May Branch Meeting Main Speakers

Engineering and Construction History of the Astrodome and the Outstanding Career of Richard P. Doss, Harris County Engineer

Dr. Jerry R. Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Distinguished M. ASCE 


Dr. Narendra Gosain, Ph.D., P.E. - Senior Consultant, Diagnostic Group, Walter P. Moore & Associates, Inc.

Just about the time Richard Doss had taken over as County Engineer in 1961, the Harris County Domes Stadium's 1/8 scale model was being tested in a wind tunnel in McDonnell Aircraft Corporation facility in St. Louis, Missouri. This was just the start of teh project that was to be known as the Astrodome. Construction documents for this unique project were issued October 1962 and were completed in November 1964, six months ahead of schedule. Conceived as the home of the Houston Colts and the Houston Oilers, it was termed by many as the Eighth Wonder of the World. It was the first time that a stadium was built for both baseball and football that was totally enclosed and fully air-conditioned. Circular in shape, the outer diameter of the Astrodome is 710 feet, and the clear span of the lamella dome roof is 642 feet. The presentation will provide and overview of the differnt structural challenges that faced the design team in the nineteen sixties. This facility served the Houston Oilers until 1996 and the Houston Astros until 1999. As we all know, the Astros now play at the Minute Maid Park and the Houston Texans play at the Reliant Stadium. This magnificent Eighth Wonder of the World whcih was abandoned for several years may now have a new lease on life with Harris County's recent proposal to repurpose and revitalize this iconic structure.

Richard P. Doss, P.E., L.P.L.S., (1922 - 2007) attended Texas A & M, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps (1942-1946), and graduated: BSCE 1948 from the University of Houston. Dick worked in Harris County Engineering (1948-1986) and served as an Outstanding Harris County Engineer from 1961-1986. Dick Doss oversaw the design and construction of the Harris County Domed Stadium (Astrodome), Bear Creek Park, Beltway 8 Bridge over the Houston Ship Channel, Harris County Jail, was involved with the 1983 start of the Harris County Toll Road Authority, and oversaw inspections of roadways, bridges, ferry boats, water and sewer systems, and constructing and renovating county buildings. Doss served as President of the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society (HESS). In 1980, he was named Houston Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. In 1986, Doss was nominated for Top Ten U.S. Public Works Officials. Dick was honored as a "Distinguished Alumni" by U. of Houston in 1987. After E. B. Cape and the City of Houston began E-14 engineering standards in 1962, Dick Doss started Harris County engineering standard. In his honer in 1976, Harris County named the Richard P. Doss Park (33 acres), 2500 Frick Road near Veterans Memorial.

Jerry R. Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Distinguished M. ASCE

1. Retired as Assoc. Professor Emeritus - Civil & Envir. Engr. - U. of Houston (1970-2013)

2. Past ASCE National Vice President - 2001-2003, ASCE National Executive Committee

3. ASCE District Director: 1992-1995; Co-Founder - EWRI

4. Served as President of the Texas Section ASCE and Houston Branch ASCE;

5. Served as National President, Board Member of American Water Resources Assoc.

6. Founding Chair - EWRI History & Heritage Committee, ASCE National History Committee

7. President: Engineers Council of Houston

8. Editor or Co-Editor and Coordinator of 7-8 ASCE or EWRI National History Publications

9. Local Chair: ASCE Water Systems '79- WRPMD Conf. - Houston/Mexico City

10. Chair: ASCE Water Forum '81 - San Francisco

11. Founder, Board Member of American Academy of Water Resources Engineers

12. National Member: Civil Engineering Certification, Inc. - ASCE (2012-2018)

Awards for Dr. Jerry Rogers

1. Houston Engineer of the Year - NSPE/TSPE; Texas and San Jacinto Young Engineer of the Year- NSPE/TSPE.

2. Awards of Honor: ASCE Houston Branch and ASCE Texas Section.

3. ASCE Texas: Professional Service Award, Lifetime Service Award, and John Focht Citizen Engineer Award.

4. ASCE National Awards: William Wisely Anerican Civil Engineer Award, ASCE National Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Award, ASCE National Distinguised Member, EWRI Lifetime Service Award, WRPMD Service to Profession Award.

Dr. Narendra Gosain, Ph.D., P.E.

Narendra Gosain is a Senior Consultant in the Diagnostics Services Group of Walter P Moore. In his 44 year career with Walter P Moore, Dr. Gosain has been involved with several projects throughout the United States, including commercial, industrial, and medical structures.?

As an adjunct professor for 17 years in the College of Civil Engineering at Rice University in Houston from 1981 through 1997, Dr. Gosain shared his expertise with later generations of structural engineers. In spring of 2014, he introduced a new course on Forensic Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Houston.?

He has directed the structural design and restoration work of many of the firm’s prominent projects, including the restoration of the San Jacinto Monument and the historic and award-winning expansion of The Astrodome in Houston.?

A paper authored by Dr. Gosain and Kenneth Zimmerman in 2004 entitled, "Astrodome – An Engineering Marvel of the 1960’s" was selected by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) for the permanent files of the Library of Congress in 2007.?

In 1999, Dr. Gosain started a new service line in Walter P Moore called the Diagnostics Services Group that is dedicated to structural restoration, rehabilitation, forensics and litigation support work. He served as the Executive Director of this group until February 2009. Dr. Gosain’s focus is now on serving as a technical consultant for complex structural rehabilitation challenges and forensics related work.?

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cooling Technology Institute and is serving as the Chairman of the Strategic Repair Research Council of the Strategic Development Council of American Concrete Institute Foundation.?

Narendra Gosain got his Master of Engineering degree in 1965 from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1973 from Rice University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Texas.




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