William F. Baker
William F. Baker is the structural engineering partner for SOM, where, throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to extending the profession of structural engineering through design, research, teaching, and professional activities.
One of his best known contributions has been to develop 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 long-span roof structures, such as the Korean Air Lines Operations Hangar and the Virginia Beach Convention Center, as well as specialty structures like Broadgate Exchange House and the GM Renaissance Center's North Lobby. Baker has also collaborated with numerous artists, including Jamie Carpenter (Raspberry Island – Schubert Club Band Shell), Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With), James Turrell (Roden Crater), and Jaume Plensa (World Voices).
Baker is actively involved with numerous professional organizations and institutions of higher learning. His many accolades include receiving an honorary doctorate in engineering from the University of Stuttgart; an honorary doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh; an ASCE Outstanding Projects and Leaders Lifetime Award for Design; and the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Baker was also the first American to receive the Fritz Leonhardt Preis (Germany) and is one of only three living Americans to receive the Gold Medal from the Institution of Structural Engineers.
He is a Fellow of both the American Society of Civil Engineers and the IStructE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Baker frequently lectures on a variety of structural engineering topics within the United States and abroad.