A computational procedure is presented to evaluate the static dent resistance at the center of a steel door panel. Using the design parameters of geometric shape, thickness and the stress-strain relations of the steel, the static dent initiation load can be calculated. The method is based on the concept of plastic work which is the non-recoverable energy dissipated in the panel by the applied load. A threshold value of plastic work of 0.02 joule is used to signal the dent initiation. A comparison of the computed and measured dent initiation loads of ten experimental panels shows the maximum deviation is less than 20 newtons.