From New Facility Construction to Plant Engineering

TAI Engineering
Written by Pauline Müller

With over 10,000 completed projects across its core markets, TAI Engineering’s work in the chemical, power, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, consumer-goods, commercial, and government sectors shows how flexibility – paired with a strong skill set – positions TAI as a leader in the industry.

Now celebrating its 30th year, TAI Engineering’s diverse capabilities redefine flexibility. Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, this mid-size industry leader prides itself on a thriving company culture with a wide-angle lens on engineering, management and technical service support for its industrial clients’ capital and maintenance projects.

There are few, if any, requirements that TAI Engineering cannot meet for its clients. From new facility construction to upgrades to existing facilities, with a balance of plant engineering services and routine maintenance projects that keep plants operational, the company’s list of services is as impressive as it is extensive.

The company is particularly favored for turnkey project management that includes preliminary engineering, cost-benefit analyses, detailed design and engineering, construction management, and start-up and commissioning services. Its 16 divisions each offer a diverse range of engineering, management, and technical services. Engineering disciplines include Mechanical (Industrial), Electrical, Process, Automation and Controls, Structural, and Mechanical (Facilities). Management services provided include Project and Construction Management, Procurement, Design-Build Turnkey, and On-Site Staff Augmentation. Technical Services include Inspection and Test, Instrumentation and Controls, Field Services, Site Safety, Industrial Risk and Process Safety, and Mechanical and Electrical Construction.

It even offers clients a state-of-the-art electronic calibration lab where metrologists offer calibration and equipment certification in a variety of fields. Of course, high-stakes projects demand meticulous organizing, a skill the company has honed. Each division has a director, division manager, and a dedicated team, while its industrial project management team forms the backbone of the overall field management process, coordinating all services on its turnkey projects.

Bringing ideas to life
Here, complex concepts are made a reality through expert skill and dedication. And, while the business may be mid-sized, its resources of competence give it an oversized punch. Not only does its bounty of capabilities meet each and every client’s needs, but the company is insistent in all internal dealings that its clients’ interests are paramount throughout the course of its projects.

Naturally, this can only be made possible by the ability of TAI’s management to select and meld together balanced teams to align skill sets with project initiatives. As clients will attest, TAI’s flexibility is the key to smooth operational performance, which explains the company’s reputation for being a good business partner.

And wherever the nature of projects allows, the first step is to provide clients with a single point of contact and create a protocol for quick access to team members.

Baltimore is also home to TAI’s field services group which includes site safety, mechanical and electrical construction teams, as well as instrumentation and controls field services.

The 20-plus members of the Inspection and Test division operate out of Wilmington while the Dallas, Chicago, and Denver offices provide clients local engineering support. From these locations, the company serves clients all across the continental United States, while also managing international projects in locations such as Puerto Rico, Mexico and Singapore.

Growth and diversity
Dan Tourgee founded Tourgee and Associates, Inc. in March 1989. Setting up with a team of four, the company provided the mid-Atlantic region with process engineering, process safety management, and project management services.

Tourgee grew the company steadily, adding new divisions along the way. Today, TAI Engineering sits comfortably with over $40 million in revenue generated by its 225-plus team members. Today, the company still ascribes its success to its diverse client base across multiple industries.

“Our growth over the last 30 years has been strictly organic. There have been no mergers or acquisitions along the way. We have been opportunistic as well as strategic when it comes to acquiring talent and supporting clients in new geographic regions,” says Adam Soutar, Associate and Business Development Manager. Adam has been with the company for eight years, beginning in 2011 as the division manager in the company’s on-site services division. He also assumed management of the company’s business development and marketing efforts in 2017.

The company’s growth has been consistent. On reaching the $1-million revenue milestone in 1996 with 25 employees, it relocated to larger offices. From there, its growth trajectory took it to the 200-employee mark in 2018, when it also opened an office in Dallas. Prior to this, in 2017, it was rated #69 by the Baltimore Business Journal on its Top 100 list of Private Companies in Maryland. TAI Engineering was also rated #37 by the same magazine on its list of Baltimore’s fastest-growing companies.

Evolving with the times
In addition, the past two years have seen the company’s Buildings and Facilities group bring home the Wintergreen Award for Excellence in Green Building design. This was for the team’s design efforts on numerous buildings with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, conferred by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Maryland.

With the rapid growth of select core markets, especially in the mid-Atlantic area, TAI Engineering foresees significant growth of its own pharmaceutical industry service offerings. The company has also been part of the current shift in technology, with tremendous advances in areas like 3D Scanning, virtual reality, and interactive software programs to provide clients with a digital tour of their prospective new facilities.

In response to these industry-transforming advances, the company is going flat-out to stay ahead of the technology curve – with considerable success – having started a 3D laser-scanning division two years ago that continues to evolve. This is especially appealing to its MEP-facility design clients; using interactive, virtual reality-type platforms to bring designs to life.

The art and culture of hiring
In this environment, very high skill levels are vital. This is a company that has turned finding the right people into a fine art. With its own talent acquisition team always on the lookout for experts across all the fields it serves, referrals play a big role in the search. But as often as possible, TAI Engineering makes a point of recruiting from within its ranks, believing that consistency builds a great culture, the most important quality of all. “As we are a consulting firm, clients are coming to us for our people and technical knowledge within industrial market sectors. [Our people] are one of our key products. Without great people, we have nothing,” says Soutar.

With its wide variety of challenging projects across its multiple service offerings, TAI’s teams are encouraged to grow in their careers. “[Our staff] is provided the opportunity to support a wide range of projects across multiple industries, allowing them to expand their base of knowledge and technical abilities,” Soutar notes. This multi-functional approach promotes better engineering designs and more efficient use of resources.

This arena of prime talent comes complete with flexible hours that allow for a healthy work-life balance. To foster its progressive open-door policy and company culture, team members have free access to the company’s leaders who are primed and ready to listen to ideas or offer mentorship and advice.

Training the next generation of experts
Diversity strengthens teams, and over the past 10 years, TAI Engineering has worked diligently toward cultivating its pool of future industry experts with an eye on ensuring the company’s continued status as an industry leader.

This has resulted in a diverse, well-balanced mix of talent working in unison to deliver exceptional solutions and service that the company is known for.

TAI Engineering and its people are also known for their big hearts – especially when it comes to taking care of those who are in need. To this end, the company annually hosts several events for the Sarah’s Hope Foundation at Hannah More, a center for underprivileged children and homeless families that is linked to St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore. This includes a Spring and Fall cookout event with the children as well as a Christmas clothing drive.

In Garland, Texas, the company also provides a scholarship at the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center, a school that offers advanced-level Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses and hands-on, experience-based learning for students from the greater area.

With the current state of the economy and business within its core markets in great shape, TAI Engineering is set to repeat its past successes over the next several years. And as technology continues to shake up and re-shape the world of engineering, the company will be developing and innovating in pace with each advance.

So in an era of feverish development, we expect this resourceful team to continue meeting the challenge of its clients’ needs with fresh solutions.

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