Guy Spencer Vissing, Employee of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Dies at Age 90

December 16, 2014

Guy Spencer Vissing, P.E., F.ASCE, senior project manager at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for over 30 years, passed away on September 12 at the age of 90. Born on November 23, 1923, in Akron, Ohio, Vissing spent his childhood in Ohio and Jackson, Michigan. A graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Vissing was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, and Pi Mu Epsilon honor societies. However, his education was interrupted with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. With America’s entry into World War II in 1941, Vissing enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he received training at the Illinois Institute of Technology under the Army Specialized Training Program. Called into action in 1943, Vissing served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands. At the conclusion of the war and upon graduation from Michigan State, he was employed by the Jackson, Michigan, office of the Fargo Engineering Company, where he did design, field surveying, and construction work on dam and hydroelectric projects across the midwest and west. In 1952 he joined Commonwealth Associates Inc., where he worked as a structural engineer on thermal electric power plants, including the Femi-1 feat breeder nuclear plant. In addition, Vissing also directed the structural design of a process steam and electric power plant in Midland, Michigan. Recognizing his experience and knowledge of nuclear energy, Vissing was hired by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) / NASA Space Propulsion Project Office at Lewis Research Center (today the Glenn Space Flight Center) in Cleveland, Ohio, where from 1962 to 1972 he held the positions of project engineer, project manager, technology utilization manager, and reliability manager on the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) and Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generation development programs. In 1972 he was transferred to Bethesda, Maryland, where he served as a reliability engineer to the power reactor regulatory arm of the AEC, which was the predecessor organization to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. For the next 30 years, Vissing was the senior project manager of operating nuclear power plants before retiring from government service in 2003. President of the Michigan State University Student Chapter, Vissing has been a student member, associate member, Fellow, and Life member of ASCE.

1 Comment
  • I had the pleasure of meeting him and he was a very bright, happy gentleman. He will be missed by his Family and Friends. RIP

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