Joseph Burns, P.E., S.E., FAIA, LEED® AP, managing principal in the Chicago office of Thornton Tomasetti, Inc., one of the world’s leading structural engineering and design firms, was honored with the American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. (AISC) Special Achievement Award for notable accomplishments in structural steel design, research and education at the North American Steel Construction Conference in Nashville, Tenn. on April 2nd.
“We honor Joe Burns for his significant efforts in promoting and advancing the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and interoperability in the design and construction of major steel structures,” said Scott Melnick, vice president of AISC. “His contributions have made a positive and substantial impact on the structural steel design and construction industry.”
In addition to receiving the American Institute of Architects’ prestigious College of Fellows designation in 2004, Mr. Burns was previously honored by Engineering News-Record as one of the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2003 for pushing “the team building Chicago’s 61,500-seat Soldier Field into the digital age of steel design and detailing by creating an accurate three-dimensional, digital model and sharing it with the steel fabricator.” Burns has since spearhead the firm’s new technology programs that focus on incorporating BIM to increase productivity and integration.
Since joining Thornton Tomasetti in 1995, Mr. Burns has led the structural design team on many high-profile projects, including Soldier Field, UBS Tower, 191 N. Wacker Drive and the ABN AMRO Technology Center in Chicago, as well as the Indianapolis International Airport Midfield Terminal. He is also working on the structural design of Santiago Calatrava’s Chicago Spire, the tallest building in North America, and on the headquarters building in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, the world’s first proposed zero-carbon city. In addition, he is leading the structural teams on several other major projects, including 108 N. State St. Development in Chicago, Chicago Union Station expansion and renovation and Bank of America Headquarter Expansion in Charlotte.
With more than 29 years of experience as a structural designer as well as an investigator and renovator of existing buildings, Mr. Burns specializes in complex structural systems including earthquake engineering and dynamic analysis. He is licensed as both a structural engineer and architect in numerous states and outside the U.S.
As an active member of the design community, Mr. Burns has served as an adjunct assistant professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has served as chairman of the Committee of Special Design Issues of the American Society of Civil Engineers and he is a member of several other engineering and architectural associations.
Mr. Burns is a resident of Wilmette, Ill., and earned a B.Arch. degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame and M.S. degrees in architecture and civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
About Thornton Tomasetti (www.ThorntonTomasetti.com)
Thornton Tomasetti provides engineering design, investigation and analysis services to clients worldwide on projects of every size and level of complexity. We fulfill the needs of our clients at every stage in the building life cycle through seven integrated practices in Structural Engineering, Façade Engineering, Forensics, Renewal, Construction Engineering, Property Loss Consulting and Sustainability. Founded in 1956, today Thornton Tomasetti is an 800-person organization of engineers, architects and other professionals collaborating from offices across the United States and in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
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