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William F Baker (engineer)

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Nationality  American
Structures  Burj Khalifa
Significant design  Burj Khalifa
Role  Structural engineer
Name  William Baker

William F. Baker (engineer) ceeillinoisedusitesdefaultfilesBakerweb0jpg
Born  1953Fulton, Missouri, U.S.
Engineering discipline  Structural Engineer & Civil Engineer
Practice name  Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Significant projects  Burj Khalifa, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Cayan Tower
Education  University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, University of Missouri
Institution memberships  Institution of Structural Engineers
Significant awards  CTBUH Skyscraper Award, American Society of Civil Engineers
Similar People  Adrian Smith, George J Efstathiou, Marshall Strabala, Fazlur Rahman Khan, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

William f baker on the harmony of theory and practice in the design of tall buildings

William Frazier Baker, also known as Bill Baker (born October 9, 1953), is an American structural engineer known for engineering the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building/man-made structure. He is currently a structural engineering partner in the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (SOM).


William F. Baker (engineer) wwwsomcomFILE24552bakerbill800x800codypick

William f baker som burj khalifa


After obtaining a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri, Baker held a brief tenure with ExxonMobil and later completed his master's degree at the University of Illinois. In 1981 he joined the architecture and engineering firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP (SOM) in Chicago and eventually became a partner there in 1996.

While widely regarded for his work on supertall buildings, Baker's expertise also extends to a wide variety of structures like the Broadgate-Exchange House (London, 1990) and the GM Renaissance Center Entry Pavilion (Detroit, 2005). He is further known for his work on long-span roof structures, such as the McCormick Place North Building Expansion (Chicago, 1986), the Korean Air Lines Operations Center (Seoul, 1995), the Korea World Trade Center Expansion (Seoul, 2000), and the Virginia Beach Convention Center (Virginia Beach, 2007).

Baker's career has also been marked by various collaborations with artists such as Jamie Carpenter (Raspberry Island-Schubert Club Band Shell, 2002), Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With, 2010), Jaume Plensa (World Voices, 2010), and James Turrell (Roden Crater).

Baker's many skyscraper projects include the AT&T Corporate Center (Chicago, 1989), Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago, 2008), Cayan Tower (Dubai, 2009), Pearl River Tower (Guangzhou, 2009), Nanjing Greenland Financial Center (Nanjing, 2009), and the unbuilt 7 South Dearborn (Chicago, 2003), although he is best known as the engineer of Burj Khalifa (Dubai, 2009), the world's tallest man-made structure. To support the tower's record heights, he developed the "buttressed core" structural system, consisting of a hexagonal core reinforced by three buttresses that form a Y shape. This innovative system allows the structure to support itself both laterally and torsionally. It also eliminates the need for column transfers, and moves loads in a smooth path from the tower's spire into its foundations.

Baker is a Fellow of both the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and frequently lectures on a variety of structural engineering topics within the US and abroad. Baker was elected as an International Fellow to the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) in September 2014.


In 2013, Bill Baker received the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction. In 2011, he received an honorary doctorate in engineering from the University of Stuttgart and an ASCE Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Award for Design. On May 13, 2010, The Institution of Structural Engineers awarded Baker with their Gold Medal, the Institution's highest accolade. Baker was the first American to be awarded the Fritz Leonhardt Prize For Achievement in Structural Engineering, on July 11, 2009. On November 20, 2008, he received the Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Baker received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2012.

Key projects

  • Burj Khalifa Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China
  • Cayan Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago, Illinois
  • Raspberry Island – Schubert Club Band Shell, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Broadgate – Exchange House, London, United Kingdom
  • Korean Air Lines Operations Center, Seoul, South Korea
  • NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium
  • GM Renaissance Center – North Lobby, Detroit, Michigan
  • Millennium Park – Jay Pritzker Pavilion & BP Pedestrian Bridge, Chicago, Illinois
  • Education

  • University of Illinois, Master of Science in Civil Engineering, 1980
  • University of Missouri, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, 1975
  • Professional associations

  • International Fellow, Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE)
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Fellow, Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)
  • American Concrete Institute (ACI)
  • Committee on Specifications, American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
  • Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  • International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS)
  • International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)
  • National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
  • National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI)
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC)
  • Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAONY)
  • Certified in the Practice of Structural Engineering by the Structural Engineering Certification Board (SECB)
  • University of Illinois President’s Council
  • References

    William F. Baker (engineer) Wikipedia

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