Glenn R. Bell

Chief Executive Officer, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

Structural Engineering at Mid-21st Century: Reengineering Our Roles
click here to view video

Friday, March 20, 2015– 4:30 pm

Location: Sinclair Lab Auditorium, Lehigh University, 7 Asa Drive, Bethlehem, PA

Glenn R. Bell, Chief Executive Officer, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Waltham, MA: Glenn Bell has been with Simpson Gumpertz and Heger since 1975, starting as a design structural engineer and assuming his current role as CEO in 1995. Glenn has had responsibility for major design works such as SpaceShip Earth, the geodesic sphere at Walt Disney World Epcot Center, and the Aga Khan Medical Complex in Karachi Pakistan. He also has led major structural failure investigations such as the walkways collapse at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency and served as an advisor to SGH’s team that investigated the 9/11 WTC 1 & 2 Tower Collapses for NIST.

Glenn has twice presented invited keynote addresses at Structures Congress in the US. He helped to found the ASCE Technical Council on Forensic Engineering, and has been active in seismic code development, masonry design standards, and various aspects of professional practice.  For his professional contributions globally, Glenn recently was honored by the Institution of Structural Engineers by admission to Fellow grade through IStructE’s Eminent Professionals program and received the Edmond Freidman Professional Recognition Award from ASCE.

Under Glenn’s leadership SGH has grown from 140 to over 470 employees and from two to six offices, and is frequently recognized as one of the best structural engineering firms in the US for which to work.

Structural Engineering at Mid-21st Century: Reengineering Our Roles: Tectonic developments, such as globalization, energy and sustainability imperatives, advances in automation and technology, economic pressures, changes in natural hazards due to climate change, and the dizzying pace of information dissemination are changing the profession of structural engineering as we know it.  The continuation of such developments over the next several decades will create challenges and opportunities that will require that we reengineer our roles if we are to maintain a vibrant profession, to continue to attract the best and brightest practitioners, and to remain relevant in serving society as we have in the past.

The successful structural engineer of the future will be a global practitioner, able to collaborate with team members around the global and with strongly transportable technical skills.  She will be very creative and inventive and a continuous learner, aligned with academia, research, and code development. She will be adaptable, able to manage uncertainty and to help others make sound decisions in the face of it.  This inspiring, reengineered role for structural engineers will result in ever more elegant and higher performing structures.

In this lecture, Glenn Bell will explore this reengineered role for the structural engineering profession, illustrated with examples of projects, strategies, and new capabilities his firm and others are employing to meet this future vision.

The Dendrite and Graphite of a Grey Cast Iron Structure