Robert Simmons

Robert E. Simmons – President

Accomplishments Overview – Mr. Simmons

Mr. Simmons has over 22 years of experience in design, development, and application of vibration and shock isolation and seismic restraint of non-structural components such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection equipment and related systems. He has a BSME from Texas A&M University and is a registered P.E. in 29 states. He is a member and past Chairman for ASHRAE’s Technical Committee 2.7, Seismic Restraint and Wind Design. He is a member and past secretary for ASHRAE’s Technical Committee 2.6, Sound & Vibration Control, and is the chair for the Vibration Isolation Subcommittee of TC 2.6. Mr. Simmons served as Membership Chair and President of the Vibration Isolation and Seismic Control Manufacturer’s Association (VISCMA). He gives frequent lectures on vibration isolation and seismic restraint.


  • Seismic Code requirements
  • Code compliant seismic calculations
  • Specification preparation
  • Design of seismic restraint systems for non-structural components in all types of buildings
  • Size selection and layout of cable and rigid restraints for pipe, duct, raceways, and distribution systems
  • Vibration and Shock Control
  • Code compliant Wind load calculations and design
  • Pipe stress analysis
  • Support design for dead load, seismic, and wind for equipment and distribution systems
  • Finite Element Analysis

Professional Experience

  • President and founder of Petra Seismic Design
  • Vice President of Seismic Source International
  • Vice President of Engineering for The VMC Group Houston facility
  • Vice President of Engineering/Part owner of Vibration Isolation Products of Texas
  • Vice President of Engineering for The Amber Booth Company

Professional Affiliations


  • Served as Chairman of TC2.7, Seismic Restraint and Wind Design
  • Served as Secretary of TC2.6, Sound and Vibration Control
  • Chairman of Vibration Isolation Subcommittee
  • Member of Standards Committee 171, Method of Testing Seismic Restraint Devices for HVAC&R Equipment
  • Member of Standard Project Committee 197, Method of Test for Vibration Isolators
  • Speaker for several Seminars

  • Served as President and Membership Chair
  • Contributed to VISCMA 101-07 Seismic Restraint Specification Guidelines for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Systems

  • Served on technical advisory committee for FEMA manuals 412, 413, and 414 – Manuals for Seismic Installation of Electrical and Mechanical Equipment, Pipe, and Duct.

  • Member of Prairie View A&M University Industrial Advisory Council


  • Vibration Isolation, ASHRAE Journal
  • Vibration Isolation For Cooling Towers, CTI Journal
  • Maneuvering Through The Maze Of Seismic Cades and Standards, ASHRAE Symposium Paper
James Carlson

James A. Carlson – Principal

Accomplishments Overview – James A. Carlson

Over 28 years of experience in consulting and nuclear industry. I graduated in 1981 from North Dakota State University with a BSME. Expertise includes seismic restraint design for non-structural components.

  • Implemented seismic restraint design for commercial and nuclear facilities.
  • Certified seismic evaluation engineer (SQUG), identified by the Department of Energy.

Professional Engineering Activities:

  • Past chairman of ASHRAE’s Seismic Restraint Design Task Group.
  • Speaker for several ASHRAE seminars and authored several papers.
  • Responsible for the original preparation of the ASHRAE Seismic Restraint Design chapter published in the 1991 Applications Handbook.
  • Received ASHRAE’s Technical Achievement Award for 2000.
  • Member of ASCE 7, TS-8 Seismic Subcommittee, I used my experience to initiating code changes to clarify duct restraints, pipe requirements, and electrical conduit/raceways.
  • Member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  • Speaker for the Applied Technology Council Conference (ATC-29)

Professional work Includes:

  • Principal Investigator of the “Manuals for Seismic Installation of Electrical and Mechanical Equipment” project contracted with ASCE (Reference: FEMA contract EMW-2001-CO-0379). Participated in the preparation of the project plan; successfully lead project team meetings to define project goals, prepared manuals for anchoring of mechanical, electrical, and pipe/ductwork equipment.
  • Member of the project management committee for updating FEMA 74.
  • Contract with AHRI to write a seismic qualification standard for HVACR equipment.


  • Developed a web-based calculation tool for sizing anchors to seismically restrain equipment.
  • Created a 12-hour Professional Development Seminar on “Seismic Restraint Design” (12 PDH’s).


  • Seismic Calculations.
  • Structural natural frequency analysis of non-structural structures.
  • Specification preparation.
  • Shake table testing of safety-related equipment.