William F. Baker, “Studies in Scale and Topology: the Structural Engineer’s Role in Creating New Architecture”

William F. Baker is the Structural and Civil Engineering Partner for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. While his best known contribution has been the development of the “buttressed core” structural system for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest manmade structure, his expertise also extends to long-span roof structures, such as the Korean Air Lines Operations Hangar, and specialty structures like Broadgate-Exchange House.  Bill has also collaborated with numerous artists, including Jamie Carpenter, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, James Turrell and Jaume Plensa.
In addition to working at SOM, Bill is actively involved with numerous professional organizations and institutions of higher learning.  He is a member of the adjunct faculty at Northwestern University as well as his alma mater, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Bill is a Fellow of both the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  He has been awarded with several of the industry’s most prestigious honors, including the Fritz Leonhardt Preis (Germany), the IStructE Gold Medal (United Kingdom), the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) and the OPAL Award for Lifetime Achievement in Design (ASCE).

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