Casey Shockey, President
Chief Engineering was established in 2018 by two professional engineers who saw a need to enhance traditional engineering processes. Now, the Chief Engineering team is comprised of more than twenty people — designers, engineers, and support staff — who work together to deliver high-quality deliverables quicker and more accurately than the competition.
Our customers have grown along with our team since we began operations. We are proud to call several of the world’s largest companies our clients. We have served clients in the pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, chemical, petrochemical, food, energy, cosmetics, and agricultural industries, among many others.
At Chief Engineering, we strive to provide best-in-class services and deliverables to all our customers, no matter the size, and we value opportunities to find innovative solutions by using cutting-edge technology. Our technology portfolio sets us apart from other engineering firms. The ongoing investment we make in metrology equipment, visualization tools, powerful processors, and the leading engineering software allows us to perform highly accurate engineering in less time, which creates safer and more efficient operations for our customers.
Our values drive our business. We commit to safety in the workplace and in every aspect of our projects. We are honest with our clients and each other. We stay curious and open-minded, respecting and considering others’ ideas and opinions. We innovate often — for the betterment of our team and our customers — and are proactive in our engineering and our communications.
Our goal is to turn our clients’ visions into a reality, and we have a proven track record of making it happen across multiple industries. How can we help you achieve yours?
Our Team of Experts
Casey Shockey, P.E.
Rick Kriz, P.E.
Casey Shockey, P.E.
Casey Shockey is the President & Founder of Chief Engineering PLLC and a professional mechanical engineer (HVAC-R). Casey has numerous years of experience in managing project teams, as well as designing mechanical systems and detailed HVAC specifications.
Born in Wichita, KS, and raised in the suburbs of Nashville and Memphis, Casey and his family now reside in Germantown, TN, just a few miles east of the Chief Engineering offices. His love for engineering, entrepreneurship, and all things mechanical began at a young age. Inspired by his grandfathers and great-grandfathers who all owned small businesses, he quickly followed in their footsteps, creating a lawn business in fifth grade that grew into a large operation by the time he graduated high school. In college he started and managed a tailgating business before founding his own engineering firm.
Casey attended the University of Mississippi where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Shortly after, he earned his Professional Engineering License (PE) in Mechanical Engineering—HVAC and Refrigeration. He remains involved at the university by serving on the School of Engineering’s mechanical engineering board of advisors and mentoring future mechanical engineers.
He began his engineering career as a robot programmer, then moved on to designing and fabricating specialty ground support vehicles for the aviation industry. He worked for several years as a project engineer designing process systems for major manufacturing environments before creating Chief Engineering in 2018.
Shockey dedicates time to helping other Memphis-area entrepreneurs grow and sustain their businesses through ongoing peer-to-peer coaching. He is an advocate for aspiring engineers, frequently speaking to students from the elementary to college level about opportunities in engineering. Casey is an avid barbecue enthusiast and fly fisherman. He also enjoys restoring antique cars with his family. He and his wife, Alex, have three sons: John (7), Graham (3), and Max (1).
Chad Williamson brings a wide range of design experience to Chief Engineering and serves as the team’s design manager. Originally from Titusville, FL, Chad has experience designing houses, trusses, townhomes, shell-type power transformers, conveyor systems, baggage-handling systems, steel support structures, and more.
His experience in the design industry began at a very young age when he started taking drafting classes in high school. When the Spacecraft Trust called his teacher asking for drafter recommendations, Chad was recommended and ended up working for the company for ten years. During that time, Chad also earned his Associate of Arts in Engineering from Eastern Florida State College.
In 1995, Chad began working as a CAD drafter and later as a truss designer in Melbourne, FL, where he gained experience in AutoCAD, modifying architectural designs and truss layouts. He gained more experience in truss layouts before completing extensive training courses on core-type and shell-type transformers. His experience with shell-type transformers led to a career move to Mitsubishi Electric in Memphis, TN. From there, he moved into conveyor design before joining the Chief Engineering team in 2022.
In addition to his 28+ years of vast experience in the design industry, Chad is Solidworks CSWP and CSWA certified with five years of experience in Revit. He enjoys working on research and design projects at Chief Engineering — the backbone of the industry — especially when he’s able to deliver 3D asset files to his clients. Outside of work, Chad enjoys playing soccer and spending time with his family.
Dylan Shockey brings more than 10 years of engineering experience to the Chief Engineering team. Dylan first joined Chief Engineering in October 2019 and was promoted to Project Manager in May 2022. He is a dust collection and NFPA specialist and has extensive knowledge in the field of manufacturing from his previous roles.
At the University of Mississippi, Dylan excelled in calculus and recognized his desire to help revolutionize mechanical engineering and improve the world around him. Outside of his studies, he completed three terms of a Body Welding Production Engineering Co-op with Toyota in Blue Springs, MS. He gained expertise in designing and improving the performance of safety walks, machine confirmation, plant start-ups, and Kanban. In 2017, Dylan graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Before joining Chief Engineering, Dylan worked as a Total Industrial Engineer at an automotive manufacturing company where he led reduction projects from procurement to completion. Additionally, he began teaching associates and management on Standardized Work Kaizen and TPS Principles.
Dylan enjoys working on projects with his colleagues and assisting in the customer’s process, especially when he’s able to use his background in TIE (total industrial engineer) to increase the efficiency of projects. Dylan lives in Memphis with his wife and is the head coach of a boys’ varsity lacrosse team in Cordova, TN.
Kerei Bakhytkhanuly first joined Chief Engineering as an intern in 2020 and was promoted to Design Engineer in January 2021. Kerei brings to the team experience in both structural and mechanical designs among many other engineering skills.
After living in Kazakhstan until the age of 18, he began researching American universities with engineering programs. Mississippi State University, which has a reputable engineering program, offered him the most opportunities with a combination of scholarships and internship availability.
As a research assistant at Mississippi State, Kerei spent countless hours in the Autonomous System Research Laboratory (ASRL) where he worked on projects such as a Spherical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV) and a Robust Radiation Mapping System for UAVs. Outside of his studies, he completed a mechanical engineering co-op with Hunter Fan Company in Memphis, TN, where he gained experience operating Fortus 3D printing, Creo, and LabView. In 2020, Kerei graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering.
Kerei is a certified FAA Part 107 UAS Pilot and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB). He has CAD proficiency in Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, Creo Parametric, and AutoCAD. He is Chief Engineering’s lead detailed-object 3D scanning engineer, having completed Creaform training in HandySCAN, VX Model, and VX Inspect.
Kerei is especially talented at structural and mechanical engineering design. He is fluent in English and Russian and knowledgeable in both German and Spanish. In his free time, Kerei enjoys working out, playing soccer, and cheering for his favorite soccer team, Barcelona.
Kylie Bowers joined Chief Engineering as a Digital Marketing intern in May 2022 and was promoted to Marketing Specialist the following August. Kylie brings experience in social media management, editorial, and advertising to the Chief Engineering team.
A Southaven, Miss., native, Kylie attended the University of Mississippi where she gained communications and marketing knowledge by assisting in the publications of the School of Journalism and New Media’s magazines. She also interned for multiple semesters at a local Memphis magazine where she gained extensive experience in copywriting. In 2022, Kylie graduated from the University of Mississippi magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Journalism.
Outside of work, Kylie loves spending time with her family at Pickwick Lake. She loves cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels at football and baseball games and reading a good book.
Rick Kriz, P.E.
Rick Kriz, a senior structural engineer from Memphis, TN, began working with Chief Engineering in June 2018. He has over 30 years of experience in the design industry and brings extensive knowledge of process and chemical plants, manufacturing facilities, paper mills, and material handling facilities.
Rick attended Christian Brothers University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. After obtaining his degree, he worked for numerous companies in a variety of different industries where he gained exceptional knowledge in building and foundation design, as well as equipment, conveyor, and pipe supports and foundations.
In 2007, Rick began working as a project engineer at a technology company that operates in the field of process engineering and plant contracting. During his time there, he gained experience designing facilities for grain, food, ethanol, biodiesel, and chemical process industries. In the following years, he continued to advance his knowledge and began working as a self-employed engineering consultant. In 2009, Rick earned the title of senior structural engineer, a position he held for several years before joining Chief Engineering.
Rick is OSHA 10 certified and holds his state engineering registrations in 11 states. He has proficient skills in AutoCAD, Navisworks, RAM, STAAD, and RISA. Rick enjoys working on industrial expansions and modifications, and outside of the office, he loves spending time playing golf with his friends.
Kirill Safrin, a design engineer who joined Chief Engineering in December 2020, brings experience in heavy industrial design, fluid dynamics, engineering simulation, and 3D scanning to the team’s portfolio.
Shortly after moving to Mississippi from St. Petersburg, Russia, Kirill began his college education at Northwest Mississippi Community College where he played soccer and earned his associate’s degree. He then continued his education at Mississippi State University, earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. During his time at Mississippi State, Kirill worked on engineering projects such as a Rapid Compression Expansion Machine (RCEM) and a corresponding Direct Injector Driver System. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas-Tyler. As a graduate research assistant, he worked on research projects ranging from a six-degree-of-freedom robotic arm to computational fluid dynamics.
Kirill is certified as an Engineer in Training (EIT), is skilled in 3D CAD modeling in SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor, is a SolidWorks Certified Associate in Mechanical Design (CSWA), and is proficient in finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) using ANSYS. Among his many projects at Chief Engineering, Kirill has served as the lead engineer for a major industrial capacity expansion project — one of the largest projects completed by the team.
Kirill has designed some of the fastest workstations in the world, which power our 3D scanning operations, and has been ranked among the Top 5 in the world for processing speeds. Away from the office, he enjoys playing soccer or cheering for his soccer team back home, Zenit.
Alexandra (“Alex”) Shockey is the head of marketing and human resources at Chief Engineering PLLC in Memphis, TN. Alex joined Chief Engineering as a full-time employee in December 2021 after working as a consultant since the company’s inception in 2018.
For almost ten years prior to working at Chief Engineering, Alex worked in marketing and communications at one of the world’s largest shipping companies, serving as the manager of Global Media and Global Social Media after serving as an advisor in both social media and digital user experience. As a manager, her teams were responsible for global media relationship management and brand storytelling across top-tier media outlets, and social media strategies and governance for marketing and communications teams around the globe.
She served as a Digital Communications Specialist at Pinnacle Airlines Corp. after college, where she was largely responsible for internal communications, storytelling, and building the company’s social media presence.
Alex holds a Master of Arts in Journalism and Strategic Media from the University of Memphis, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Mississippi. She is the founder and president of Edit Media Consulting and is the author of the children’s book This is Ole Miss. She loves visiting Oxford with her husband, Casey, and three young sons, John, Graham and Max.
John Whitely is a senior mechanical designer and computer drafter with over 23 years of experience. John joined Chief Engineering in January 2020 and brings a variety of skills to the team including experience in commercial and residential engineering and construction.
John’s passion for the industry began at a young age when his father hired him at the age of 13 to begin helping with his business. He went on to work for 17 years at various companies and gained knowledge in general contracting and carpentry, iron working and welding, and operating heavy machinery. In 2007, he earned an Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting & Design at ITT Technical Institute.
Prior to joining Chief Engineering, John held positions as a PDS designer, draftsman, senior draftsman, and was then later promoted to lead draftsman. He gained additional experience performing on-site field measurements and sketches while conducting 3D modeling and utilizing Autodesk Inventor software.
John enjoys working on any creative and innovative structural project in the office, and outside of work, he likes to spend time doing woodworking and carpentry.
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