Consulting partner William F. Baker has been honored as one of two recipients of the 2019 IASS Torroja Medal. Presented by the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) since 1974, the award recognizes engineers and architects for outstanding and distinguished contributions to the design, construction, or research of shell and/or spatial structures. Baker and Manfred Grohmann, co-founder of Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure, were named as this year's recipients.
A consulting partner at SOM, Baker has led the firm's structural engineering practice for over 20 years. Since joining SOM in 1981, he has dedicated himself to extending the profession of structural engineering through design, research, teaching, and professional activities. Baker is best known for 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, Bill’s expertise also extends to long-span roof structures and specialty structures such as the Broadgate Exchange House in London and the Entrance Pavilion for General Motors’ Headquarters in Detroit.
Now in its 60th year, the IASS continues to push the industry and professionals forward through its annual International Symposia, The Journal of IASS, honors and awards, and other colloquia held throughout the year. The Torroja Medal is named in honor of the late structural engineer Eduardo Torroja, founding president of IASS.