Engineering CEO discusses World Trade Center lesson

The twin towers of the New York World Trade Center were hailed as structural engineering marvels in the mid-1960s. Then came Sept. 11, 2001.

The structural engineering of those towers was the work of Jon Magnusson and his civil engineering firm, which has since grown to Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire, based in Seattle. Magnusson is chairman and CEO.

He is also the 2002 Lanning distinguished lecturer, speaking on the topic, “New York World Trade Center: Reflections on the Engineering and Thoughts about the Future.” The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 3:10 p.m., May 2, Todd Auditorium, with reception following.

The presen-tation will describe what made the towers special and innovative and also cover what went right, what went wrong, and what lessons might be learned for the future for all buildings.

Magnusson was the principal structural engineer for Safeco Field, the new Seahawks stadium, the new Seattle Central Library, and many other projects. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington recently named him Engineer of the Year.

The Lanning Lecture, sponsored by WSU’s College of Engineering and Architecture, was established in 1988 by alumnus Jack Dillon.

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