National Trench Safety, a Houston-based company specializing in the rental and sales of trench and traffic safety equipment, as well as engineered services and OSHA-compliant training classes, last week hired industry veteran and highly respected engineer and author, Joe Turner, P.E. as its new director of engineering, research and product development.

“We are very excited to have someone with Joe’s experience, reputation, knowledge and engineering expertise to join the NTS family,” said Ron Chilton, president of NTS. “Joe Turner is one of the most knowledgeable, respected and recognized engineering names in the trench safety industry today. Joe actually wrote the book on engineering techniques used by many in the trench safety industry — Excavation Systems, Planning, Design and Safety — published by McGraw-Hill in 2008 and available for purchase on We expect Joe to quickly take the existing NTS in-house engineering and manufacturing department to the next level of expertise and capabilities and to further differentiate NTS from our competitors.”

Turner has more than 30 years of experience in the construction engineering industry, with 20-plus years of that time providing site-specific engineering plans for the trench and traffic safety industry. Since its founding in 1990, Turner built J.M. Turner Engineering into one of the premier engineering firms in the United States. After the sale of his engineering firm in 2006, Turner took some time away from the business side of things to write his book on excavation safety. After the publishing of the book, he established CER Engineering in 2008 to provide specialty engineering for unique and highly complex underground-related projects. Over the past few years and on a select basis, Turner has also provided expert engineering analysis and expert witness testimony. He will keep CER Engineering active to provide those expert analysis and witness services on a limited basis, outside of his responsibilities with NTS.

“The new partnership between Joe Turner and NTS will be a catalyst for what we see as the future of this industry,” Chilton said. “With an increased emphasis upon safety coupled with the need for not just site-specific engineered plans, but truly unique and detailed engineered solutions that are tailored to meet the specific engineering requirements for today’s more complex projects, we firmly feel NTS has taken a giant leap in being able to provide our customers the complete package of world class products and unequalled engineering services to meet their needs.”

“The partnership with NTS is a great fit for me,” said Turner. “The new partnership will allow NTS Engineering to provide a full-service, vertically integrated experience to our customer base with a well-respected, national industry leader. I’m thrilled to be a part of a progressive industry leader such as NTS and excited about the benefits the partnership will provide to the trench and traffic safety industry.”

For more information about NTS, visit or read the February 2013 RER cover story: