The University of Illinois has honored SOM Structural and Civil Engineering Partner William F. Baker with the Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor conferred by the Alumni Association on behalf of the University. The award is presented to "alumni who have attained outstanding success and national or international distinction in their chosen profession or life's work." Baker is an alumnus of the University of Illinois College of Engineering, where he obtained a Master of Science in Civil Engineering.
Baker plays an active role with the University of Illinois, and supports the Baker Structural Engineering Fund, which he established to support a faculty scholar in structural engineering. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for the University of Illinois Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Association. Baker holds Honorary Doctorate degrees in engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Heriot-Watt University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Throughout his career, Baker has dedicated himself to extending structural engineering through design, research, teaching, and professional activities. One of his best-known contributions to the profession is the buttressed-core structural system that he developed for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest manmade structure.