NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida has served as a critical part of the organization’s long history of space exploration. One of the largest buildings in the world by area, the VAB opened in 1966 to house assembly of the Apollo/Saturn V moon rocket and will soon serve a critical role in NASA’s efforts to explore Mars.
Befitting this history, the Florida Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) honored the building as an ASCE National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark during a dedication ceremony on 10 January 2020. Glenn Bell – President of ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) and former SGH CEO and Senior Principal – spoke at the ceremony of the building’s significance and the structural engineering feats that it required. SGH co-founder Howard Simpson led a structural analysis for the VAB during its design, which included developing new techniques in the art of applying large digital computer models to structural analysis.