Failure Analysis Associates (FaAA) was founded in Palo Alto, California, in 1967 when three professors from Stanford University and two engineers from Stanford Research Institute (SRI) decided to pioneer a new field - investigating how and why failures and accidents occur. FaAA initially provided engineering expertise to the legal and insurance industry. In the 1970s, the Company continued to expand its accident investigation services while also responding to the increased engineering requirements of the utility and nuclear power industries. In the 1980s, the Company added new engineering and science disciplines including civil engineering, structural engineering, electrical engineering, biomechanics, data analysis/statistics, human factors and visual communication services. We were well-known and respected for our independent investigations on some of world's biggest engineering accidents and failures and we expanded our office footprint outside of California.
We purchased a 147-acre site for our Test and Engineering Center (TEC) in Phoenix, Arizona in 1985. This laboratory facility provides product development and testing support for a variety of industries. We study vehicle performance and re-create on- and off-road collisions under virtually every condition for vehicles ranging from bicycles to tractor-trailers. We develop specific test methodologies to assist our clients with their product development efforts.
During the 1990s the Company continued to grow and expand through hiring and acquisition. In August of 1990, the firm went public, trading on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol FAIL. In 1991, we opened a civil and structural engineering office in Dusseldorf, Germany that provides industrial structure design reviews. Later in the decade, we acquired Environmental Health Strategies, an epidemiology and health consulting firm.
The following year, the Company acquired PTI Environmental Services, an environmental consulting firm providing technical, regulatory, and litigation support services to industries, trade associations and law firms. We soon realized that the firm offered a broader range of services outside of just "failure analysis" and needed to reflect that in our brand. In March 1998, we changed our name to Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) which means "one who expounds or interprets" - which better represents the services we offer to our clients.
As the Company entered the new millennium, we made an acquisition of Novigen Sciences, an internationally-recognized consultancy specializing in the resolution of scientific and technical issues relating to the impact of chemical substances on human health and the environment.
Now known as Exponent's Center for Chemical Regulation and Food Safety, it provides creative, timely and practical solutions to address complex safety and regulatory issues involving food and chemical products. The acquisition expanded our reach into Europe when we opened an office in the United Kingdom.
During the first decade of the 21st century, we expanded our health practices with significant hiring of prominent toxicologists, industrial hygienists, risk assessors, biostatisticians and epidemiologists. We are now considered one of the leading health consulting firms in the United States. We broadened our proactive design consulting services into the area of Technology Development. This practice specializes in harnessing commercial technologies to develop effective military and industrial equipment and systems. Drawing on our multidisciplinary engineering, testing, failure analysis and prevention expertise, our Technology Development Practice assists clients with independent design reviews, identifying commercial off-the-shelf technologies that reduce development time and cost without sacrificing reliability. The group also develops integrated prototypes, qualifies production processes, and initiates upgraded modules as new technologies emerge.
Exponent now operates 20 offices across the United States and offices in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and China. From an initial group of five, we have grown to over 1000 employees with a consulting staff of more than 800. We offer expertise in over 90 technical disciplines. We are proud of our nearly 50-year history and the quality product that we deliver to clients every day.