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Dungan Engineering turns to tech to stay on cutting edge

In order to continue to grow, Columbia-based Dungan Engineering works to provide quality services to its clients, while constantly pursuing new technology that enables the company to remain on the cutting edge of its industry.

One way the firm is doing that is using geospatial technology including GIS (global information systems) for mapping work done in the six counties where the company works as county engineer. Dungan Engineering works with counties, municipalities and other governmental entities to help them with smart growth through the use of geospatial technology.

The company has three primarily geospatial focus areas. First is addressing homeland security through the development of the “Regional E-911 Call Center.” Second is modernization of county tax mapping procedures for improved community planning and cross-governmental data sharing. And third is rural utility consolidation to improve water quality and wastewater treatment.

“We do a lot of 911 mapping for counties that we do work for in South Mississippi,” says Ryan Holmes, engineering manager for the Brookhaven office for Dungan Engineering, which is a Mississippi Fast 40 company. “In the past, we have created smart maps for counties, and we use the maps to put addresses on for people’s houses that allow emergency responders, whether fire or ambulances, to locate people’s homes or residences. Say an emergency comes in from a phone number. The dispatcher will know where that is and who lives there. The information is used to save people’s lives and protect property.”

Holmes says GIS is also used for conceptual drawings of sewer systems. And it is also used for disaster emergency planning. For example, GIS has been used to draw up emergency plans for evacuations of downstream areas in the event of a levee break at a large lake.

Many towns have older water and sewer systems. When planning upgrades, GIS can be a beneficial planning tool.

“The benefit with GIS is you can use it to incorporate a lot of different layers of information in one data base,” Holmes says. “It helps with right-of-way acquisition and things like that. You can pull out a lot of that information in a GIS database.”

Some of the firms employees like Holmes learned how to use GIS in college. In addition, the firm also sends employees to get trainings and certifications in GIS.

Jeff Dungan, PE, PLS, secretary/treasurer of Dungan Engineering, says the company’s mission is to keeping Mississippi moving ahead by improving the community’s quality of life through excellence in engineering.

“We want to be recognized as a single-source provider of choice by our clients for civil engineering, geotechnical, land surveying and mapping services and to be recognized as an employer of choice by our industry for a rewarding work environment for our employees,” Dungan says. “The staff required to provide these services must be uniquely qualified. For the first few years, a few people had to wear many hats. We now have an incredibly talented and experienced staff that constantly seeks new ways to improve the services that we provide.”

Dungan says the company has succeeded by making sure clients come first.

Dungan and his brother, H. Les Dungan, PE, PLS, founded Dungan Engineering in 1993 after graduating from Mississippi State University (MSU) where they both earned degrees in civil engineering. James Lee Mock, PE, PLS, joined the firm in 1994 and currently serves as its vice president. Mock earned a degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi and a degree in civil engineering from MSU. Brooks Wallace, PE, joined the firm in 2002 and serves as vice president and engineering manager in the Picayune office.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Becky Gillette at 4becky@cox.net.


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