Breaking News


  • Neel-Schaffer’s Sellers is a big hit

  • Neel-Schaffer announces promotion of Robert Walker

    By Rusty Hampton, Editor
    Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

    March 11, 2014

    Neel-Schaffer is pleased to announce that Robert Walker, PE, a Senior Vice President with the firm, was promoted to regional manager of the newly created Central Region. Walker now oversees the efforts of all Mississippi offices, including subsidiary companies Maptech and SoilTech Consultants.

    “This reorganization will allow our offices in Mississippi to work even more as a team to sell the many diversified services of our company,” said Joey Hudnall, Neel-Schaffer’s Chief Operations Officer.

    Walker joined Neel-Schaffer in 1991 and has held a variety of positions. Most recently, he was the overall manager for the Neel-Schaffer Transportation and Structures departments and managed the subsidiaries. His recent project work includes managing the award-winning, $88 million State Route 9 roadway project in northeast Mississippi. Neel-Schaffer was included in the preconstruction design, right-of-way and utilities relocation, as well as management of the QA oversight phase during the fast-tracked construction.

    He also managed a fast-tracked job involving implementation of Intelligent Transportation Systems on the four Mississippi River Bridges in Mississippi. The project was funded with federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funding.

    “Neel-Schaffer has 16 offices located throughout Mississippi to serve our communities,” Walker said. “SoilTech recently expanded to four regional offices. Maptech provides surveying across the state. Through our new management structure, we will further provide our clients engineering expertise in a cost effective and efficient manner.”

    A 1988 graduate of Mississippi State University, Walker is a licensed Professional Engineer in Mississippi.

  • As SoilTech Consultants continues to grow, people are taking notice

    By Rusty Hampton, Editor
    Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

    March 6, 2014

    Recently, WLBT reporter Brandon Artiles spent a few hours at SoilTech’s main office in Ridgeland (Miss.), producing a segment for WLBT’s popular “Business Matters” feature that airs during the Tuesday 6 p.m. news on the Jackson TV station. He interviewed SoilTech President Michael Volk and several others and shot video of SoilTech employees processing samples in the lab.


    The feature aired on March 4 and can be seen here.


    SoilTech, a subsidiary of Neel-Schaffer, Inc., opened in 2002 and now has four offices in Mississippi. The newest office opened in December in West Point, where SoilTech is working on the Yokohama Tire Company tire plant that is under construction.


    SoilTech has 20 full-time employees and 11 part-time employees.

  • Neel-Schaffer Announces Steve Twedt as Vice President

    By Rusty Hampton, Editor
    Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

    Feb. 26, 2014

    Steve Twedt, PE, has been promoted to Vice President in charge of Neel-Schaffer’s South Mississippi operation.  A native of South Mississippi, Twedt joined Neel-Schaffer in 2010 as area manager and works out of the Biloxi office, coordinating work among the Neel-Schaffer offices in Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Laurel and Pascagoula.  Prior to joining Neel-Schaffer, Twedt worked for 23 years as an engineer with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

    “Steve has been a great addition to our company,” said Hibbett Neel, President of Neel-Schaffer.  “With his engineering expertise, as well as his relationships in the community and throughout the transportation industry, Steve has provided creative solutions for communities throughout South Mississippi.  He has grown our offices in South Mississippi so that our employees can assist our clients further.”

    Twedt’s work includes, state, county and municipal transportation projects throughout South Mississippi, aviation projects at the Gulfport/Biloxi Regional Airport, environmental and civil design, and more.

    “Working at Neel-Schaffer has given me an opportunity to serve my native area,” said Twedt.  “Our team in South Mississippi is creative, innovative and efficient – all keys to providing great engineering projects.”

    Twedt is a graduate of Mississippi State University.  He is a licensed professional engineer in Mississippi and Alabama.

  • Neel-Schaffer Announces Keith Purvis as Vice President

    By Rusty Hampton, Editor
    Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

    Feb. 11, 2014

    Keith Purvis, PE, has been promoted to Vice President of Transportation of Neel-Schaffer. Purvis joined Neel-Schaffer in 2011 after retiring from the Mississippi Department of Transportation as an Assistant Chief Engineer.

    Purvis leads Neel-Schaffer’s transportation department, working out of the firm’s headquarters office in Jackson, providing expertise on projects throughout Mississippi.

    “Keith has been a great addition to our company,” said Hibbett Neel, President of Neel-Schaffer. “With over 25 years engineering expertise and his industry relationships and expertise, Keith has helped Neel-Schaffer continue to implement projects that provide safe and expeditious transportation solutions.”

    His work includes design-build bridge widening projects on I-55 in Pike County and I-20 in Newton County, the US 45 Columbus Bypass, the Mississippi State Port at Gulfport, the statewide Ports Study, and more. “Working at Neel-Schaffer has given me opportunities to work on a variety of projects,” said Purvis. “Our transportation team is creative, innovative and efficient – all keys to provide great transportation projects.”

    Purvis is a graduate of Mississippi State University.  He is a licensed professional engineer in Mississippi and South Carolina.

  • Neel-Schaffer opens new office in Brandon, Miss.

    Derick Milner
    by Clay Chandler
        January 21, 2014

    Engineering and planning firm Neel-Schaffer is opening an office in Brandon, the company said Tuesday.

    Brandon native Derick Milner will manage it.

    “We are excited to be serving the city of Brandon and assisting with their engineering needs out of our new Brandon office,”  Keith O’Keefe, PE, said in a company press release. O’Keefe manages the Central Mississippi offices for Jackson-based Neel-Schaffer.

    read more

  • Yokohama project

    By Rusty Hampton, Editor
    Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

    Nov. 27, 2013

    Neel-Schaffer played big roles in the construction of the Nissan and Toyota manufacturing plants in Mississippi, now our firm is helping build a new plant for one of the largest tire makers in the world.

    Neel-Schaffer is working for the Mississippi Development Authority, providing project management services for the $330 million first phase construction for the Yokohama Rubber Company plant in Clay County, just outside of West Point. Neel-Schaffer has a trailer on-site, and SoilTech is testing nearly every day, reports Kevin Stafford, PE, who works out of the Columbus office and manages Neel-Schaffer’s North Mississippi operations.


  • Bridge to the future

    Harry Sanders, president, Columbus Board of Supervisors;
    Mayor Robert Smith, Columbus; MDOT Commissioner Mike Tagert;
    CCVB Director Nancy Carpenter and CCVB Chairman Dewitt Hicks

    By Rusty Hampton, Editor
    Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

    Nov. 12, 2013

    At one time, Harry Sanders considered the Old Tombigbee River Bridge in Columbus, Miss., an “eyesore” that had seen better days.


    In fact, Sanders, the president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, told The Dispatch of Columbus he thought the bridge should have been torn down. Now the lifelong Columbus resident is glad that didn’t happen.


    Last month, the bridge, which was built in 1927 and closed in 1991, was reopened – and repurposed.   READ MORE

  • Leadership ITE

    By Rusty Hampton, Editor
    Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

    Oct. 24, 2013

    Two Neel-Schaffer engineers will be part of a prestigious program being launched this year by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

    Jonathan Kiser (Jackson, Miss.) and Becky Malenke (Hoover, Ala.) are two of 30 engineers from across North America selected for the inaugural class of LeadershipITE, a nine-month program aimed at developing leadership skills and building professional networks.

    “The program is a strategic opportunity for ITE to fortify our profession with leaders who can confidently lead, communicate and engage with multidimensional stakeholders required to build and maintain vibrant communities of the 21st century,” said Thomas W. Brahms, executive director and CEO for ITE.


  • Chadwick Lake Trail

    By Rusty Hampton, Editor
    Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

    Oct. 24, 2013

  • Clarksdale-Coahoma County Airport

    In last week's letter to the company, Neel-Schaffer President Hibbett Neel wrote:

    "The customer wants us to always look for better ways to do what we do. The customer, naturally, wants us to use our education and experience to find the best solutions, while also being creative and innovative when possible."

    For a prime example of Neel-Schaffer putting this philosophy into practice, check out the project underway in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where Neel-Schaffer has combined with an innovative Air Force Reserve training program to help bring a Delta airport into the 21st century.

    By Rusty Hampton

    Read more

    Check out these videos about the Clarksdale project:  VIDEO 1  |   VIDEO 2


  • Public Involvement

    Neel-Schaffer's Planning Resource Department frequently assists government agencies with planning initiatives. An important part of planning includes providing opportunities for the public to play a role in decision-making processes. However, with today's busy and often hectic lifestyles, getting people to attend public meetings can be a difficult task.

    By Donna Lum

    Read more


  • Neel-Schaffer wheelchair workshop makes front page

    Photo by:  Joe Ellis/The Clarion-Ledger

    By Rusty Hampton

    Yes, that was a Neel-Schaffer engineer pictured on the front page of last Saturday's Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger.

    Mark Sorrell, PE, was among several engineers who took part in a workshop sponsored by Neel-Schaffer in downtown Jackson aimed at teaching engineers the hardships wheelchair users often face in negotiating pedestrian walkways and sideways. The goal is that through this process, engineers will have a better understanding of what an ADA-compliant sidewalk or walkway should look like, how it should function and how it should be built.                        Read more

  • Intern Tyler Catchot helps provide clean water to remote village

    Tyler, a rising senior at MSU, left that day for Tibet, where he and three classmates will help install a water purification and filtration system for a remote village as part of the Tibetan Village Project. Catchot and his MSU teammates helped design the system, competing against teams from three other universities, who will also be in Tibet to complete similar projects...

  • Neel-Schaffer expands its Kentucky office

    Neel-Schaffer, Inc., is pleased to announce the addition of Paula Wahl, PE, to its office in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Wahl has 25-plus years of Transportation Engineering and Urban Planning experience within both private and public sectors, including Jefferson County, the city of Louisville and metro governments.

    Wahl recently retired after serving more than 21 years with the Jefferson County Public Works Department, serving as Engineer Manager during the last 10 years. Additionally, she served as County Engineer during the last two years.

    Wahl is looking forward to helping the firm expand its professional services. “I plan to utilize my transportation and urban planning experience and knowledge to focus on expanding our professional services areas to include more city and county governments, and neighborhood associations and groups,” said Wahl.

    “I am very excited about having Paula join the Neel-Schaffer team in Louisville,” said Karen Mohammadi, Engineer Manager in Neel-Schaffer’s Louisville office. “I know she will be a tremendous asset to our clients in addressing concerns about development and traffic in their communities. She also has a great understanding of the transportation needs in the Louisville Metropolitan area.”

    Wahl received her Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University and is a registered licensed engineer in the state of Kentucky.

  • Veteran Professional Engineer joins Neel-Schaffer in Mobile office

    Neel-Schaffer Inc., is pleased to announce that veteran engineer John Murphy, Jr., PE, has joined the company as a Senior Project Manager and will be based out of the company’s office in Mobile, Ala.

    Murphy brings 40-plus years of experience to the job, including 36 working for Mobile County as the Assistant County Engineer as well as the Deputy Public Works Director. He is a 1969 graduate of Auburn University, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Murphy will be providing senior level oversight on design and construction projects as well as assisting the current staff in continuing client development in his role with the company.

    “We are excited to have Mr. Murphy join our outstanding staff in our Mobile office,” said Chris Sellers, a vice president in the firm who manages the Alabama offices. “His experience and knowledge of the area and the state will be a tremendous asset to our clients. Throughout his career, Mr. Murphy has provided impeccable service and dedication to Mobile and we are excited about his opportunity to continue that service through Neel-Schaffer.”

    During his tenure with Mobile County, Murphy was responsible for the planning, construction and maintenance of 1,400 miles of county public roads and highways and more than 200 bridges. He directed the administration of the county’s Pay-As-You-Go Program during the construction of approximately $20 million per year in various road improvements and other projects.

    In 2011, as a testament to Murphy’s professionalism and service to Mobile County, Mobile mayor Samuel Jones declared April 26 as “John E. Murphy Jr. Day” in the port city in southern Alabama.

    “I appreciate the opportunity that Neel-Schaffer has given me, and look forward to meeting and working with the other personnel already making this company such a success over the past 30 years,” said Murphy. “I plan to use the knowledge and experience that I have gained in my 42-year career as a professional engineer serving the Mobile area and the state of Alabama to assist the professional engineers in this office with their relationships with local government agencies. I hope to also assist them in developing good relationships with some clients in the private development sector.”

  • Re-election of Smithville mayor signals growth for tornado-ravaged town

    by Ted Carter –– 06/14/2013

    Published by: Mississippi Business Journal

    SMITHVILLE — The question of whether this tiny community ravaged two years ago by a killer tornado is ready for land-use controls and an annexation strategy received an affirmative answer from voters last Tuesday.

    read more

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