Thompson Engineering Project Wins Environmental Stewardship Award

A Thompson Engineering project that manages storm water runoff with an environmentally-progressive approach is the recipient of an Environmental Stewardship Award from the Partners for Environmental Progress, a group that promotes business growth while preserving the environment.

Thompson’s Step Pool Storm Conveyance system manages storm water, solved erosion problems and restored a stream in Spanish Fort, Alabama. The project site, a stream in Joe’s Branch, flows into D’Olive Bay and eventually Mobile Bay. Before the step pool system was designed and implemented, erosion was threatening to impact motorists on adjacent Highway 31 and residential structures of nearby Westminster Village.

Thompson led the design and construction of the system, which is the first-of-its-kind in Alabama. The Step Pool Storm Conveyance system is an aesthetically-pleasing network of riffles and pools that retains and filters storm water during lower flow events, and dissipates energy during higher flow events. The project also included the restoration of wetlands downstream of the eroded area. 

To learn more about Thompson’s environmental services, click here.


Before - Headcut at Joe's Branch                                  After - Step Pool Storm Conveyance system


Before - Wetlands                                                       After - Wetland Restoration

Posted on 05/04 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Inducted into Engineering Hall of Fame

Thompson Engineering was recently inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals and corporations that have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the advancement of engineering and technology, and serve as symbols inspiring others to pursue rewarding and challenging careers in all engineering fields. Thompson's impact can be seen across the Southeast, from Tennessee where Thompson helped restore the historic Henley Bridge, to Mobile Bay, where a first-of-a-kind project is solving major erosion problems. Thompson Engineering’s work is on display in projects for Airbus, Austal, Mobile County Public Schools, Alabama State Port Authority, The Nature Conservancy and Departments of Transportation in Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Thompson Engineering was formed in 1953 and quickly became known for its geotechnical expertise. That history still shapes the company today, but Thompson’s legacy now also includes economic development contributions, sustainable design for industrial and commercial development, environmental stewardship and coastal conservation and recovery projects. 

Posted on 04/29 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Taps New Manager for Tennessee Operations

Thompson Engineering, a firm celebrating 60 years in business in 2013, has selected Harry Hawkins as manager of its Tennessee operations. Hawkins most recently was the manager of Technical Training at Chattanooga State Community College. Thompson Engineering is headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, and has offices in seven states. 

“Harry brings more than 25 years of experience in the civil engineering and construction fields to our company,” said Mike Manning, Senior Vice-President, Business Development. “Harry is also very involved in the community, a value that Thompson Engineering supports in every one of its employees.”
Hawkins, who began his new post mid-September, led several successes at Chattanooga State, including increasing enrollment in engineering and science youth programs and working with local companies to jumpstart the school’s Heavy Equipment Operators program. “As a Tennessee resident, I’m excited to be a part of a strong firm with the integrity of Thompson Engineering,” said Hawkins. “Thompson is well-positioned for growth across the state of Tennessee and I am eager to lead that charge.” Previously, Hawkins was President and CEO of DMS, Inc., a construction management business in Georgia.

Thompson Engineering is involved in several major Tennessee projects including the Volkswagen Academy and Alstom Plant in Chattanooga and the Henley Bridge in Knoxville. Thompson was named the 2012 Tennessee Outstanding Employer of the Year by the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. 

Posted on 09/26 • Permalink

Thompson Awards Exemplary Employees, Projects

Thompson Engineering is guided by core values that signify the company’s commitment to employees, clients and the community. Each year at the Annual Meeting, employees and projects are recognized for their commitment to company core values: Quality, Teamwork, Integrity, Responsiveness, Empowerment, Leadership and Safety.

The honorees of this year’s Core Value Awards are:

  • Impact Player Award: Ellis Pope
  • Responsiveness Award: Melissa Montgomery
  • Quality Award: Blake Betbeze
  • Empowerment Award: Chris Dugger
  • Paul Klotz Community Service Award: Wade Burcham
  • Integrity Award: Jake Gibbs
  • Leadership Award: Randy Brown
  • Teamwork Award: Renie Baya
  • Safety Award: Gerald Smith


Thompson also recognizes outstanding projects. This year’s project winners are:

Ooltewah Elementary School
Thompson Engineering has worked with the Hamilton County Department of Education from the onset of the Ooltewah Elementary School project, performing a boundary survey, environmental assessment and geotechnical work later used by the design team in developing the site plan. Thompson worked directly with the design team to complete a fast-track design, providing services from a topographic survey to construction materials testing and inspections for the building construction. The 135,000-square-foot new school is a single-story building with a central core and four wings. Ooltewah welcomes students to the new facility at the start of the 2013 school year.

Project Team:
Project Manager: Ric Gibbs
Project team: Roger Riemer, Jeff Dawson, Chris Turley, Phillip Mabry, Ric Gibbs, Chris Gillentine, Ron Wilkerson, Caleb Hammontree, Mack McCarley



Camp McCain Water System
The design of a potable water well, tank and connecting lines at Camp McCain was a fast-track design project. There were only four weeks between the issuance of the notice to proceed and the time plans were due back for a final client review. Thompson's team is recognized for working seamlessly and quickly to complete the design and prepare the project for the start of construction.

Project Team:
Project Manager: Tim Bryan
Team Members: Charles Williford, Dave Upton, Derrick Jones, Jim Payne, Michael Waters








FEMA Faith Wing Renovation
Thompson Engineering and its sister company, Watermark Design, worked together to design the renovation of a two-and-a-half-story, 37,500-square-feet building known as Faith Wing, a training center for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The design includes numerous conference rooms, classrooms and an auditorium used for interactive instruction and virtual simulations, as well as appropriate interior finishes and furnishings and a substantial amount of audio visual and information technology systems. The project was guided by LEED and sustainable principles to provide an energy efficient facility and to minimize environmental impact.

Project Team:
Project Manager: Ellis Pope
Team Members: Ben Busby, Bruce Steiner, David Barreiro, Frank Leatherwood, Johnny Holley, Sam Sternberg, Stan White, Bryce Moore, Joey Bass, Logan Griffin, Gerald Smith, Mike Webb, Jim Clarke, Jennifer Givens, Claudia Hymel, Michael Britton, Owen McDonald

Posted on 08/12 • Permalink

Thompson Selected for Design and Engineering Work for Airbus

Thompson Engineering has been selected to provide engineering services for Package D of the Airbus Final Assembly Line project at Brookley Aeroplex. This work will involve design for the utilities, parking lots, airfield pavements, security, electrical, communications, infrastructure, and landscaping. The infrastructure includes taxiways, aprons, traffic and logistics areas, and green areas. "Thompson Engineering is extremely pleased to have been selected to provide engineering design and construction administration services on the Airbus project,” said John Baker, President of Thompson Engineering. “As a firm headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, we understand the significance of this project for the Gulf Coast community and the positive, generational effect it will have throughout the region.”

Package D is one of many that Thompson Engineering is involved in at Brookley for Airbus. Thompson will assist Honeywell with work on the Airbus Central Utility Plant (CUP), providing civil, structural, geotechnical and survey services. The CUP will produce and distribute all the utilities required across the site. Thompson Engineering  is also providing Construction Material Testing / Quality Assurance services for the Final Assembly Line (FAL) Building Steel and Erection package. This work involves welding inspection, bolt torque testing of a representative sample of structural connections, along with installation inspection and water tightness testing of the roofing systems, wall panels, and glazing systems. Finally, Thompson and sister-company Watermark Design Group are working together on the new Airbus assembly plant, a multi-story training center for the Alabama Industrial Development Training program (AIDT). Thompson is providing engineering design, survey, construction inspection and other required services.

Posted on 08/01 • Permalink

Thompson Fishing Rodeo Raises $10,500 for Thompson Foundation

Sunshine and fish were plenty at the 11th Annual Thompson Fishing Rodeo. More than 190 people registered for this year's rodeo and fished the waters off of Dauphin Island competing for Master and Lady Angler titles. More than 28 prizes were awarded, with the Master Angler title going to Angler Rob Hurt from north Alabama. The Lady Angler title was earned by Theresa Manning, who flew in from Australia for the festivities. 

In addition to fishing and family-friendly fun, the rodeo raised $10,500 (a record amount) for the Thompson Foundation, the charitable arm of Thompson Engineering. We extend a big thank you to our sponsors and volunteers for making this event a successful fundraiser! 

2013 Fishing Rodeo Sponsors

Captain Sponsors

  • Brasfield & Gorrie
  • Capitol Resources
  • Rob’t J. Baggett

First Mate Sponsors

  • Brand Energy Solutions
  • Commodore Partners
  • Enterprise Fleet Management
  • Henry & Kate Seawell
  • Orion Marine Group
  • Raymond James    
  • Regions
  • Royal Engineering
  • Test America

Deckhand Sponsors

  • Sonny Callahan & Associates
  • BancorpSouth Insurance Services
  • Burns & McDonnell Engineering
  • Hand Arendall
  • McDowell Knight Roedder & Sledge
  • Micro-Fab
  • Occupational Health Center
  • Personnel Management Inc. 
  • Rogers & Willard 
  • Safe Archives
  • Southern Link Wireless
  • The Raven’s Nook
Posted on 06/18 • Permalink

2013 Funky Monkey 5K Raises $11,000 for Thompson Foundation

The 2013 Funky Monkey 5K & Fun Run raised $11,000 for the Thompson Foundation. More than 530 participants ran or walked the 5K and Fun Run courses on the University of South Alabama campus on March 9. Everyone celebrated with a taste of “Mobile’s Biggest Banana Split,” race awards and the announcing of the 2013 Charity Challenge winner. “The Thompson Foundation is proud to award a $1,000 grant as a symbol of our mission throughout the year, which is to improve the quality of life in the communities served by the Thompson companies,” said Thompson Foundation Chairman Chad Brown. This 2013 Charity Challenge winner is the Kyser Miree Memorial Scholarship.

Thompson Engineering, the Thompson Foundation and the Funky Monkey race committee would like to thank all of its sponsors and volunteers for help making this event a success!

Posted on 04/10 • Permalink

Thompson Employee Named Group’s Safety Leader of 2012

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Alabama, Mobile Section named Thompson Engineering Health and Safety Consultant Jackie Wallace its Safety Leader of 2012. Thompson Engineering also earned an AGC Safety Excellence Award, as well as an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Alabama Gold Award for work in 2012. Both groups recognize exemplary safety performance and a commitment to jobsite safety.

Wallace, an employee of Thompson Engineering for the past six years, conducts safety training and audits at multiple job sites across the state. Her expertise was particularly important in disaster recovery work following the spring 2012 tornadoes in North Alabama. “Jackie had the difficult task of training a large number of temporary employees in a very short period of time,” said John Baker, President of Thompson Engineering. “Many had never received safety training before, and were working in rugged terrain and around downed trees. Comprehensive safety training was critical and Jackie delivered that.” Thompson Engineering Safety Director Alex Napier added, “Jackie is a natural at coaching, and that, combined with her genuine care for Thompson employees, makes her an example to follow in the safety field.” Thompson requires monthly safety training for all employees, a program Wallace revamped and now leads.

The AGC Mobile Safety Excellence Award honors Thompson Engineering for Engineering and Construction work in the over 650,000 hours category, and is kudos for the company’s thorough safety policies and procedures encompassing topics from new hire training to continuing education. The award also reflects Thompson’s declining EMR rating, which is determined by insurance companies based on a company’s safety history.  Thompson’s second company award, the ABC Alabama Gold Award, will be presented at that organization’s “Safest in the Industry Day” honoring Alabama businesses.

For more information on Thompson Engineering’s safety culture, please contact Alex Napier at 251-666-2443.

Posted on 03/25 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Earns State Engineering Award for Austal Project

Austal Cove ReclamationThompson Engineering has been named an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Alabama award winner for its work at Austal USA, an international shipbuilding company located along the Mobile River. ACEC-Alabama named Thompson Engineering its second-place award winner for its lead role in the design of the Austal Cove Reclamation project, which created valuable land area so that Austal could increase its shipbuilding capabilities.

“Several aspects made this a technically challenging project,” said Henry R. Seawell, III, Thompson Engineering’s Project Executive. “First, we created land mass out of an open water area, and second, did so in tight confines without disrupting Austal’s ongoing operations. But most significant was our protection of the historic Bankhead Tunnel, which runs under the project area.” The Bankhead, an important transportation corridor for thousands of daily drivers, is easily affected by vibration and earth movement. Thompson Engineering’s design and implementation techniques respected its sensitivity. “Basically, we bridged the tunnel with an innovative wall system embedded 100 feet below the surface, and made it strong enough to allow for heavy shipyard operations overhead,” said Thompson Engineering project manager Keith Howell.

Thompson Engineering and Austal’s partnership on the cove reclamation provides benefits to the Mobile and military communities. The new land area allowed Austal to increase its shipbuilding capabilities, thereby creating new jobs in the Mobile area. It also allowed Austal to fulfill the needs of the U.S. Navy. Austal is under contract to build nine Joint High Speed Vessels and five Littoral Combat Ships, and future awards are pending for more of the all-aluminum high speed vessels.

“This project posed the most challenging engineering design issue encountered thus far at Austal’s Mobile shipyard,” said William Pfister, Vice President Facility Development at Austal. “Thompson Engineering developed a cost-effective and safe solution, and I believe the project is a success because of the focus and direction of Thompson’s leadership and the attention to detail.”

Thompson Engineering has been integral in several other Austal projects, including the design of several manufacturing and assembly facilities, the Northern Shipyard Expansion and other projects. 

Posted on 02/22 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Inspector is Tennessee Technician of the Year

Thompson Engineering project inspector Caleb Hammontree has been named the 2013 Carlisle Jordan Technician of the Year. The award, named after the World War II veteran, long-time Delta Airlines employee and Tennessee philanthropist, is awarded to a technician who has made notable contributions to his or her profession and community.

“Caleb is a talented and committed young professional with a unique ability to manage processes and work effectively with our clients,” said Mack McCarley, manager for Thompson Engineering’s Tennessee operations. Hammontree was chosen for his considerable professional achievements on various projects across Tennessee in 2012 including his work as:
• Onsite Construction Manager for the Bradley County Fire Halls
• Onsite Assistant Project Manager, Construction Management Team for the Volkswagen Training Academy;
• Inspector and Onsite Owner’s Representative for the City of Chattanooga for the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway;
• and Inspector  on the TDOT 1-24 Bridge Deck Repair and Resurfacing. 

The Technician of the Year award was presented during the 2013 Chattanooga Engineers Week Awards Banquet and is sponsored by more than ten professional engineering organizations. They include the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, Chattanooga State and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

This is the second year that a Thompson Engineering inspector has won the award. Construction Inspector Ralph Lockhart earned the honor in 2011.

Posted on 02/22 • Permalink
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