William F. Baker
William F. Baker is a structural engineering partner at SOM where he has led the structural engineering practice for over 20 years. Since joining the firm in 1981, he has dedicated himself to extending the profession of structural engineering through design, research, teaching, and professional activities.
Baker is best known for the development of the “buttressed core” structural system for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest manmade structure. While widely regarded for his work on supertall buildings, Bill’s expertise also extends to long-span roof structures and specialty structures such as the Broadgate Exchange House in London and the Entrance Pavilion for General Motors’ Headquarters in Detroit. Baker has also collaborated with numerous artists, including James Carpenter (Raspberry Island – Schubert Club Band Shell), Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With), James Turrell (Roden Crater), and Jaume Plensa (World Voices).
Baker is actively involved with numerous professional organizations and institutions of higher learning. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Cambridge; he has received honorary doctorates from the University of Stuttgart, Heriot-Watt University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology; the Gold Medal from the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Outstanding Projects and Leaders Lifetime Award for Design; the Gustav Magnel Gold Medal from the University of Ghent; the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; and the Fritz Leonhardt Preis (Germany).
He is a Fellow of both the ASCE and the IStructE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (United States) and an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (United Kingdom). Baker frequently lectures on a variety of structural engineering topics in the U.S. and abroad.