Author Archives: Kalyn Andrews

Hargrove Controls & Automation’s Chet Barton, P.E. Awarded Functional Safety Expert Certificate

Process Safety Industry Leader Chet Barton, P.E. of Hargrove Controls & Automation achieves prestigious Functional Safety (FS) Expert Certificate from TÜV Rheinland, joining an elite group of professionals globally.

Hargrove Controls & Automation, a leading industrial automation system integrator and a subsidiary of global EPC firm Hargrove Engineers & Constructors, today announced that Process Safety Leader Chet Barton has been awarded the highest level of certificate from TÜV Rheinland, a Functional Safety Expert Certification. This designation is only available to professionals who meet TÜV Rheinland’s top global standards to be able to call themselves a process safety expert.

Barton has been certified as a FS Engineer with TÜV Rheinland since 2010. After gaining years of experience, submitting the required documentation, and fulfilling all requirements such as participating in standard committees, submitting technical papers, presenting at technical symposiums, and obtaining two letters of recommendation, Barton has now achieved the FS Expert (TÜV Rheinland) certificate in Safety Instrumented Systems.

“I am deeply honored to receive the FS Expert certificate from TÜV Rheinland, the most recognized testing service provider in the world in the Process Safety field,” said Barton. “This marks a significant milestone in my career; I leveraged my years of experience, community involvement, and dedication to educating others for this achievement. I am committed to mentoring and guiding others in the crucial practice of enhancing facility safety. This certificate represents the next step in my journey, allowing me to contribute more effectively to our shared goal of a safer industry. For me, this achievement is more than just a personal accomplishment; it’s a commitment to making a real difference in the world.”

“We are incredibly proud of Chet’s achievement,” expressed Karen Griffin, Vice President of Hargrove Controls & Automation. “This prestigious certificate is a testament to Chet’s dedication, expertise, and his unwavering commitment to safety in the industrial automation sector. His accomplishment not only elevates his professional stature, but also reinforces Hargrove’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of safety and technical excellence.”

You can learn more about Barton’s safety expertise and knowledge in Hargrove Controls & Automation Insights.

The TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety & Cybersecurity Training Program, established in 2004 in collaboration with multinational enterprises, has played a pivotal role in the professional development of engineers and technicians over the past 20 years. It stands out as the only global vocational training program that encompasses both Functional Safety and Cybersecurity (FS & CySec) with its content and competencies validated by a neutral third party. Over 30 international companies and their experts back the FS & CySec Training Program, ensuring the highest quality of training. To date, the program has had more than 18,000 engineers participate, each of whom has earned the globally acknowledged FS Engineer (TÜV Rheinland) certification, marking a significant contribution to the field of industrial safety and security.


Mobile, Ala. – The Mobile Area Council of Engineers (MACE) presented three Hargrove Engineers & Constructors Teammates with awards as part of their annual recognition program on January 18th. Jerry Brown, PE, was awarded Engineering Manager of the Year, Kevin Pimperl, PE, was awarded Mechanical Engineer of the Year, and Eric Johnson, PE, received the honor of being named Electrical Engineer of the Year. These awards recognize those who have contributed significantly to the engineering profession and to the technological and economic development in the Mobile area, the region, the nation, and the world throughout their engineering career.

Jerry Brown, PE, currently serves as the Operations Leader at Hargrove Engineers & Constructors’ Mobile Office, which is the company’s corporate headquarters.  He oversees the office operations ensuring profitability, exceptional project execution, and high team morale with an unwavering focus on safety and quality. A proud alumnus of the University of South Alabama, Jerry holds dual bachelor’s degrees in business finance and electrical engineering, complementing his 20+ years of experience in construction and engineering. His 12-year tenure at Hargrove has highlighted his expertise in electrical/instrument engineering, engineering project management, and full EPC project execution. Jerry’s unique approach combines deep industry knowledge with a practical engineering perspective, driving his team to deliver top-tier solutions. His commitment to leadership extends beyond his role at Hargrove, as he contributes as a board member of the International Society of Automation (ISA) Mobile-Pensacola chapter, where he previously held roles as President and Vice President. Representing a spirit of community service, Jerry has previously leveraged his Alabama Electrical Contractors license and construction background to volunteer in residential electrical projects for Habitat for Humanity in Baldwin County. Jerry enjoys family life in Spanish Fort, Alabama, with his wife, Christine, and sons, Jovi and Brody.

Kevin Pimperl, PE, currently serving as Hargrove Mobile’s Mechanical Engineering Leader, joined Hargrove 15 years ago as a technical writer and worked full time while finishing his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Alabama. During this time, he has also served as a designer for the piping, electrical, and mechanical groups, as a mechanical engineer, as a discipline lead engineer, and as a project manager. Kevin’s technical contributions include developing maintenance procedures for power plant emissions scrubbing equipment, designing pressure vessels for refining and chemical projects, designing fluid pumping systems and ventilation systems, preparing specifications for industrial process equipment, and guiding clients on which equipment to choose for their applications. Kevin has served in lead roles for projects with total costs of up to $450 million. He is a member of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), serves on the White House Fork Landmark District Committee, and regularly mentors college students who intern at Hargrove. Kevin lives with his wife, Redina, in the White House Fork Community of Baldwin County. They have a son, Brandon, who recently graduated from the USA College of Engineering, and a daughter, Caroline, who will be graduating in May from the USA College of Nursing.

Eric Johnson, PE, has 42 years of engineering experience, 16 of them with Hargrove, including operations and maintenance experience in chemical plants, magnetic tape manufacturing, paper mills, as well as consulting engineering. This has provided experience with boilers, pollution control equipment, steam turbine/generators, electric motors up to 2000 hp, and a variety of other devices. At Hargrove, Eric has provided technical and supervisory leadership to Teammates in the electrical and instrumentation field since 2007. This includes selection of the appropriate engineering standards for use in technically complex projects, guidance on interpretation of vendor documents, and specification of appropriate equipment. Eric also provides on the job training to other engineers in the concepts of power generation, power distribution, load flow, short circuit analysis, protective device coordination, and arc flash analysis. Eric also serves his community in many ways, including support of the Hargrove Adaptive Toy Project, which adapts toy vehicles for children with mobility limitations. Eric has been married to Lisa Johnson for 40 years and is a member of Jubilee Baptist Church.

Hargrove is proud of each of these Teammates for their dedication not only to Hargrove and our local community, but to their engineering disciplines and the pursuit of excellence within them.

Pictured Left to Right: Nick Hausman (Marketing Leader), Eric Johnson (Sr Electrical & Instrumentation Engineer), Kevin Pimperl (Mobile Mechanical Engineering Leader), Jerry Brown (Operations Leader – Mobile Office), Mark Norris (Mobile Leader of Projects), and Al Wiggins (Mobile E&I Engineering Leader)

Hargrove Controls & Automation’s Karen Griffin, P.E., and Heath Stephens, P.E., Achieve TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Engineer Certification

Hargrove Controls & Automation’s Karen Griffin, P.E., and Heath Stephens, P.E., Achieve TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Engineer Certification

(Mobile, AL) – Hargrove Controls & Automation, a leading industrial automation system integrator and a subsidiary of global EPC firm Hargrove Engineers & Constructors, announced today that Karen Griffin, P.E., Vice President of Controls & Automation, and Heath Stephens, P.E., Digitalization Leader, have achieved TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Engineer Certifications.

The program for the Functional Safety Engineer Certification is based on functional safety standards AS/IEC 61508 – As/IEC 61511, set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). This certification demonstrates Hargrove Controls & Automation’s dedication to safety and meeting OSHA requirements for employees to be trained with “an emphasis on-specific safety and health hazards, emergency operations including shutdown, and safe work practices applicable to the employees job tasks.”

“OSHA requires all personnel involved in a hazardous chemical process to be adequately trained,” said Chet Barton, P.E., FS Eng, Controls & Automation Process Safety Industry Leader at Hargrove Controls & Automation. “The TÜV Rheinland Functional Safety Certification is widely accepted as demonstration of competency in their area of expertise. Knowledge, insights, and best practices from this certification can be implemented to ensure a safe facility for all manufacturing personnel.”

TÜV Rheinland is the world’s leading testing service provider, serving as an independent third party providing safety and quality testing and training in a multitude of industries including environmental engineering, IT, and consumer goods. The Functional Safety Engineering Course covers content such as process hazard and risk assessments, safety requirement specifications, SIS design and engineering (AP development), and management of functional safety.

“TÜV requires engineers to retrain and retest every ten years; this was a recertification class for me. This is important because best practices are always evolving,” said Heath Stephens, P.E. who received his original certification in 2012. “I learned about the latest standard changes and how they are being implemented. It was a great opportunity to sharpen my skills and interact with our clients.”

“Keeping current with industry standards is important for all personnel performing work in the field of Process Safety,” said Karen Griffin, P.E. “This includes leadership staff working in the field, so they can help identify obstacles, provide insight based on best practices, and seek innovative ways to improve processes.”


(Monterrey, Mexico) – The Hargrove Team of Companies is excited to announce the launch of a fully Spanish-language version of its website at As Hargrove continues to expand internationally, so does their readership. With locations currently serving Monterey and Mexico City, Mexico in partnership with Tecnoconsult, this new translation will ensure accessibility for clients and partners from more regions.

“We have witnessed steady growth in several Spanish speaking areas over the last few years,” said Nicolas Hausman, Hargrove’s marketing leader. “This translation will offer more accessibility and convenience as we strive to be the Right People in the Right Place at the Right Time.”

This new version of the website will allow Hargrove to continue its growth as they strengthen their international partnerships. With plans to offer additional languages in the future, this effort will support Hargrove’s commitment to diversity and inclusion while also serving as a resource for Hargrove to connect their capabilities with new clients and communities.

With over 2700 Teammates across 19 offices, Hargrove executes projects within the manufacturing, energy production and process industries, supported by their Advanced Solutions Group, specializing in bulk material handling, machine design and advanced simulation. Their team has grown steadily each year with an excellent track record of delivering superior results to clients across the United States and beyond. By teaming with a diverse group of clients, Hargrove has enjoyed many long-term service relationships based on excellent and efficient service.

Hargrove’s strong partnership with Tecnoconsult, called Tecnohargrove, combines 80 years of experience in the successful completion of thousands of projects for the hydrocarbon, petrochemical, power, infrastructure, manufacturing, and industrial sectors, providing best-in-class services at the most competitive rates.


Four Hargrove Controls & Automation Trailblazing Engineers Named Among CFE Media and Technology’s Engineering Leaders Under 40

Hargrove Controls & Automation, a leading industrial automation system integrator and a subsidiary of global EPC firm Hargrove Engineers & Constructors, announce today that four of their engineers have been listed along with 30 other engineering professionals as rising stars of innovation in the CFE Media and Technology class of 2023 Engineering Leaders Under 40. This achievement recognizes individuals in automation, industrial manufacturing, and system integration who have made substantial contributions to the control engineering and plant engineering professions.

“We are so proud of each teammate representing Hargrove Controls & Automation in the class of 2023 Engineering Leaders Under 40,” said Karen Griffin, Vice President of Hargrove Controls & Automation. “These outstanding individuals are following a legacy of excellence that previous Hargrove Teammates have achieved while forging their own that will be tough to match.”

The four engineers representing Hargrove Controls & Automation include Matthew Bailey and Megan McIntosh from Mobile, Alabama and Chase Beard and Elliot Miller from Atlanta, Georgia.

“Matthew’s, Chase’s, Megan’s, and Elliot’s commitment to Hargrove’s core values and their dedication to excellence and growth is the reason they are top performers within our company,” said Uwe Kurfurst, Hargrove Controls & Automation Industry Engineering Leader. “It is an impressive feat for Hargrove Controls & Automation to have continued representation in the program each year and demonstrates our commitment to engineering excellence.”

Last year, the Engineering Leaders Under 40 class of 2022 featured five Hargrove Controls & Automation engineers – from technical consultants to controls and automation engineers – including the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) 2023 Rising Star Award recipient Sean Phillips.

Learn more about the Engineering Leaders Under 40 program.


Hargrove, a global EPC firm, was recently recognized at the 23rd Annual Partners for Environmental Progress’s (PEP) Environmental Stewardship Award presentation for their innovative approach to transforming an existing small refinery into a renewable diesel production facility in Mobile, Alabama.

“We set the bar high for this project, then we jumped over it,” said Jeremy Rayborn, Construction Management Regional Director for Hargrove. “We had an incredible, hard-working Team who achieved record breaking success and we’re extremely proud of it.”

The Annual Environmental Stewardship Awards presentation aims to recognize local organizations who have exhibited exemplary commitment throughout the year to protect and improve Alabama’s coastal environment.

Hargrove, alongside construction partners Vertex Energy and Turner Industries, put Mobile, Alabama on the map for innovating renewable diesel technology after Vertex acquired Shell’s Mobile refinery in 2021. During Phase I, Hargrove’s Construction Management Team modified the refinery’s existing hydrocracking unit to produce renewable diesel fuel on a standalone basis.

Dedicated to mitigating risk to the safety of their clients and community, Hargrove teammates achieved over 500,000 work hours with zero Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) reportable accidents and 0% weld rejection rate.

About Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP)

Since PEP’s inception in 2000, their mission has been advancing strong economic growth balanced and compatible with conserving and enhancing natural resources that make the central Gulf Coast a unique, safe, and desirable place to live, work and raise a family. PEP’s work includes providing educational opportunities and business development networking. They promote science and fact-based analysis and commentary on regulations, legislation and community issues for PEP member companies, their employees, and the public.


Hargrove Controls & Automation’s Vice President, Karen Griffin, PE, was recently appointed Chair of the Board of Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) at its 2023 Executive Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Griffin recently served as the Board’s Treasurer before accepting her two-year term appointment as Chair. She has also served on the marketing committee for several years.

“I am honored to serve alongside many longtime industry leaders on behalf of this prestigious organization,” said Karen Griffin, PE, “CSIA is truly dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of the System Integration industry. Through CSIA, premier minds in the industry gather, develop, and share best practices that directly and positively impact our clients.”

Griffin has over 24 years of experience in automation and 17 years of experience as a system integrator.  She has served in various automation roles including Engineering Leader, Main Automation Contractor Program Sponsor, Senior Project Manager, and Controls & Automation Engineer for the refining, oil & gas, chemicals, and pulp & paper industries. She also served on the owner’s side as a Senior Process Control Engineer for a major pulp & paper manufacturer. Griffin leads a team of 150 professionals that include automation engineers and specialists.

About CSIA

Founded in 1994, CSIA is a not-for-profit, global trade association who aims to advance the industry of control system integration. Control system integrators utilize their engineering, technical and business skills to assist manufacturers and others automate their industrial equipment and systems. CSIA helps members improve their business skills, provides a forum to share industry expertise, and promotes the benefits of hiring CSIA members. The association has over 500 member companies through the span of 35 countries.

Celebrating 10 Years in Business: Hargrove Controls & Automation Shares Decade of Company Achievements

Hargrove Controls & Automation (C&A), a leading industrial automation system integrator and a subsidiary of global EPC firm Hargrove Engineers & Constructors is celebrating 10 successful years in business in 2023.

Ten years of business comes with ten years’ worth of company accomplishments. Established in 2013, Hargrove C&A began paving the way for a decade’s worth of achievements including the introduction of process safety solutions. Hargrove C&A quickly expanded into four Hargrove locations including Birmingham (2014), Atlanta (2014), Houston (2015), and Beaumont (2015) to help grow the geographical reach of Hargrove’s system integration offerings. In 2016, Hargrove C&A implemented their first EPC turnkey DCS migration.

The early years were all about establishing ourselves as a business, establishing our geographic footprint, and developing consistent work practices so we could deliver superior solutions to our clients, said Karen Griffin, VP of Controls & Automation.

Following this milestone, the Team at Hargrove C&A was recognized as the 2016 CSIA System Integrator of the Year – a control system integrator industry award given to those who significantly impacted the advancement of CSIA and the profession. One year later, in 2017, Hargrove C&A committed to providing their clients with services based on best practices by earning the prestigious CSIA Certification.

Through the years, Hargrove C&A expanded its capabilities and onboarded industry specialists to meet the needs of their clients with OT and cybersecurity capabilities beginning in 2018. Hargrove C&A also embarked on a journey to build a commissioning and startup group specializing in all activities that lead to successful startups. This group was the genesis of Tormod, Hargrove’s asset lifecycle company. The landscape of automation has been evolving over the years, and Hargrove C&A has continued to evolve as well. In 2020, a formal digitalization team was formed. This team not only works with clients to develop roadmaps to digitalization, but also provides turnkey implementation services.

Most recently, the Team at Hargrove C&A received recognition from Control Engineering magazine as the 2022 Control Engineering System Integrator of the Year.

In addition to Hargrove C&A’s internal achievements, many Hargrove Teammates also serve as thought leaders in the industry through active participation on industry standards committees and in leadership roles in industry organizations including:

Standards Committees:
  • ISA SCAI ISA 84.91.01
  • Non-SIS IPL Standard ISA 84.91.03
  • ISA Alarm Management
  • ISA 18.2 WG 8
  • NFPA 85, ISO 5133 Fired Equipment
  • ANSI TC-56 for IEC-61882 HAZOP Application Guide


Industry Organizations:
  • Control System Integrators Association (CSIA)
  • Engineering and Construction Contracting (ECC)
  • International Society of Automation (ISA) – Mobile-Pensacola
  • Construction Industry Institute (CII)


Hargrove is dedicated to being the Right People, in the Right Place, at the Right Time, growing to meet client needs and teaming with them to provide the right solutions.


The 2023 Engineering News Record (ENR) Sourcebook ranking, published on July 17, 2023, shows Hargrove Engineers & Constructors rising once again to the #1 spot in the Chemicals sector, up from a ranking of #2 in 2022. Hargrove’s position advanced many of their ranked sectors, including Industrial Process, Pulp & Paper, and Refining.

“We are thrilled to be #1 in Chemicals and increase in several other sectors. Our service to these industries is an enduring pillar of Hargrove,” notes Ralph A. Hargrove, President & CEO. “Rankings like these are due to our dedication to our clients, from plant-level project programs to maintenance and reliability-driven work, to innovative controls & automation projects. Vested interest in our clients’ success continues to spur growth in our capabilities, including our Advanced Solutions Group, which adds value by designing and fabricating custom specialty and proprietary equipment, and modeling complex industrial applications.”

Hargrove earns their place in ENR’s 2023 Sourcebook moving up to #2 in Industrial Process, #3 in Pulp & Paper (for the 4th year in a row), #6 in Refining, #14 in Petroleum, and #17 in Fossil Fuel. In ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms list, Hargrove rose to #51 nationally this year, up from #57 in 2022.

Company leadership states that Hargrove’s success stems from their time-tested culture of relationship-building – working as “One Team” with their clients to meet and exceed expectations – and their ownership structure, as 100% employee-owned. Hargrove’s technical and professional staff includes process discipline engineers experienced in the special needs of the diverse clients they serve, now with over 2,700 Teammates in 17 domestic and 2 international offices companywide.

Engineering News-Record reports on the top design firms, both architects and engineers, and the top construction companies and projects in the United States and around the world. The ENR Top 500 Design Firms is an annual ranking of the 500 largest both privately and publicly held U.S.-based design firms based on design revenue. ENR publishes a variety of “Sourcebooks” which provide a more in-depth ranking of the largest professional service and construction firms who participate in the ENR surveys.

The Right People…The Right Place…The Right Time.

Hargrove Controls & Automation’s Sean Phillips Receives CSIA’s 2023 Rising Star Award

Senior Project Manager Sean Phillips, P.E. of Hargrove Controls & Automation, a leading industrial automation system integrator and a subsidiary of global EPC firm Hargrove Engineers & Constructors,  was presented the prestigious 2023 Rising Star Award at the 2023 Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Executive Conference in New Orleans, LA.

CSIA recognizes individuals and organizations for their contributions to the industry at an annual award’s banquet held during the annual Executive Conference. There are five award categories and the ‘Rising Star Award’ is awarded to an individual who is relatively new to the industry yet has shown attributes of a leader. Recipients also demonstrate that they are a person whose career is on the rise due to their dedication to innovation.

“Sean consistently exemplifies excellence. In every facet of his work, our fundamental principles of safety, integrity, quality, teamwork, and innovation shine through,” said Hargrove Controls & Automation’s Leader of Projects Doug Sumpter. “Sean possesses an unwavering commitment to continuous learning and enhancing his performance in any role he undertakes. He never settles for merely meeting expectations; instead, he surpasses them and establishes new heights with each endeavor.”

Phillips began his career in Control Systems engineering in 2014, starting as a co-op with Hargrove Controls & Automation. With his aptitude as a life-long learner and ability to lead strategically, Phillips quickly gained an engineering lead position and began leading jobs within two years of graduating college from Auburn University.  Since then, he has transitioned into a Technical Lead position and now serves as a Senior Project Manager (PM) at Hargrove Controls & Automation.

Phillips is a member of the Control Engineering/Plant Engineering’s Engineering Leaders Under 40 Class of 2022, which recognizes young professionals who have made a significant contribution to the success of their organization and community. He also serves as the President of the Mobile-Pensacola “Emerald Coast” Chapter of the International Society of Automation (ISA),where he is committed to helping develop talent and inspire action in the local community of industry professionals.

“My motto is use hard work to capitalize on unique opportunities. Lean on the ones who build you up, whether it be an inspirational granddad or an incredibly supportive significant other. Let them be the push you need to make an impact,” Phillips said at the awards ceremony. “In regard to opportunities, everyone has them in one form or another, albeit some greater than others. But recognizing the opportunities for what they are is difficult to do while remaining in familiar territory. That’s why I believe stepping out of the work environment for events such as the CSIA Executive Conference puts you at an advantage. How are you going to capitalize on the unique opportunities presented to you?”

To learn more about Sean Phillips, P.E., and his career at Hargrove Controls & Automation, please visit our blog.