CEE Experts Lead NIST Investigation of Champlain Towers South Collapse

Featured Faculty: Jack P. Moehle


The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the team to conduct a technical investigation into the June 24, 2021, partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida. The team includes several experts with ties to CEE, including Professor Jack Moehle, and alumni Judith Mitrani-Reiser and Glenn Bell.

The team will be led by Judith Mitrani-Reiser, associate chief of the Materials and Structural Systems Division in NIST’s Engineering Laboratory. Glenn Bell, co-director of the safety organization Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures and co-founder of the American Society of Civil Engineers Technical Council on Forensic Engineering, will serve as associate lead. 

“This team has an incredible amount of experience in forensic engineering, having studied many building failures,” Mitrani-Reiser said. “We are going into this with an open mind and will examine all hypotheses that might explain what caused this collapse. Having a team with experience across a variety of disciplines, including structural and geotechnical engineering, materials, evidence collection, modeling and more, will ensure a thorough investigation.”

The technical investigation will be organized around specific projects to understand the full history of the building, including its design plans, construction, materials, modifications, site and environment. Professor Moehle will serve as a lead for the Structural Engineering project. Full biographies of the team members and descriptions of each project can be found on the NIST Champlain Towers South investigation webpages