With a vision of the future, a small consulting firm opened its doors in 1935. The firm’s founders — Mason Graves Lockwood, a 1927 graduate of Rice Institute with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and William McIntosh Andrews, a 1931 graduate of Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering — were two young engineers with a dream. This was during the Great Depression and a difficult time to start and establish a new business. They realized they needed assistance to get started.

Through the course of their work, they had met Jack Burrus, President of Burrus Mills, Inc. He was impressed by their ability and determination and agreed to provide them a yearly retainer to enable them to begin. So, along with J.R. Dowdell, a mechanical engineer, they formed the new firm of Dowdell, Lockwood & Andrews. Offices were opened in the Esperson Building in downtown Houston.

Mr. Burrus had widespread grain storage and grain operations interests in Texas and neighboring states. His first two jobs for the new team were the design and construction of new grain elevators in Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas. This relationship continued until Burrus Mills was sold and Mr. Burrus retired in 1966.