Guy Spencer Vissing

Guy Spencer Vissing (BS Civ Egr '48) was a former employee and leader at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Atomic Energy Commission and NASA. He died Sept. 12, 2014. He was 90.Dec. 1, 2014

Guy Spencer Vissing, P.E., LASCE, (BS Civ Egr ’48) died Sept. 12, 2014, in Derwood, Md. He was 90.

He was a former employee and leader at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Atomic Energy Commission, and NASA.

He was born on Nov. 24, 1923, in Akron, Ohio, and grew up in Jackson, Mich.

He enrolled at Michigan State University and enlisted in the U.S. Army during his first year of college. He was called to active duty in 1943. During the war, he received training at the Illinois Institute of Technology under the Army Specialized Training Program. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, with military action in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands.

At the end of the war, he returned to MSU to complete his education. He was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and Pi Mu Epsilon honor societies. During college, he was the president of the student ASCE chapter. In 1948, he graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree with highest honors in civil engineering.

Following graduation, he was employed by Fargo Engineering Company of Jackson, where he did design, field survey, and construction work on dam and hydroelectric projects across the Midwest and West.

In 1952, he joined Commonwealth Associates, Inc., also in Jackson, where he worked as a structural engineer on thermal electric power plants, including the Fermi-1 fast breeder nuclear plant. He also directed the structural design of a process steam and electric power plant in Midland.

From 1962 to 1972, he was employed by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)/NASA Space Propulsion Project Office at Lewis Research Center in Cleveland (now Glenn Space Flight Center), holding positions as project engineer, project manager, technology utilization manager and reliability manager on the nuclear rocket (NERVA) and the radioisotope thermoelectric generation development programs.

In 1972, he transferred as a reliability engineer to the power reactor regulatory arm of the AEC in Bethesda, Md., which was the predecessor organization to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. For more than 30 years, he was an NRC senior project manager of operating nuclear power plants. He retired from government service in 2003, after 41 years of service.

Vissing was elected a junior member of ASCE in April 1948, associate member in 1959, fellow in April 1964, and life member in November 1988. He was a registered professional engineer in the State of Michigan.

He is survived by his companion of the last 15 years, Josephine Bianchi; daughter Betsy Connell (Ed); grandchildren Kathleen and Shannon Connell; son Bob (Nelida); and grandchildren Katie Garbow (Matt) and Kristie Vissing; and daughter Helen Vissing (Jim Steckel); grandchildren Amanda and Samantha Steckel.

Funeral services were Sept. 20 at the DeVol Funeral Home in Gaithersburg, Md. Interment will be in Michigan.

Memorials may be made to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, ATTN: Donor Services, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, Texas, 75265-0309 or to American Lung Association, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20004.