Architectural Glazing Expert Earns Fellow Status

October 12, 2016


H. Scott Norville, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, professor of civil engineering at Texas Tech University, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.

Norville served for 11 years as chair of civil and environmental engineering at TTU, and for most of his professional life he has worked with architectural glazing. His research, business, and consulting careers have centered on making glazing design more tractable and efficient while making glazing in facades safer and more secure. He has introduced methods to define the design strength of architectural glazing constructions under uniform load; developed test procedures for architectural glazing under extreme loads such as impact and blast; and advanced a simplified method for blast resistant glazing design. In addition, he cofounded a company that develops glazing design software.

Early in his academic career Norville became part of a research effort to determine glass breakage rates under low-level blast loading. Following this project, he continued his work with blast resistant glazing, setting up a research blast arena under the auspices of TTU. His work led to the initial development of an ASTM Standard to guide others in testing blast resistant architectural glazing and glazing systems. Also, Norville surveyed glass damage and glass-related injuries following the Oklahoma City bombing under sponsorship from both industry and federal agencies, and he coauthored a simplified design procedure for blast resistant glazing constructions fabricated with laminated glass.

Following Hurricane Andrew, the Dade County Code Compliance Committee approached him with a request to develop some means to certify glazing as “hurricane resistant.” In response to this request, Norville created initial versions of the two-by-four impact and steel ball impact tests for glazing in hurricane-prone regions. He and his colleagues refined these test methods and placed them in ASTM standards and building codes. To initiate commercial testing, they opened a test laboratory dedicated to debris impact tests.

The work of Norville and that of several colleagues brought improved glazing safety and lower insurance losses in windstorms to hurricane-prone regions along most of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico U.S. coastal regions, as well as in Hawaii and other areas of the world. Incidentally, this test method gave birth to both the windborne-debris-impact-resistant glazing industry as well as its affiliated testing industry.

Norville’s efforts, with significant guidance and support from many esteemed colleagues, have led to improved glazing design methods and improved glazing safety under extreme loadings. He is an ASTM Fellow. After completing active duty in the Marine Corps with a tour in Vietnam, he attended the University of Toledo, where he earned his BSCE degree in 1974. From Purdue University he earned his MSCE degree in 1976 and his Ph.D. in 1981, specializing in structural engineering.

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