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Glenn R. Bell (Fed)

Research Civil Engineer, Materials and Structural Systems Division


Glenn joined NIST in 2021 to serve as Associate Lead Investigator for the NCST Investigation of the Champlain Towers South collapse.  From 1975 to 2020 he was employed at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH), were he worked in structural design, structural rehabilitation, and the investigation of failures.  He investigated the walkways collapse at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Kansas City, the scaffold collapse at the John Hancock Center, Chicago, served on SGH’s team that conducted analyses for NIST of the collapses of WTC Towers 1 and 2 during 9/11, and evaluated the effects of alkali-silica reaction in the concrete of the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant. His structural design projects include SpaceShip Earth at Walt Disney World Epcot Center and the Aga Khan Medical Complex in Karachi, Pakistan.  Glenn was SGH’s CEO from 1995 through 2016.

Glenn’s professional passion is structural safety, especially in investigating failures and employing the lessons learned from them to improve practice and avert future disasters.  He co-founded the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) Technical Council on Forensic Engineering and was the principal driver in establishing Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures – US, where he currently serves as Director. He authored the chapter Engineering Investigation of Failures in the Forensic Structural Engineering Handbook (McGraw-Hill, 2000). Glenn is the Past-President of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE.

Glenn earned a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Tufts University and an MS in Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics from the University of California at Berkeley.  He is a registered PE in eight states and in the District of Columbia.  He is a registered Structural Engineer in Illinois and a Chartered Engineer in the UK.  He has received numerous recognitions for his contributions, including ASCE’s 2012 Forensic Engineering Award and recent election as a Distinguished Member of ASCE, the Society’s highest honor.

Created August 14, 2021, Updated December 8, 2022