Last updated
Industry Consulting
Founded1930;90 years ago (1930)
FounderChristen Ostenfeld
Key people
Lars-Peter Søbye (CEO)
Services Engineering, environmental science and economics
Revenue 887 million (2019) [1]
€ 23 million (2019) [1]
€ 13 million (2019) [1]
Total assets € 513 million (2019) [1]
Total equity € 178 million (2019) [1]
OwnerCOWIfonden (the COWIfoundation) (85%) [2] Present and Former Employees (15%) [2]
Number of employees
7,300 (2019) [3]
Subsidiaries Flint & Neill

COWI A/S is an international consulting group, specialising in engineering, environmental science and economics, with headquarters in Lyngby, Denmark.


It has been involved in more than 50,000 projects in 175 countries and has approximately 7,300 employees, including engineers, biologists, geologists, economists, surveyors, anthropologists, sociologists and architects. [4]


COWI was founded in 1930 by civil engineer Christen Ostenfeld. [5] Wriborg W. Jønson became a partner 16 years later. From 1946 to 1973, the company operated as a partnership under the name of Chr. Ostenfeld & W. Jønson. The initials of the two senior partners lent the company its name.

In 1973, the company became foundation-owned enterprise and was renamed COWIconsult, Consulting Engineers and Planners AS. In 1995, the company changed its name to COWI Consulting Engineers and Planners AS, eventually becoming COWI A/S in 2001.

In 2008 the firm bought Flint & Neill, a UK civil and structural engineering consultancy specialising in bridges.

In November 2014, the firm acquired Donaldson Associates Ltd, a UK base tunneling specialist company. At the time of acquisition, Donaldson Associates Ltd had 150 staff, operating from 5 UK offices and one international office in Hong Kong.

In November 2018, the firm acquired Arkitema Architects, a danish architecture firm. At the time of acquisition, Arkitema Architects has 550 staff, operating from 5 offices in the nordics. Arkitema Architects is the largest acquisition of COWI to date.


COWI Holding A/S is an unlisted Danish public limited liability company jointly owned by the COWIfonden (the COWIfoundation) holding 85% of shares with the remaining 15% of company shares held by current and former employees from eight countries where COWI operates. The company regards employee shareholders as co-owners. The current company structure was adapted in 2010. [2]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Annual Reports and Key Figures". COWI. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  2. 1 2 3 "About COWI Ownership". COWI. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  3. "Meet our employees". COWI. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
  4. "Facts and figures - the quick version". COWI. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  5. "1930 - 1940: A nightclub – the first step towards an international company". COWI. Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2009-02-03.