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Henderson Engineers’ latest project: A human Chiefs logo

Henderson Engineers human Chiefs logo.png
Posted at 10:56 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 12:53:07-05

LENEXA, Kan. — During the course of a normal day, the people at Lenexa-based Henderson Engineers are busy designing world-class buildings.

But Wednesday morning, its people formed the building blocks of a human logo for a world-class football team.

Using 225 employees in color-coordinated outfits, Henderson Engineers put together a human Chiefs logo in honor of Super Bowl LIV.

“We’re just super excited,” Henderson Engineers President and CEO Rich Smith said. “I think everybody in Kansas City is excited about this, and an event like this is just reflective of our personality and our culture.”

Smith said that the company, which was founded 50 years ago, feels a connection with the Chiefs in this moment. The franchise’s only Super Bowl victory came 50 years ago.

In fact, Sunday will mark the first time the Chiefs have returned to the title game since that 23-7 win against the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

The human Chiefs logo is the brainchild of Henderson Engineers Electrical Technical Leader Erin Smith, who said she was looking for a way the company could show support for the Chiefs.

Henderson did something similar with the Royals logo during the 2014 World Series.

“It’s really fun to take the engineering background and take that logic then apply it to something fun and real life like this,” she said. “You’re basically using humans as puzzles pieces out there, and it was really cool to see it come together.”

Erin Smith has a background creating precision layouts for marching bands to use during performances, a skillset she put to use with plenty of volunteer help from her coworkers.

“Lots of us have been Chiefs fans since we were born,” Erin Smith sad. “One of my first memories was being freezing cold, having my hot chocolate at a Chiefs game.”

The original design, which called for 380 people had to be scaled down after Wednesday morning’s snow, but the employees who were able to participate had a blast.

“A lot of things that we do, the systems that we design, people don’t see,” Rich Smith said. “So, for us, this is really cool to be creative and to put it out on social media. To brag about engineering ability and creativity is pretty cool.”

Henderson Engineers has plenty to brag about. The firm designed the Chiefs’ practice facility at Missouri Western among its various portfolio of high school, college and professional projects

Currently, Henderson Engineers is spearheading construction of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, outside Los Angeles, which will be the new home of the Rams and Chargers.

It’s the most expensive sports facility ever built and will host Super Bowl LVI in 2022 — when the Chiefs hopefully will be going for a three-peat.

Kansas City-based Populous has been in charge of Super Bowl LIV preparations for the last two years and also designed Marlins Park, site of Super Bowl Opening Night, in Miami.

“Kansas City has a fantastic story to tell when it comes to sports architecture and sports engineering ...,” Rich Smith said. “The history and tradition of sports and sports architecture in Kansas City is something that we should be really proud of. In my mind, it’s right up there with fountains and barbecue and jazz and the Chiefs.”

As for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, Erin Smith wouldn’t commit to a score prediction but said she expects Mahomes to throw four touchdowns. Certainly sounds like a winning formula.