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Derrick Watkins Joins Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Derrick Watkins Joins Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

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Photo Courtesy of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger.

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) is pleased to welcome Derrick Watkins as a Principal to the firm, bolstering our advanced analytical capabilities for mission-critical facilities and components in the defense, energy, health care, and aerospace sectors. He will join SGH’s Engineering Mechanics & Infrastructure (EMI) division in Southern California, partnering closely with professionals across the firm while operating out of San Diego, CA. Derrick brings twenty-seven years of experience in the industry, specializing in seismic analysis for nonstructural components, such as heating, cooling, and piping systems; high-end structural analysis and finite-element modeling; and impact modeling analysis to assess extreme loading conditions.

“Derrick is a highly accomplished technical leader with a natural ability to connect with people and build long-term client relationships,” said Niklas Vigener, SGH Chief Technical Officer. “His professional and personal enthusiasm are contagious to be around, bringing excitement and a unique perspective to his work, industry activities, and community volunteering efforts.”
Most recently, Derrick was a Vice President at SC Solutions in San Diego. He has also served as a Senior Associate and Executive Advisor with Structural Integrity Associates and a co-founder of Tobolski Watkins Engineering, TRU Compliance, and Seismic TestCo. He is an active member of several industry organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), where he is a Fellow and serves on Committee 4 on Seismic Analysis of Safety-Related Nuclear Structures and Committee 43 on Seismic Design Criteria for Structures, Systems, and Components in Nuclear Facilities.  “I am thrilled to join SGH and excited to help build on the firm’s reputation as a trusted partner and resource,” said Derrick. “I love solving challenging technical problems for my clients and know that my colleagues here at SGH feel that same passion. I look forward to partnering with the many experts across the firm to enhance our current service offerings and expand our capabilities into adjacent and transformational markets.”
Derrick holds a Ph.D. in structural engineering from the University of California, San Diego, as well as a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Bucknell University. He formerly held structural teaching positions at the University of California, San Diego, and Columbia Basin College.
“We are very excited for Derrick to join our team,” said Frederic Grant, SGH EMI Division Head, Southern California. “He brings world-class expertise, great energy, and technical specialization in advanced analysis that will enable us to deliver more diverse services and more value to our clients.”

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) is a national engineering firm committed to delivering holistic advice for our clients’ most complex challenges. We leverage our collective and diverse experience, technical expertise, and industry knowledge of structures and building enclosures, advanced analysis, performance & code consulting, and applied science & research to deliver unrivaled, comprehensive solutions that drive superior performance. With more than 600 employees in eight office locations throughout the United States, SGH’s industry-leading teams constantly seek to advance the meaning of what’s possible. For more information, please visit


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