A native of Germany, Juergen Fehr completed his master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Braunschweig in Germany in 1961. After working as a city planning consultant in Germany, he moved to the United States to earn his traffic engineering certification at Yale University. At that time, traffic engineering was an emerging field and the Bureau of Highway Traffic program at Yale was the most well-defined traffic engineering program in the United States. After finishing at Yale in 1963, Juergen accepted a position in San Francisco to assist with planning the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system. The project represented state-of-the-art design and engineering challenges. Following the BART project, Juergen worked on transportation projects in the Atlanta, Georgia region. In 1971, he accepted a position in Washington D.C.
Juergen’s work experience in urban transportation projects in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Venezuela helped him recognize the important relationship that exists between the economic vitality of a city and the quality of its transportation systems. As a result, Juergen made it his career goal to provide the most efficient movement of people and goods in urban regions while creating and preserving an attractive living environment.
Meanwhile, Jack Peers, a native of England, was earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Liverpool. After that, Jack worked as a civil engineer for five years, mainly in structural design. Jack’s hands-on work experience opened his eyes to the social implications of his work. Impassioned to make a positive impact on the communities he served through his work, Jack attended the University of Birmingham to earn his master’s degree in transportation planning and environmental design. After obtaining his master’s degree, Jack accepted a position in Research and Development at the Greater London Council. During this time, Jack designed transportation solutions throughout Europe and Yugoslavia before moving to Washington D.C. in 1971.
Jack and Juergen met for the first time in Washington D.C. in 1971 while working for the same transportation planning firm. Juergen and Jack’s professional relationship blossomed while working on a large project in Boston. Jack and his family relocated to Boston while Juergen commuted from Washington D.C. frequently, splitting his time with other projects.
Soon after the Boston project was completed, Jack’s work required him to move to Berkeley, California. Jack had planned to return to England, but it wasn’t long before he and his family fell in love with the Bay Area and decided to make it their home. Around the same time, Juergen also decided to move his family back to California to help solve growing traffic and transportation problems in the Bay Area.
Jack returned to school in the early 80s to sharpen his business skills and provide better client service. He obtained his MBA and together, Jack and Juergen started dreaming about owning their own firm. Using every spare moment, Juergen and Jack developed a business plan for what would eventually become Fehr & Peers.
Jack and Juergen’s hard work paid off— Fehr & Peers opened for business in May of 1985. Jerry Walters joined Jack and Juergen as a partner in the firm. The core values and philosophies that Jack, Juergen, and Jerry established in the firm’s early years continue to be a strong part of Fehr & Peers’ culture today. Fehr & Peers remains employee and client-focused and the firm values honesty, integrity, and quality. Many of Jack, Juergen, and Jerry’s first clients still work with the firm to this day.