Richard Chisolm Chosen MDOT Assistant Chief Engineer

1995 civil engineering alumnus served agency 22 years before latest promotion

Richard Chisolm, a 1995 civil engineering graduate, is assistant chief engineer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Submitted photo

Professional advancement is always cause for joy, and Richard Chisolm has much to smile about these days.

Since earning his civil engineering degree in 1995, the University of Mississippi alumnus has worked in the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Over more than two decades, the Madison resident has steadily been promoted from entry level engineer-in-training to his present position as assistant chief engineer in field operations.

“Assistant Chief Engineer Chisolm will have the responsibility of overseeing MDOT’s Construction, Maintenance and Traffic Engineering Divisions,” said Melinda McGrath, MDOT executive director. “Prior to his current role, he served as the state construction engineer, where he oversaw the administration of construction contracts throughout the state.”

Chisolm said he was very pleased to accept the new position and credits his Ole Miss engineering education for his career success.

“The most rewarding part is serving on numerous AASHTO committees and sharing and learning ideas from other states in regards to the transportation industry,” Chisolm said. “The strong fundamental principles learned at Ole Miss, along with the emphasis put on communicating your thoughts and ideas to others, have led me to where I am today.”

Originally from Lexington, Chisolm attended Holmes Community College for a year-and-a-half before transferring to Ole Miss, where he received a football scholarship.

“I was the punter for Ole Miss in 1991 and 1992,” he said.

Chisolm fondly recalled his favorite engineering professors and courses.

“Mustafa Abdulrahman (had) this unique ability to be able to explain things so that you could fully comprehend exactly what he was teaching,” he said. “Waheed Uddin always showed enthusiasm and used a ‘hands-on’ approach with his students.”

Civil engineering professor Uddin remembers Chisolm among the most talented group of students whom he had the privilege to teach during his early years at the university.

“I remember him as a dedicated student who excelled in my transportation and all other courses and continued outstanding performance in the professional life,” Uddin said. “I am very proud that Richard has been promoted in the important leadership position as assistant chief engineer at MDOT. His promotion brings recognition to Ole Miss engineering and serves as an exceptional role model for younger students and engineers.”

Chisolm and his wife, Bridgett, are parents of three children: Connor, Morgan and Matthew. His favorite past-times include keeping involved with his kids’ numerous sporting activities, hunting and watching Ole Miss sports. The family also is active in Madison United Methodist Church.