October 27, 2023

BSA Honors Historic Preservation Champion Susan Knack-Brown with 2023 Women in Design Award of Excellence

BSA Honors Historic Preservation Champion Susan Knack-Brown with 2023 Women in Design Award of Excellence

The Boston Society for Architecture (BSA) honored Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) Senior Principal Susan Knack-Brown with the organization’s annual Women in Design Award of Excellence, recognizing her contributions to preserving historic structures, her commitment to mentoring future engineers, and her dedication to leading SGH with openness and equity. The honor goes to professionals in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry who have dedicated their careers to the design community in New England. BSA also gave 2023 Awards of Excellence to Mimi Love of Utile and Shauna Gillies-Smith of Ground.

“I am thrilled to receive this award alongside Mimi and Shauna, and honored to join such an accomplished group of professionals who are driving innovation and inclusivity in the design industry,” said Susan. “Since I was a kid, I have loved solving problems. There’s nothing better than working with my clients and team to design solutions that preserve our communities’ built environment and architectural legacy.”

Susan serves as SGH’s Building Technology Division Head for the Boston office and is the chair of the firm’s Board of Directors.

Susan (left) and her mentee, SGH Associate Principal Casey William (right), examine material samples.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Susan and watching her grow into an exceptional professional, role model, and leader,” said SGH Chief Technical Officer Niklas Vigener. “Throughout her career, she has led many significant and challenging historic preservation projects to success. More importantly, she is an energetic leader and keen technician who has driven forward not only highly visible projects, but also the careers of young professionals and young women around her.”

One of Susan’s long-standing project relationships is with The First Church of Christ, Scientist (TFCCS), in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, including a restoration that began in 2016 and concluded in 2023. “Susan has always been client-focused, solution-driven, and exceptional at her job, and she is very deserving to receive the Women in Design Award of Excellence,” said TFCCS Senior Project Manager Brooke Ten Eyck. “Susan is more than a consultant colleague; she is a valued member of our larger team and is a ‘go to’ for our site’s history (which spans more than 100 years).”