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The National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) is proud to announce its closing keynote presentation by Glenn R. Bell, P.E., S.E., a leading investigator of the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, Florida. This highly anticipated keynote, “Update on NIST’s National Construction Safety Team Investigation of the Champlain Towers South Partial Collapse,” will take place at 11 a.m. PT on Friday, November 8, 2024, in Las Vegas during the NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit.

The partial collapse of Champlain Towers South on June 24, 2021, marked one of the most tragic structural failures in U.S. history. In response, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) formed a National Construction Safety Team (NCST) to investigate the failure. The goals of the investigation are to identify the technical causes of the collapse and recommend changes to codes and standards to prevent similar disasters in the future.

Using advanced technologies and an interdisciplinary approach, the investigation is divided into six projects, examining the site’s history, building, and relevant codes and standards. The investigation also involves the collection, preservation, and analysis of evidence, social science research, remote sensing, data visualization, materials science, geotechnical engineering, and structural engineering.

Bell’s presentation will outline the systematic approach to analyzing the causes of the collapse, including site investigations, physical evidence testing, document analysis, eyewitness interviews, laboratory testing, and advanced computer simulations. Preliminary results of the analyses will be shared during the keynote.

About Glenn R. Bell, P.E., S.E.

Glenn R. Bell is a Research Civil Engineer at NIST and the Associate Lead Investigator of the NCST investigation into the CTS Partial Collapse. His career spans four decades, including his tenure at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) from 1975 to 2020, where he worked in structural design, rehabilitation, and failure investigation. Notably, he investigated the 1981 walkways collapse at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City and contributed to the NIST analyses of the WTC Towers 1 and 2 collapses during 9/11. Bell served as SGH’s CEO from 1995 to 2016.

Bell’s dedication to structural safety is evident through his numerous contributions to the field. He co-founded the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Technical Council on Forensic Engineering and played a pivotal role in establishing Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures – U.S., where he currently serves as Director. His achievements have been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the ASCE President’s Award, the ASCE Forensic Engineering Award, and the IStructE Keith Eaton International Award.

The NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit is November 5–8, 2024, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event will bring together structural engineers from across the country for four days of collaboration, learning, and networking.

For more information about the Summit and to register, please visit NCSEASummit.com.

Glenn R. Bell headshot
Glenn R. Bell, P.E., S.E.

The National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) was formed to constantly improve the standard level of practice of the structural engineering profession. The Association’s vision is that structural engineers are valued for their contributions to safe structures and resilient communities. The Association’s mission is that NCSEA, in partnership with its Member Organizations, supports practicing structural engineers to be highly qualified professionals and successful leaders.