Donan is a third-generation engineering firm that began in 1947 in Madisonville, Kentucky, by John Donan Sr., a Civil and Mining Professional Engineer. Since its beginning, the company has been family-owned and values-driven, building its reputation by being a consistent source of unbiased expertise.
In the company’s early years, John Donan Sr. offered mining design and drilling services primarily to coal companies. John G. Donan Jr., Donan’s current Chairman of the Board, joined his father’s business in 1964, specializing in soil and foundation investigations, as well as boundary and topographic surveys. The first computer in Madisonville was purchased by the company in 1965 to perform surveying calculations, giving the Donans an early reputation as innovators.
The surveying and mine businesses flourished. The company also gained large contracts for mineral appraisals. Because of his superior knowledge and experience in mining design, John Donan Sr. worked with the Kentucky Highway Department to align several major parkways through the state in order to minimize disruption and loss of coal reserves.
By the mid-1960s, Donan Engineering Inc. was regularly performing forensic engineering investigations as a result of claims against surface and underground mining companies for blasting and subsidence damage. As forensic investigation became a larger part of the business, fire and explosion origin and cause was added to the company’s services. By 2000, the company had offices in Jasper, Evansville, Indianapolis, and South Bend, Indiana, as well as in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. Market challenges associated with design work and ongoing growth in forensic investigations prompted the decision to focus solely on forensic engineering and fire investigation.
Today, Donan is one of the largest forensic investigation firms in the country. Since 2000 the firm has grown to more than 50 offices spanning coast to coast, with diverse service offerings including Forensic Engineering, Fire Investigation, Component Testing, UAV Services, and Litigation Support. Donan continues its legacy of innovation with constant technological development and leading-edge investigation tools. For nearly seven decades, clients have turned to us for first-rate expertise, conclusive answers, and superior insights through innovation.
Lyle Donan is a Professional Engineer and the third-generation leader of Donan, a family-owned business formerly known as Donan Engineering. Lyle joined the company in April 2000 and currently serves as the company’s president and CEO. He is a licensed civil engineer in 14 states and a licensed private investigator.
Lyle focuses his professional efforts on understanding and advancing the technical investigation processes of property claims, specifically within the property insurance industry. Under Lyle’s leadership, Donan provides forensic engineering, fire investigation, component testing, and litigation support. Ranked by project volume, the company is the largest forensic investigation company in the United States.
Lyle began his formal education studying civil engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and graduated with a degree in mining engineering at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. Lyle has been married for 13 years, has three children, and resides in Louisville, Kentucky. Connect with Lyle on LinkedIn.