Leslie E. Robertson


Leslie E. Robertson

Structural Engineer – Structural Designer – Pioneer

Tall Buildings – Domes – Bridges – Long-Span Roofs – Computers in Design

Sixtieth National Honor Member Nominated by the University of California at Berkeley Chapter

Leslie E. Robertson, Director of Design for Leslie E. Robertson, R.L.L.P., was elevated to National Honor Member of Chi Epsilon at the 40th National Conclave at Stevens Institute of Technology on March 15, 2008. Mr. Robertson is responsible for all phases of structural design and construction, including coordination with Owner, Architect, Services Engineer, and Contractor. He provides overall direction and guidance from the development of the structural concept, through the various design phases, to the completion of construction.

Mr. Robertson graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 1952, and immediately began his engineering career as a structural designer with an established engineering firm. In 1958, the name of the firm was changed to Leslie E. Robertson Associates, R.L.L.P., with the guiding principle of providing an imaginative and responsible approach to engineering problems. Mr. Robertson’s groundbreaking structural designs that have influenced the design and construction of tall buildings include: The first high-rise buildings to use a composite megastructure space frame to resist all loads imposed by typhoon winds and the weight of the building, the creation of mechanical damping units to reduce wind-induced swaying, the first use of prefabricated multiple-column and spandrel-wall panels to resist the lateral force from hurricane winds and to allow column-free interior space, the first use of a space-frame megastructure and outrigger or hat system for a high-rise building, and the creation of the shaftwall system now almost universally used for fire-resistive walls in high-rise buildings.

Mr. Robertson has earned numerous awards and honors, as well as serving on the boards of several cultural and professional organizations, including the New York City’s Skyscraper Museum, the Architectural League of New York, and the McDowell Colony. The University of Notre Dame, Lehigh University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have awarded him honorary doctorate degrees in engineering, and the University of Western Ontario presented him with an honorary doctorate in science. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his expertise and contributions to the field of structural engineering.

With his innovations in structural engineering, Mr. Robertson has set new standards in the design and construction of tall buildings. A pioneer in the application of computers in design, he has advanced the art and science of structural engineering theory. Mr. Robertson’s work on skyscrapers, domes, bridges, and long-span roofs has transformed engineering theory into practical technological breakthroughs that free the architects to build the stuff of dreams.

Mr. Robertson is a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers, having been selected as their 2004 recipient of their Gold Medal. In 2004, he was presented with the first Fazlur Rahman Medal for his leadership in the structural design of tall buildings. He is a 2003 recipient of the ASCE Outstanding Projects and Leaders award for lifetime contributions in design. He was awarded the first Henry C. Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology in 2002. The prize was established by the National Building Museum and by Turner Construction Company for notable advances and high achievement in the process of construction. The award recognized Mr. Robertson’s 50-year career as a structural designer, which has significantly advanced the engineering and construction of tall buildings around the world.

Truly a man for all seasons, Mr. Robertson’s vision extends beyond the boundaries of his profession to include the aesthetic, economic, and functional needs of society, the enhancement of the quality of urban life, and deep concern for the educational development of young people.

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