In 2005, Zak Nakhoda and Rick Nelson left their prior company, Thornton Tomasetti, to form separate new companies. Zak formed The Structural Alliance, Inc., and Rick formed Nelson Jones. In the early years, they shared office space and focused on their respective specialties.
Zak’s company primarily focused on structural design for new construction and remodeling of existing structures. Zak’s company was quickly awarded large, complex projects similar to those he had previously designed while at Ellisor and Tanner and Thornton Tomasetti. Some notable projects included Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, multiple buildings at KU Medical Center campus, and the Irving Music Factory. More recently, Zak’s company completed work on Atelier Tower, a 41-story apartment building located in Dallas.
Rick’s company primarily focused on forensic structural engineering, including expert witness work and repair design. Rick’s company completed numerous investigations related to hurricane damage, starting with Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, then on to Hurricane Ike in Houston, and more recently with Hurricane Ida. Rick’s company has also served as an expert witness on numerous construction defect cases covering many structural materials, including wood, concrete, steel, and masonry buildings.
In 2021, Zak and Rick merged the two companies into one combined company under the TSA name. The new company retains the broad range of specialties, and is better able to manage larger projects and serve its client's needs as one combined company.