a 1,200-strong team, and formed a multidisciplinary approach to support full-cycle project development for our clients around the world.

We have stayed true to our roots and are proud of our stability and longevity.



The company was founded on April 1, 1921 in Johannesburg, South Africa by Dr. Francis Edgar Kanthack, C.M.G., M.I.C.E, D.Sc. (Eng). Dr. Kanthack already had a distinguished career in the service of three governments (British, Indian, and South African), ending up as the Director of Irrigation for the Union of South Africa, a post he held from 1911 to 1920. At the age of 49, he decided to set up as a consulting engineer, operating as a sole practitioner as F.E. Kanthack. Early clients included South African Railways, Victoria Falls Power Company, Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM now called Eskom), Anglo American Corporation, Industrial Steel Corporation, various municipalities, and other industrial and mining companies.


TC (Tom) Watermeyer became a partner and the company became FE Kanthack and Partners. The principal areas of expertise were in water resources, natural draught cooling towers, thermal power stations, and hydroelectric power stations in Southern Africa.




GHH (Hugh) Legge joined the partnership where he strengthened structural design and power station construction expertise.


Dr. Kanthack retired at the age of 78. TC Watermeyer assumed the running of the company and was faced with the challenge of post-war staffing problems and the expansion of municipal and ESCOM thermal power stations in Southern Africa.


DDA (David) Piésold joined the partnership with special responsibilities for the newly established Central African Federation (Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland). Projects in Central Africa included hydroelectric developments at Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River and at Nkula Falls on the Shire River, the outflow from Lake Malawi.


Dr. HLB (Hans) Uhlmann joined the partnership with special expertise in the structural and thermo-dynamic design of natural draught cooling towers.



The partnership changed its name to Watermeyer, Legge, Piésold, and Uhlmann (WLPU).


The Harare (then Salisbury) office moved to London, and later Ashford, Kent in the UK to continue work in the newly independent African countries of Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia and Malawi, and later in Kenya.


RB (Bruce) Knight, who had originally worked for the company in Rhodesia and moved to Canada in 1964 to work on the Mica Dam, established a WLPU office in Sydney, Australia.


Bruce Knight established Knight & Piésold Ltd. in Vancouver, Canada. The name was changed to Knight Piésold Ltd. in 1992, and an office was later opened in North Bay in 1994.




Knight Piésold (Pty) Ltd. (Botswana) was established in Gaborone, Botswana following an appointment as the civil engineering consultant for the Morupule A Project in 1979.


The UK partnership changed its name to WLPU Consultants.


Knight Piésold & Co. was established in Denver, USA. Offices were later opened in Elko in 1989, Tucson in 2007, and Fort Collins in 2023.



David Piésold and Bruce Knight retired and the name "Knight Piésold" was adopted by all operating companies except South Africa, which changed its name in 1995. A Global Operating Committee was established to coordinate operating companies and partnerships in South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, UK, Australia, Canada, USA, and Malaysia.


Knight Piésold S.A. was established in Santiago, Chile.


Knight Piésold Consultores S.A. was established in Lima, Peru.


Knight Piésold Ghana Ltd. was established in Accra, Ghana.


All operating companies were consolidated under Knight Piésold Holdings International Limited (KPHIL) in 1999. The exceptions were Knight Piésold Ghana, which became a part of KPHIL in 2000, and Knight Piésold UK, which was acquired by the Scott Wilson Group in 2002.




Knight Piésold Argentina Consultores S.A. was established in San Juan, Argentina. An office was later opened in Mendoza in 2007, which became Knight Piésold Argentina’s headquarters.


Knight Piésold Consulting (Pty) Ltd. was established in Windhoek, Namibia.

Knight Piésold Australia opened an office in Brisbane to serve the growing resources industry in Queensland.



The Cape Town office in South Africa, which operated as Kayad Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd. since 1993, merged with Knight Piésold South Africa in 2010.


Knight Piésold re-established in the UK as Knight Piésold Limited with an office in London, focusing in the mining industry and on exploring opportunities in the construction and energy industries in Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and North Africa.


Knight Piésold Zambia Ltd. was established in Lusaka, Zambia in 2013. An office in Kitwe, known as Scott Wilson Piésold, was acquired from URS Corporation (now AECOM) in 2014. The Scott Wilson Group acquired the Zambian interest of Knight Piésold UK in the early 2000s and operated the Kitwe office as Scott Wilson Piésold. URS Corporation subsequently purchased Scott Wilson Piésold.


Knight Piésold Consulting DRC SARL was established in 2015 as a registered company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An office in Lubumbashi was officially launched in 2019.

Knight Piésold Consultoria Ltda. was established in Brazil in 2014 and an office was formally opened in Belo Horizonte in 2019.




Knight Piésold Consulting S.A. de C.V. began operations in Mexico in 2020, and an office was opened in Mexico City in 2021.


Knight Piésold celebrated 100 years of global operations.


Knight Piésold Argentina opened a third office in Perito Moreno, Santa Cruz to support operations in southern Argentina.


Knight Piésold Argentina opened a fourth office in the capital city of Salta province to provide operational support to historic and new projects in northern Argentina.