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Dean’s Seminar Series Welcomes Structural Engineer Bill Baker

Julio M. Ottino, dean of the McCormick School of Engineering, welcomes the next speaker in his Dean’s Seminar Series: Bill Baker, structural engineering partner of the Chicago architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and an adjunct professor in McCormick’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Baker’s lecture, titled “The Design of Structures,” will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 18 in the ITW room in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center.

Throughout his distinguished career, Baker has dedicated himself to structural innovation. His best known contribution has been the development of the “buttressed core” structural system for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest manmade structure. While widely regarded for his work on supertall buildings, his expertise also extends to a wide variety of structures, including the GM Entry Pavilion and Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP Pedestrian Bridge. Baker is also known for his work on long-span roof structures, such as the Korean Air Lines Operations Hangar and the Virginia Beach Convention Center, and for his collaboration with artists like Jamie Carpenter (Raspberry Island-Schubert Club Band Shell), Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With), and James Turrell (Roden Crater).

Baker was the recipient of a 2011 ASCE Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Award for Design, the 2010 recipient of the Gold Medal from the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), and the 2009 recipient and first American to receive the Fritz Leonhardt Preis (Germany). In 2008, the CTBUH awarded him the Fazlur Rahman Khan medal.