I’ve been fortunate to have worked alongside some of the most creative engineers of our time: Nathan Newmark, Paul Weidlinger, Ivan Sandler and my dad, who was an engineer with the NYC Transit Authority. I like to think some of that creativity rubbed off onto me.
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Bob Smilowitz is a key member of the Protective Design practice. He has more than 38 years of experience performing structural vulnerability assessments and blast engineering services for U.S. embassies, federal courthouses and office buildings, airline terminals and a wide variety of institutional and commercial structures around the world.
Protective Design Expert
Bob is a leading authority on protective design and has made significant contributions to the analysis and design of high-profile, blast-resistant structures. He has provided security upgrades to the United Nations in New York City, finite element analyses and retrofits for the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and blast investigations and design for the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. He has also contributed to the development of protective design standards for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. General Services Administration.
World Trade Center Work
Bob was a member of the ASCE/FEMA Building Performance Assessment Team, which documented the behavior of the World Trade Center in response to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. He then became a major contributor to the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, particularly with regard to planning and implementing physical security criteria. Bob served as principal-in-charge for the protective design of the new World Trade Center towers, National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the PATH rail station.
Academic and Professional Contributions
Since 1981, he has been an adjunct professor at his alma mater, The Cooper Union in New York City, and many of his former students are now coworkers. Bob is the author of numerous papers on seismic and blast topics, including several publications in the FEMA Risk Management Series.
Outside of Work
Bob is a family man, and when not working or teaching, he spends most of his time with his wife of more than 35 years and his two sons. Bob’s sons spent much of their childhood hanging around Weidlinger Associates’ offices and despite having an engineer for a father and a grandfather who was a New York Transit engineer, neither chose to enter the profession.
• Physical security
• Progressive collapse analysis
• Blast engineering
• Finite element analysis
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