Our Firm

In 1996, J. David Tatum created the then three person Tatum Structural Engineers with a focus on providing services for clients in the Northwest Arkansas region. Mark Smith, who founded the firm with Tatum, was elevated to Vice President in 1999 and the firm was renamed Tatum-Smith Engineers, Inc.

In that time Tatum-Smith Engineers was able to capitalize on a population and development growth rate in the region that was for several years among the nation’s highest. As the firm grew to handle the increasing volume of regional work, the decision was made to “go national” seeking out and developing clients with a base of work in numerous states. TS, Inc. is currently licensed to practice in 48 states. To best serve our clients, multiple engineers are licensed in several of these states as well.

The service philosophy of TS, Inc. can be summarized as follows:

  • To hold public safety paramount, maintaining the highest ethical standards;
  • To listen to our clients and incorporate their requirements into structural design;
  • To adapt and mold the structural design to fit the client’s design concepts;
  • To deliver quality and prompt design service to our clients;
  • To view the client, Owner and TS, Inc. as a team working for successful completion of the project.

Members of the firm are registered in all states except Alaska and California.

Technical Capabilities

  • Building Code review for structural requirements
  • Seismic analysis of structures
  • Wind analysis of structures
  • Concrete column, slab, beam and wall design
  • Foundation design
  • Bar joist and joist girder construction
  • Masonry and metal stud wall design
  • Pre-enginered Metal building foundation design
  • Retaining wall and box culvert design
  • Structural steel beam and column design
  • Timber design
  • Analysis of existing structures
  • Project feasibilty studies
  • Value Engineering
  • BIM services
  • Thermal scanning


  • Our Board

    Mark A. Smith, P.E., S.E.


    A graduate of the University of Wyoming (B.S. Architectural Engineering, 1995), Mark has over 16 years of structural engineering and obtained original licensure as a Professional Engineer in 2000. Mark serves as project manager and Engineer of Record on largest and highest profile projects.

    J. David Tatum, P.E.

    Chief Financial Officer

    A graduate of Kansas State University (B.S. Architectural Engineering, 1979), David has over 33 years of structural engineering experience and obtained original licensure as a Professional Engineer in 1984. He is responsible for the company’s finances. Though largely out of design responsibilities, David continues to act as project manager on specific projects and provides senior resource assistance to the firm’s design staff.

    Richard M. Welcher, P.E.

    Vice President, Principal & Chief Operations Officer

    A graduate of the University of Arkansas (B.S. Civil Engineering, 1999; M.S. Civil Engineering, 2003), Richard has over 13 years of structural, geotechnical and construction project management experience and obtained original licensure as a Professional Engineer in 2003. He is responsible for the overall operation of the company, in addition to the management of our national clients and training and development of our sub-professional staff members. Richard also serves as Adjunct Professor of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, teaching a senior level undergraduate design courses in foundation and structural systems design. Additional, he is 2014 recipient of the University of Arkansas College of Engineering Early-Career Distinguished Alumni Award.


    Contact Us


    In 2012, Tatum-Smith lost a member of our team, Tyler Halsey, in a tragic motorcycle accident. Thru a collaborative effort with the family, University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. and the Dean of Engineering an endowed scholarship was established in Tyler’s honor at the University, the Tyler L. Halsey, P.E. Memorial Scholarship. As there are few things in life that can have such a huge impact and ripple effect throughout our community as assisting someone in their education. It’s really the ultimate “pay it forward” concept.

    TS Staff Activities

    • Annual Chili Cook-Off...
    • Company Luau...
    • Fantasy Football...
    • Thanksgiving...
    • Sharing and Caring...
    • Christmas...