When they founded the company in the wake of the Second World War, it was not a goal in itself to grow into an international company. It was, in the words of B. J. Rambøll, "completely by chance that Hannemann and I – one morning at Professor Anker Engelund's engineering design office where we both worked occasionally – said to each other. ´What if we set up a little firm of our own?´ In his speech at the company's 25th jubilee celebration, B. J. Rambøll was even more specific and directly addressed his old partner: "I had just visited the university in the city centre (DTU). Hannemann and I had for some reason gone up to the flat roof – probably to look out over the liberated city of Copenhagen. I don't know if you remember, Johan, that we stood there on the roof and talked about the firm we wanted to establish."
Strength in unity
In time, it showed that the two engineers were a perfect match. J. G. Hannemann was the highly talented engineer, who was able to dissect any structure within seconds. His passion for engineering showed clearly when he worked on a daily basis at the office. Hannemann was notorious for drawing on top of the employees’ draughts with a fat, soft pencil whenever he explained or discussed something with them. To avoid having to redo the drawings every time he dropped by, the standard procedure became to cover the drawings with a piece of sketch paper when he walked in. On the other hand, B. J. Rambøll represented a strong humanistic and social visionary aspect, and was very aware of the company's role in the development of society.
"You needn't think we had such grand visions. We never imagined that we would be sitting in such a large circle as we are today. We almost didn't call it a firm, we just talked about how it might be fun to try to do a little design work on our own. While world history was evolving around us, a little local history of our company began to emerge," B. J. Rambøll has explained about the initial ambitions in connection with Ramboll's 60 year anniversary.