Events, People

Structural Engineer Recounts Experiences Designing John Hancock Center

Photo © SOM | Fadi Asmar

On Tuesday, July 23rd, Dr. Joseph P. Colaco presented a guest lecture at SOM's New York office. Colaco, an employee at SOM from 1965 to 1969, discussed his experiences in the design and construction of the John Hancock Center (now known as 875 North Michigan Avenue) in Chicago. In his lecture, titled "Stories of the John Hancock," Colaco recounted his time working with Fazlur Khan and others involved with the project. Earlier this year, Colaco presented his talk at SOM’s Chicago and San Francisco offices.

A distinguished structural engineer, Colaco has shaped a number of significant tall building projects throughout his 50+ year career. His notable projects include Two Prudential Plaza in Chicago and the J.P. Morgan Chase Tower in Houston. Following his employment at SOM, Colaco played a role in another widely recognized project designed by the firm; he served as the peer review engineer for Burj Khalifa. Colaco received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1965 and is a Distinguished Alumni of the university. In 1994, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his "contributions to tall building design, structural systems, and technologies of the future." Currently, Colaco is a professor at the University of Houston.