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Dual Licensee Spotlight

The Board of Licensure would like to shine a spotlight on some of the talented dual licensed professionals who practice in the State of Mississippi.  Licensees featured on this page are selected randomly.

November 2021 Dual Licensee Spotlight: Jordan Bledsoe, P.E., P.S.

Jordan Bledsoe, P.E., P.S.

The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors would like to shine a spotlight on dual licensee Jordan Bledsoe, P.E. , P.S..  Mr. Bledsoe is a 2004 graduate of Mississippi State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.  We like his path to engineering because it highlights how seeing and hearing from engineers and surveyors can introduce others to the profession.    

Learn more about Mr. Bledsoe and why professional licensure is important to him below.  He also shared some great quotes with us.

Q1. Why did you choose engineering or who inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

One of my high school teachers had an alumni, that worked for NASA, talk to us about engineering.  He said “if you are good in math and science, engineering is for you”.  I thought to myself, hey I’m good in those.  The rest is history.

Q2. What would you say to young people, who might be interested in STEM careers such as engineering or surveying?

Find a local engineering or surveying firms and ask to shadow an engineer/surveyor for a day/week.  Inquire about working during the summer. 

Q3. What state(s) are you licensed in and what certifications do you have?

​​​​​​​I was licensed in Mississippi as both a PE and PLS in 2011.  I am also licensed as a PE in the states of Arkansas (2012), and Tennessee (2009) and I'm licensed as a PLS in the state of Tennessee (2012).

Q4. What is your favorite quote?  I have several.

  • God put you on this Earth to do more than draw a paycheck and draw breath. – Kevin Ezell
  • A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  • You can’t pay someone enough to care. 
  • Comparison is the thief of joy. – Teddy Roosevelt
  • If it wasn’t for lawyers, you wouldn’t need any.

Q5.  Tell us about a recent project you worked on that exemplifies why you love being an engineer and / or surveyor.

​​​​​​​I work for the Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as our Work for Others Technical Manager.  We are currently supporting a portion of the Coastal Storm Risk Management Program: Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay in Port Arthur, Texas.  The objective is to reduce the risks to life safety and damages from coastal flooding caused by tropical storms and hurricanes.  The project includes: levee raises, levee extensions, floodwalls and closure gates.

We have also provided reachback engineering services to support the forward deployed warfighter.  Projects have included: training facilities, power generation, force protection, roadways, utilities, housing, airfield paving, hangars and submittal reviews. 

Whether it’s reducing the risk of storm surge, reducing risk of riverine flooding or supporting the warfighter, I love the fact we are taking care of people.

Q6. Why is professional licensure important to you?

Professional licensure protects the health, safety and welfare of the general public in part by holding those licensed to a higher ethical standard.  Licensure requires a combination of education and experience as well as professional references.



June 2021 Dual Licensee Spotlight: William (Billy) Francis Waits, P.E., P.S.

William Francis Waits, P.E., P.S.

The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors would like to shine a spotlight on dual licensee William (Billy) Francis Waits.  Billy is a graduate of Mississippi State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and he works currently as a Development Director with Forestar (USA) Real Estate Group, Inc. in Tennessee.  Billy's words regarding co-oping (cooperative education) really resonated with us as this is great opportunity to gain exposure and experience in your degree / career field.  We highly recommend cooperative education or job shadowing or volunteering with engineering and /or surveying firm as a great way to learn about the field of engineering.      

Learn more about Billy and why professional licensure is important to him below:

Q1. Why did you choose engineering or surveying?

I was always fascinated with heavy construction. I didn’t know that I really liked surveying too, until I began working in a consulting firm and realized how much surveying  and engineering were interwoven.

 Q2. How long have you been licensed in the State of Mississippi and do you also hold other state licenses?

I have been licensed as a PE and PLS in Mississippi since 1994. I also maintain a PE license in Tennessee.

Q3. What advice would you give to your younger self (HS grad, college grad, etc)?

I wish that I would have Co-Op’d during college. I think this is an invaluable opportunity to be exposed to the construction industry at an early stage of academia. I would highly recommend this or similar job opportunities during the summers.

Q4. What would you say to young people, who might be interested in STEM careers such as engineering or surveying?

Concentrate on the math, and especially science classes throughout your school years, and job shadow as much as possible.

Q5.  Tell us about a recent project you worked on that exemplifies why you love being an engineer and / or surveyor.

As an engineer in the Land Development industry, it is always gratifying to see subdivision roads advancing through the asphalting stage. This is a major milestone to the project, and one worth celebrating each time. This is especially important in Tennessee where the yearly paving window is shortened, because of the cold winter climate.

Q6. Why is professional licensure important to you?

Because it establishes credibility, as a trusted resource in the engineering and surveying fields, as problems and solutions are discussed.




April 2021 Dual Licensee Spotlight: Marcus Hooker, Jr., P.E., P.S.

Marcus Hooker, Jr., P.E., P.S.

The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors would like to shine a spotlight on dual licensee Marcus Hooker, Jr..   Marcus is a graduate of Mississippi State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.  He has been licensed in the State of Mississippi for more than 20 years having been licensed as a PE in 2002 and as a PS in 1999.  He works with Hooker Engineering in Greenville, Mississippi.   

Learn more about Marcus and why professional licensure is important to him below:

Q1.  Why did you choose engineering and/or surveying?

I began working on a survey crew when my father purchased his engineering and survey business in 1985. Every break from school, I had the opportunity work in different areas of the business.  Also, in high school, I really preferred math and science courses, so majoring in engineering in college just seemed like a great fit.

Q2.  How long have you been licensed in the State of Mississippi and do you also hold other state licenses? 

I was licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in January of 1999 and as a Professional Engineer in January 2002.  I am also a dual licensee in Arkansas, since May 2002.

Q3.  What advice would you give to your younger self (HS grad, college grad, etc)?

When you get to choose electives, select business and accounting classes and other courses that will give you a bigger picture view.   Extend your college education as far as possible and realize that learning is just beginning when you graduate from college.

Q4.  What would you say to young people, who might be interested in STEM careers such as engineering or surveying?

Take all of the STEM classes available to you. You can never have too many math and science courses, they will all serve you well, regardless of your future plans.  There are a lot of rewarding opportunities in the Engineering and Surveying fields, just find what you are most interested in pursuing and you can have a fulfilling career.

Q5. Tell us about a recent project you worked on that exemplifies why you love being an engineer and / or surveyor. 

I recently began working on a new roadway project.  The project involves many aspects of boundary and topographic surveying and roadway, utility, geotechnical and construction engineering.  These types of projects touch on many of the classes that I took in college and cover a broad scope of services. In this project, we will take an empty field and create a new corridor that will enhance the transportation system in our community.

Q6.  Why is professional licensure important to you? 

Licensure establishes a high standard for individuals offering Engineering and Surveying services. If that individual is practicing in accordance with the Code of Professional Conduct, one should know that the licensee is working with a primary obligation to protect the safety, health and welfare of the public by only performing work they are competent to undertake.




March 2021 Dual Licensee Spotlight: Matthew Warren Miller, P.E., P.S.

Matthew Warren Miller

The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors would like to shine a spotlight on dual licensee Matthew Warren Miller.  Matthew is a graduate of Mississippi State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.  He has been licensed in the State of Mississippi since 2007 as a PE and 2011 as a PS.  He currently serves as a Vice President with Benchmark Engineering & Surveying, LLC. 

Learn more about Matthew and why professional licensure is important to him below:

Q1.  Why did you choose engineering and/or surveying?

As a child I always liked building things and working in the construction industry.  As I grew, I saw engineering school as a way to learn more about these areas of life, while providing me the option to enter either into a field of construction or design engineering.  Surveying became much more of an interest of mine as I worked in the construction field and assisted with the technical layout of projects.

Q2.  How long have you been licensed in the State of Mississippi and do you also hold other state licenses? 

I have been licensed in Mississippi for 14 years and currently do not hold licenses in any other states.

Q3.  What advice would you give to your younger self (HS grad, college grad, etc)?

Take the time to truly visit with my elders and learn all that I can from them.  Slow down, enjoy life, and don’t be in such of a hurry at times.

Q4.  What would you say to young people, who might be interested in STEM careers such as engineering or surveying?

STEM careers such as these can offer you multiple options for final career choices once you've finished with school, and can be extremely satisfying careers.  While sometimes the process may seem difficult, continue working hard and following your dream.  Always remember, there is no substitution for hard work.

Q5. Tell us about a recent project you worked on that exemplifies why you love being an engineer and / or surveyor. 

While I have worked on many interesting projects over the past several years, some of the most rewarding aspects of my work has been working with municipalities in improving their standards and requirements for construction within their city and/or county limits.  It all seems to come together, all of the hard work and sacrifice over the years, when you are able to combine the knowledge that has been acquired, with the lessons learned to assist a client in developing ways to ensure that future work will continue to improve and become better for the safety, and welfare of the general public.

Q6.  Why is professional licensure important to you? 

Professional licensure is important as a whole as it helps set the standard for what we are held to each and every day.  We have the opportunity as engineers and surveyors to impact many lives, both professionally, morally and ethically, and licensure is one way to protect these invaluable aspects of engineering and surveying.  It truly is one of the highest honors as an engineer and/or surveyor to have the P.E. or P.L.S. behind your name, and licensure helps protect this honor as well.




January 2021 Dual Licensee Spotlight: William Ray Balentine, P.E., P.S.

William Ray Balentine, P.E., P.S.

The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors would like to shine a spotlight on dual licensee William Ray Balentine.  Ray received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State University and currently serves as a Vice President with Michael Baker International in their Ridgeland, MS office. Ray demonstrates a true commitment to professional licensure having been been licensed in the State of Mississippi for more than 30 years.  We are both impressed and humbled by his dedication to not only the engineering and surveying professions but also to ensuring the safety and well being of Mississippians.

Learn more about Ray below:

Q1.  Why did you choose engineering and/or surveying?

My father was a bridge builder and I grew up around the construction industry.  His work generated my interest in engineering and he always encouraged me as I pursued it for a career.

Q2.  How long have you been licensed in the State of Mississippi and do you also hold other state licenses? 

I was licensed in Mississippi as a PE in 1982 and as a PLS in 1984.  I am also licensed in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

Q3.  What advice would you give to your younger self (HS grad, college grad, etc)?

Great question.  I think that I would tell my younger self, as I now tell new employees, to find what you are passionate about.  Your career should be about something that you can find joy and fulfillment from doing every day.  I have been blessed to do that in my career, but it would have been nice to know I was on the right track as a young guy!

Q4.  What would you say to young people, who might be interested in STEM careers such as engineering or surveying?

There are great opportunities in both engineering and surveying.  I always stress the importance of pursuing your license in these fields.  It not only enhances our professions, it just generates so much more opportunities as individuals.  Our profession has so many possibilities that you can find a spot that you love and feel like you are contributing something significant.

Q5.  Why is professional licensure important to you? 

For our profession, licensure is critical.  As a profession, engineers and surveyors impact the quality of life for society.  While there are some areas you can work without a license, your opportunities are incredibly greater when you have it.  It not only provides a sense of accomplishment, it just commands a great level of respect from the general public.




December 2020 Dual Licensee Spotlight: Jeffery W. Williams, P.E., P.S.

Jeffery W. Williams, P.E., P.S.

The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors would like to shine a light on dual licensee Jeffery W. Williams.  Williams attended both Northwest Mississippi Community College and the University of Mississippi where he received an Associates Degree and Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, respectively,  He owns Williams Engineering Consultants, Inc. located in Oxford, Mississippi.  

More of our conversation with Jeffery is provided below:

Q1. Why did you choose engineering or surveying?

"I love building things.  I started work for an Engineering Firm between my sophomore and Junior years of High School.  I knew that's what I wanted to do."

Q2. How long have you been licensed in the State of Mississippi and do you also hold other state licenses?

"I received my Professional Engineer license in Mississippi 1995 and Professional Surveyor license in 2001,  I am also licensed as a Professional Engineer in the States of Tennessee (2008) and Alabama (2001).  

Q3. What advice would you give to your younger self (HS grad, college grad, etc)?

"Always maintain confidence in your choices.  Understand that a career is more than making money; it's something you should look forward to doing on a daily basis.

Q4. What would you say to young people, who might be interested in STEM careers such as engineering or surveying?

"I have spoken to a lot of young people about career choices.  I always ask what their motives are for choosing one or both of these careers.  I always end with "if you wake up in the morning and dread going to work, you have chosen the wrong path".  Be happy and you will be prosperous; mentally and monetarily."

 Q5. Why is professional licensure important to you?

"Professional Licensure is a privilege that one earns by grinding out the education and experience one much complete.  Being a Licensed Professional sets you apart and gives confidence to those looking for services you may offer.  It is also a since of accomplishment of all of the blood sweat and tears you have endured."




October 2020 Dual Licensee Spotlight: Chris Nail, P.E., P.S.

Chris Nail, P.E., P.S.

The Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors would like to shine a light on dual licensee Chris Nail.  Chris has both a professional engineer and a professional surveyor license.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State University in 1996 and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Kansas State University in 2009.

We are doubly impressed with Chris and are thrilled that he is our first dual licensee recognition.  Read on for more of our conversation with Chris below:

Q1. Why did you choose engineering or surveying?

"I chose civil engineering because I enjoy designing and building various things, and I also enjoy being outside.  The first 20 years of my career was spent in the MDOT Newton Project Office as the CAD & surveying coordinator, a project manager, and a project engineer.  That experience afforded me the opportunity to work in the office and in the field."

Q2. How long have you been licensed in the State of Mississippi and do you also hold other state licenses?

"I received my Professional Engineer license in 2000 followed by my Professional Surveyor license in 2002."

Q3. What advice would you give to your younger self (HS grad, college grad, etc)?

"I could offer a lot of advice to my younger self.  For high school and college education I would advise my younger self to find a good study group.  Study groups are very valuable because everyone has something to offer and everyone has something to gain.  Teaching others helps you to learn more about the subject because you have to know the ins and outs of the topic in order properly explain it.  In addition, I would advise my younger self to dig deeper into the subjects that I’m studying – whether in school or in my professional career – in order to make sure I fully understand the related concepts." 

Q4. What would you say to young people, who might be interested in STEM careers such as engineering or surveying?

"Engineering and surveying are rewarding careers in many ways.  Both careers involve making the world a better place through design and construction.  Many engineering disciplines and most surveying disciplines involve outdoor work, and that is very nice for those that enjoy being outside.  In addition, engineering and surveying fields typically offer very good salaries which is good for your family."

 Q5. Why is professional licensure important to you?

"Professional licensure is important to me because it insures that practitioners meet an expected standard of performance and protects the safety and welfare of the people of the world.  As licensed professionals we’re required to accumulate professional development hours which provide refreshers, introduction to new concepts, and further skill development."