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Key Milestones & Dates

In business since 1998, but bringing excellence to the field of Engineering for much longer. This is the history of Vista Engineering.



Research Firm

Serving government and educational institutions contributing to Nano Diamond Research

In 1998, Dr. Raymond Thompson retired from teaching Metallurgy and Materials Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and launched what would become Vista Engineering. He started in UAB’s original incubator facility, the OADI (Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries).

history OADI UAB Inclubator



Engineering Consulting for the private sector.

Utilizing years of experience to help people find simple solutions to engineering problems.

In 2005, Vista Engineering & Consulting was established as an LLC and redirected its focus from research to private sector consultation. When the OADI incubator merged with Innovation Depot, the laboratory and office facilities moved to their 1st Ave North location where they remained as a mentor tenant until 2016.


Government Contracting

Awarded Multiple Contracts from Agencies

Participating in the important work to advance technology for our Nation.

Focusing on nano-diamond coating, Vista Engineering worked with the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the National Institute of Health on a variety of projects. We developed new materials such as diamond coating and computer simulations of new processes demonstrating forging of jet engine components.

Nano-Diamond Coating

Research applications of diamond coatings

Jet Engine Advances

Computer simulations of improved jet engine performance.

We continue to work with government agencies including a current contract with NASA.

history TMJ diamond


Move to Citation Ct

Graduate to our own facility.

Moved out of Innovation Depot to our own facility in Homewood, Alabama.

From the Press Release January 2016: “We’re happy to introduce our latest accomplishment to both the local business community and our clients who will benefit from the state of the art space.” said Raymond Thompson, PhD, CEO and Owner of the firms. “The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Vista and VEAR marks the launch of a new phase for both businesses.”

Homewood Chamber of Commerce will facilitate the 4pm cutting and Hoover Chamber Representatives will assist congratulating the Innovation Depot graduates in the opening of the facility. The laboratory features a scanning electron microscope and other equipment that makes it among the premier metallurgy labs in the Southeast.

“We’re delighted to invite the public to see how much we’ve done to the building. Homewood is now home to an engineering laboratory that stands where warehouse space used to be. Many upgrades were made to surfaces, HVAC, communications and the electrical to bring it to the standards required for an engineering laboratory.” Said Dustin Nolen, PE.

Ribbon cutting



Manufacturing Patented Products

Using advanced materials to improve products.

Building on expertise in advanced composite materials and engineering design, Vista Engineers Thompson and Nolen joined forces with Mike Allen to form TAN Composites which manufactures unique products based on the properties of fortified composite materials which are strong and lightweight. The flagship product is the Hingemaster, a foldable vault for underground utility applications.


25th Anniversary

Continued Growth

Using advanced materials to improve products.

Nurturing relationships in industrial and legal communities lead to more and larger jobs and investigations. A new full time PE, Timothy Himes joined the team in the last year and Clayton Dalton, and Engineering Student at UAB is hugely valuable as our intern and laboratory technician. 2022 was our busiest year to date and 2023 is promising to top it.