William (Bill) F. Baker is a Consulting Partner for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, a Chicago-based architectural and engineering firm. His work has included leadership roles in scores of major building projects. As the designer of the structural system that enabled construction of the world’s tallest building—the Burj Khalifa in Dubai—Baker is internationally known for structural engineering innovation.
Baker is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is a recipient of the Gold Medal from the Institution of Structural Engineers (UK), the Fritz Leonhardt Preis (Germany), the Gustav Magnel Gold Medal from the University of Ghent, the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Outstanding Projects and Leaders Lifetime Award for Design. He received the University of Illinois Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009. In 2017, Baker received the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor conferred by the University of Illinois Alumni Association on behalf of the University. He has received Honorary Doctorates in engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Heriot-Watt University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
He previously served on the CEEAA Board of Directors and he established the Baker Structural Engineering Fund to support a faculty scholar in structural engineering. He is a 1980 graduate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering.