Tall Buildings Expert, CEE Alum Baker Joins Adjunct Faculty
9/7/2012 11:55:00 AM
William F. Baker (MS 80), P.E., S.E., Structural Engineering Partner for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in Chicago, has joined the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an adjunct professor.
The winner of numerous awards for structural innovation, Baker is an expert in the engineering of tall buildings and long-span roof structures. He is best known for developing the “buttressed core” structural system for Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest manmade structure.
"Bill is an internationally renowned structural engineer, as the designer of the highest building in the world—by far,” said Professor and Head Amr S. Elnashai. “His appointment as an adjunct professor is exciting because of the benefit to our students and faculty from increased interactions with him. It is also recognition of one of our own distinguished alumni.”
Baker holds a master of science in civil engineering (1980) from CEE at Illinois and a bachelor of science in civil engineering (1975) from the University of Missouri. His numerous professional honors include an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Award for Design (2011), an Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Gold Medal (2010) and the Fritz Leonhardt Preis (2009). He is a Fellow of ASCE and IStructE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a Distinguished Alumnus (2009) of CEE at Illinois and of the U of I College of Engineering (2011).
An active supporter of CEE at Illinois, Baker established the Baker Structural Engineering Fund to support a faculty scholar in the department. He is a frequent lecturer on campus, participates in research, and has served on doctoral thesis committees. During his appointment, Baker will continue those activities, he said, as well as the topology optimization research he is currently conducting with the department’s TopOpt research group.
“I also hope to be involved in ongoing discussions related to the CEE curriculum,” Baker said. “While the department is home to one of the country’s most respected engineering programs, I would like to offer my professional insight into tailoring a program suited to preparing the next generation of structural engineering professionals.
“I am very pleased to have been granted an adjunct professorship at Illinois. As a graduate of the department and a practicing professional, I appreciate all the merits of a CEE education and am proud to continue my service to the department.”