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R. Bruce Simms '93

R. Bruce Simms '93. Photo courtesy of R. Bruce Simms.

R. Bruce Simms

Virginia Tech Class of ‘93
Vice President of Specialty Services for Industrial TurnAround Corporation

As vice president of specialty services for Industrial TurnAround Corporation (ITAC), I am responsible for four divisions, including custom machinery, pre-engineered metal buildings, safety services, and fall protection. I helped create the fall protection division, where I have spent almost 25 years of my career. 

After completing my degree in civil engineering with a structural emphasis in ‘93, I worked for a metal building manufacturer and then a construction company installing metal buildings. Equipped with that experience, I began to apply my education toward protecting people working at elevation through the design and installation of fall arrest systems, guardrails, ladders, platforms, and catwalks. I also trained workers in the principles of fall arrest and the use of systems that we have installed. Fall protection is an endeavor for which I am still passionate today. 

I currently live in Chesterfield County, VA where my wife and I raised our three girls. In our free time, we are actively involved in our church.

What does working with a group of Hokies mean to you?
I am proud to be working with other Hokies that share the Virginia Tech experience. I strive to represent our school with integrity and excellence while embodying the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) in both my work and community. I want people to think highly of Virginia Tech as a result of knowing how our experience there shaped us, especially as they see our exceptional approach to the projects and challenges we tackle.

What was a project that you worked on while at Virginia Tech that set you up for this career?
While not specifically one project, my overall co-op experience serving in the nuclear civil/structural support group for Virginia Power was invaluable. Not only did my co-op training teach me real-life applications for calculations, designs, and installations, but it also introduced me to my friend and colleague John Whitty — he has shared in the mission of protecting people at heights since the very beginning.

I decided to help start the fall protection division because…
Fall protection allowed me to apply my structural engineering background to the valuable goal of protecting people working at elevation. I believe that lives are precious and that workers deserve to be safe in these often precarious environments. I want to see people return home at the end of the day in the same condition they arrived. For over two decades, this niche business has proven to be rewarding for our team and our clients.

What are some of the interesting locations that the ITAC fall protection services team has worked through the years?
Our fall protection installations have taken us to theaters, sporting arenas, skyscrapers, roller coasters, the roof of the U.S. Supreme Court, and even space shuttle launch pads!  We are truly grateful for the wide array of clients who have trusted us with the task of protecting their workers on a daily basis.


B.S., Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1993