PULLMAN, Wash. –The head of the firm that did the structural engineering for the World Trade Center will present the 2002 Lanning Distinguished Lecture on May 2 at Washington State University. The event will take place at 3:10 p.m. in the Todd Auditorium with a reception to follow.

Jon Magnusson, chairman and chief executive officer of Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire, will lecture on “New York World Trade Center: Reflections on the Engineering and Thoughts about the Future.’’ His Seattle-based company is a 120-person structural and civil engineering firm that did the structural engineering of the New York World Trade Center in the mid-1960s.

The World Trade Center towers were hailed as structural engineering marvels when they were first constructed. Magnusson’s presentation will describe what made them special and innovative. Additional discussion will cover what went right, what went wrong and what lessons might be learned for the future for all buildings and structures as a result of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Magnusson’s firm has completed projects in 27 countries and 43 states, and Magnusson was recently named “Engineer of the Year” by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington. He was the principal structural engineer for Key Arena, Safeco Field, the new Seahawks stadium, the Seattle Central Library and many other projects.

The Lanning Lecture, sponsored by WSU’s College of Engineering and Architecture, is a free public lecture intended to add knowledge beyond the academic dimension. It was established in 1988 by WSU alumnus Jack Dillon, ’41, of Gig Harbor, in honor of his wife Frances Lanning Dillon, ’42, who died that year. Dillon is a retired engineer from Bechtel Inc., and former rear admiral in the Civil Engineer Corps of the U.S. Navy. He received the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in 1981 and the WSU Outstanding Service Award in 1994. Dillon has served on the College of Sciences Board of Visitors since 1994, and served on the WSU Foundation Board of Trustees from 1983-1986, becoming a Trustee Ambassador in 1992.