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DONAN Overview

Louisville, KY
201 to 500 employees
Company - Private
Architectural & Engineering Services
Unknown / Non-Applicable
Donan is a full-service, world class, forensic investigation firm with offices throughout the United States. Our services include forensic engineering, fire investigation, component testing, HVAC forensics, UAV services, and Litigation Support. Since ... Read more

Mission: Our mission is to provide conclusive, unbiased and accurate forensic investigation services with the fastest turnaround time and best customer service in the industry.

Company Updates

  • Donan is committed to employee wellness. Louisville Business First recognized DONAN as a finalist for the 2016 Healthiest Employers of Greater Louisville award. We were honored to be acknowledged for our commitment to creating a healthy workplace.

  • Helping others succeed is part of our culture at Donan. Employees came together for an ice cream social to benefit West End School. We are proud to be involved with such a great organization that fosters a culture of personal growth and character.

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DONAN – Why Work For Us?


Donan is a full-service, world class, forensic investigation firm with offices throughout the United States.  Their services include forensic engineering, fire investigation, component testing and HVAC investigation. 

Since 1947, Donan's expert investigators have utilized a rewind approach to research incidents, reconstruct events and reveal causes.  

Our Mission: To consistently provide conclusive, unbiased and accurate forensic investigation services with the fastest turnaround time and best customer service in the industry.

Our Logo: The level rod target.

  • The Level Rod – We strive to keep our abilities and professionalism balanced and on the level.
  • The Target – We aim to keep our work on target, exceeding our clients turnaround time and customer service expectations with a fair, competitive price.
  • The Number Seven – In biblical scripture the number seven symbolizes completeness; we work to consistently deliver a complete service, well-done and guaranteed

Service Lines: Forensic Engineering, Fire Investigation, Component Testing, and HVAC Forensics


Founded: 1947

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Those of us that are part of the Donan family know that it is a great place to work. We want the rest of the world to know too. Get "A Glimpse Into Donan," as told by those who know it best. Watch the video, then search our current openings to find your spot in our business family.

Donan continues its legacy of innovation by providing leading-edge investigation tools.  We are the first and only forensic firm to utilize an unmanned ground vehicle in an investigation, and we provide an expansive UAV program, deploying pilots from 16 locations across the country.  For nearly seven decades clients have turned to Donan for first-rate expertise, conclusive answers, and superior insights through innovation.


Donan is a third generation engineering firm that began in 1947 in Madisonville, KY, 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.

The Beginning
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.

Expertise in High Demand
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.  In 1973 the Donans continued to be sought-out for their expertise, this time for coal consulting services for a high-profile client in South America.  Anastasio Somoza, the President of Nicaragua, was a client until his assassination in 1980.

Forensic Engineering Takes Off
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.

A Leader in Innovation
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, and HVAC Forensics. Donan continues its legacy of innovation with constant technological development (Donan Mobile launched in early 2014) and leading-edge investigation tools.  For nearly seven decades, clients have turned to Donan for first-rate expertise, conclusive answers, and superior insights through innovation.

DONAN Reviews

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Lyle Donan
21 Ratings
  • Helpful (1)

    "Wish I still worked there"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Louisville, KY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Louisville, KY
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at DONAN full-time (Less than a year)


    Great benefits and rewards programs.
    CEO would stop by weekly (or more) just to chat.
    Investments in the future and logically funding technology that would improve processes
    Great work life balance, I think in a year, I only had to work at home after hours once.


    Was not a fan of shared PTO and Sick time but it seems like everyone is moving to that now.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing, keep investing in technology infrastructure, keep investing in your people. The HR team is amazing, the CSR Manager is great and the IT director, amazing.

See All 33 Reviews

DONAN Photos

DONAN photo of: Scio Surveyor 7.
DONAN photo of: Kickball for Kids Charity Event
DONAN photo of: 2016 Bronze Stevie Award - Customer Service Department of the Year 2016
DONAN photo of: Recruiting future engineers at a high school career fair!
DONAN photo of: Scio was a hit at the Science Center during Engineering Week!
DONAN photo of: HVAC Forensics conducts onsite destructive testing.
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DONAN Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Helpful (1)  

    Mechanical Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at DONAN in January 2018.


    15 minute phone call with HR
    15 minute phone call with the Hiring Manager
    Flown out for an in-person interview

    Applied for Position in my home state for Forensic Mechanical Engineer

    Phone Interview with HR

    Original position was advertised as Full Time, but was actually part time (HR had no idea). Asked me to look into an adjacent state for a similar job

    Followed up with a phone Interview with the Regional Manager to explain the job

    Made me take a computer literacy test and personality quiz

    The regional manager was unable to meet me for an in-person interview, so he asked to meet another regional manager

    Flown to a third state to meet another Regional Manager (not the hiring manager) for an interview (Morning flight there, evening flight back on Southwest) He asked me to complete a word document test relating to forensic engineering after the interview. Looked liked I had to write a report, I never did it nor did I plan to complete it.

    HR called two days later with verbal offer, even though I never met the hiring manager in person, with the following:

    $80,000 annual salary
    Work from home
    company vehicle
    company phone
    Any hours billed after 36 is straight time
    profit sharing bonus paid in February
    $5k relocation expenses

    Verbal offer rescinded after the following day for not having license in the new state, even though I made it very clear I did not have a PE in this state

    Overall pretty dysfunctional, had a bad feeling from the start. Seems like it could be a good company but my personal experience was HR and managers had no idea what they were doing, but that doesn't mean they are all bad.

    Interview Questions

    • Basic behavioral questions, They'll go over your resume line by line   Answer Question
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DONAN Awards & Accolades

  • Healthiest Employers, Business First Louisville, 2015

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