Helms & Associates History

Founded by Terry Helms in 1979, Helms & Associates has earned a reputation for being a trusted Civil Engineer on a wide variety of projects across the state of South Dakota. As technologies and project needs have changed, we have responded to ensure we're poised to be a reliable partner for years to come.

In 1961, Bernie Schmucker and Richard Schaffer founded an engineering company in Mitchell, South Dakota. A few years later the company was joined by Howard Paul and Ellwyn Nohr which later became Schmucker, Paul, Nohr and Associates.

In 1971, Terry Helms joined the firm and eventually became a partner with the firm.

In 1979, Helms opened an office in Aberdeen which is Schmucker, Paul, Nohr Incorporated doing business as Helms and Associates. Drawing from years of experience with SPN & Associates in Mitchell, Mr. Helms began offering comprehensive Civil Engineering services to northeastern South Dakota’s municipalities, state government agencies, and private enterprises.

As demand for their quality workmanship increased, Helms and Associates expanded their offerings from airports to include roadways, bridges, landfills, parks and many other types of projects. Before long, they were involved in an ever-increasing number of projects statewide.

Helms and Associates has stayed true to their original vision while embracing new industry technologies as they have developed to include CADD, GPS surveying, and GIS capabilities. Their staff continues to grow and now includes additional professional engineers, registered land surveyors, technicians, and a project developer.

Over the years, the staff at Helms and Associates has grown from 5 employees in 1990 to 28 in 2023. We maintain a well-versed office, with seven registered professional engineers, three registered land surveyors, two engineers in training, and a land surveying intern, nine technicians, a project administrator, and two clerical employees. Many of the staff hired over the last ten years started out working in the summers for Helms and Associates and after graduation returned to work full-time. The majority are originally from northeast South Dakota and uphold the work ethic so sought after from the Midwest.