Bill Baker Structural Engineer, SOM, Award, Building, America, Design, Chicago, Office
Bill Baker, Skidmore Owings & Merrill
William F. Baker Structural Engineering Partner, USA
post updated Apr 27, 2021
Bill Baker Award
Nov 21, 2011
SOM’s Bill Baker Receives Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stuttgart
University of Stuttgart recognizes engineer who led the design on three of the world’s ten tallest buildings
November 21, 2011 (Chicago, IL) – In recognition of his distinguished career and professional achievement within the practice of structural engineering, the Senate of the University of Stuttgart (Germany) has conferred William F. Baker P.E, S.E, FASCE, FIStructE, NAE, an honorary doctorate in engineering.
Upon receiving the honor, Baker noted, “The University of Stuttgart has an exceptional history of research and innovation in structural engineering; it is truly a world leader. To receive this honor from this prestigious institution is a high point in my career.”
Founded in 1829, the University of Stuttgart is a leading technical university in Germany, with highly ranked programs in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Innovative faculty members in engineering and architecture include Jorg Schlaich, Frei Otto, Ekkehard Ramm, Werner Sobek, and Fritz Leonhardt, who also served as University President. In 2009, Baker became the first American to receive the prestigious Fritz Leonhardt Prize, an award recognizing outstanding achievement in structural engineering.
The honorary degree was bestowed at a celebration in Stuttgart, Germany on November 18, 2011. Speaking on behalf of the University, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Ressel noted, “The Senate has made this award in appreciation of [Baker’s] extraordinary and outstanding scientific and technical achievements in the field of the structural design of high-rise structures with special emphasis on topology optimization and wind engineering.”
As a Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Baker’s innovative approach to structural engineering has led to buildings of unprecedented height and slenderness. Baker and his team have engineered three of the world’s ten tallest buildings, including the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest manmade structure, Zifeng Tower, and Trump International Hotel & Tower – Chicago, the tallest building erected in the United States since the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. By developing the tower’s ‘buttressed core’ structural system, Baker’s team launched the new era of the supertall. Other notable projects include Broadgate Exchange House (London), Korean Air Lines Operations Center (Seoul), General Motors Renaissance Center – North Lobby (Detroit), Raspberry Island – Schubert Club Band Shell (St. Paul) and Infinity Tower (Dubai), which spirals an amazing 90 degrees.
Baker has been honored numerous times for his untiring efforts to advance the field of structural engineering. In 2010, he was awarded the Gold Medal from the London-based Institution of Structural Engineers, while in 2011, he received an OPAL Award, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) highest award for design. In 2009, Baker received the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal for lifetime achievement from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
Bill Baker image / information from Skidmore Owings & Merrill
30 Jul 2010
Bill Baker Engineer
Bill Baker Receives Prestigious Award from American Society of Civil Engineers
July 29, 2010 (Chicago, IL) – William F. Baker P.E., S.E., FASCE, FIStructE, Structural Engineering Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has been recognized with a 2011 Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Award for Design from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
“Receiving the OPAL Award is certainly an honor for which I am very grateful,” Baker said upon being notified of the recognition.
Established in 1999, the OPAL Awards recognize and honor outstanding civil engineering leaders whose lifetime accomplishments and achievements have made significant differences in one of five categories: design, construction, government, education and management. According to ASCE, ‘The awards are given to model civil engineers who have demonstrated outstanding lifetime achievement, leadership and a long-term commitment to excellence.’
Throughout his distinguished career, Baker has dedicated himself to structural innovation from small special structures to the design of tall buildings. His best known contribution has been to develop the “buttressed core” structural system for the Burj Khalifa, a system which, in conjunction with sophisticated wind engineering, makes it possible to construct skyscrapers of extreme height. The Burj Khalifa is currently the world’s tallest manmade structure.
According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), three of the five tallest buildings topped out in 2009 are credited to SOM, where Baker leads the structural engineering: Burj Khalifa (Dubai), Nanjing Greenland Financial Center (Nanjing), and Trump International Hotel & Tower (Chicago).
Other notable projects include the Broadgate Exchange House (London), Korean Air Lines Operations Center (Seoul) Infinity Tower (Dubai), General Motors Renaissance Center – North Lobby (Detroit) and Raspberry Island – Schubert Club Band Shell (St. Paul).
In 2008, Baker received the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal for lifetime achievement from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. In 2009, he was the first American to receive the Fritz Leonhardt Prize (Germany) in recognition of his engineering accomplishments. And, in 2010, Baker was honored in London with The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Gold Medal, the Institution’s highest individual award for advancements in structural engineering.
Baker will receive the OPAL trophy at a gala banquet in the spring.
Bill Baker information from Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Architect Bruce Graham
photo : SOM / Stuart Rodgers Photography
SOM Building Designs – Major Projects
Al Hamra & Firdous tower – AHF Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait
image from architects
Al Hamra & Firdous tower – skyscraper
Sears Tower (renamed Willis Tower), Wacker Drive, Chicago, USA
photo courtesy of Jan Klerks
Sears Tower Chicago
Gordon Bunschaft (+ Oscar Niemeyer) : Pritzker Prize architects Winners 1988
American Architectural Designs : links
American Building Designs
Architecture USA – architectural selection below:
Buildings / photos for the Bill Baker Engineer page welcome
Website: William F. Baker engineer