ARA Engineers Help Develop New Physical Security Manual of Practice

Engineers at Applied Research Associates, Inc (ARA) have a proven history in physical security and protective design, and are proud help make our world safer and more secure through their contributions to the field. Recently, several ARA security experts helped author ASCE’s updated manual, “Structural Design for Physical Security: State of the Practice.”

The new publication is intended to be a roadmap to structural engineers and design professionals involved in projects that have physical security concerns related to explosive, ballistic, forced entry, and hostile vehicle threats. It was prepared by the Task Committee on Structural Design for Physical Security of the Blast, Shock, and Impact Committee of the Dynamic Effects Technical Administration Committee of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE.

It provides an overview of the typical design considerations encountered in new construction and renovation of facilities for physical security, according to ASCE, and takes into consideration changes in threat tactics and types that have led to the need for updated physical security designs. It also anticipates the future threat environment while prioritizing flexibility and adaptability in design.

Topics include: threat determination and available assessment and criteria documents; methods by which structural loadings are derived for the determined threats; function and selection of structural systems; design of structural components; function and selection of window and facade components; specific considerations for retrofitting structures; testing methodologies; and bridge security.

ARA engineers J. Mikhael Erekson and Kenneth Herrle served as lead authors, with ARA engineers James Brokaw and Shelly Brock Watson serving as contributors and reviewers. To read more about ARA’s expertise in physical security and protective design, visit

About ARA

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) was founded in 1979, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to offer science and engineering research to solve problems of national importance. ARA delivers leading-edge products and innovative solutions for national defense, energy, homeland security, aerospace, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. With over 2,000 employee-owners at locations in the U.S. and Canada, ARA offers a broad range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, biomedical engineering, environmental technologies, and blast testing and measurement.