Structural Engineers Association of New York

HONORARY MEMBERS


Joe Tortorella, 2016-17 recipient

Joe Tortorella, PE is President at Silman where he is the managing principal responsible for day-to-day operations.

Mr. Tortorella is active in industry organizations. As a member of International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), he helped plan their annual symposium in Shanghai in 2004. He also served as Chair of the Scientific Committee, planning the 2008 Symposium in Chicago. He is currently a Vice President of the organization and Chair of the US National Group.

Mr. Tortorella is member and Past-President of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) and formerly served on the Executive Board of New York New Visions in the evaluation of the designs for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center Site. He also serves on the board of the Center for Architecture Foundation (now “the Center for Architecture”) as President through which he previously taught primary school children through the Learning by Design program and is a former board member of the American Council of Engineering Companies, New York Chapter. Lastly, he serves on the advisory boards of Manhattan College and the Urban Assembly School for Design and Construction.


William S. Phelan, 2015-16 recipient

William S. Phelan is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Technical Services for The Euclid Chemical Company.  He has been with Euclid for over 42 years.  He received a B.C.E. from the University of Detroit.

He is an Honorary Member and Fellow of the American Concrete Institute, a Member of ACI 212, “Admixtures”, (Chairman, 2004 – 2010),  a Member of ACI Committee 302, (Chairman 1980-1988), “Guide for Concrete Floor and Slab Construction” a member of ACI 117, “Tolerances”, and ACI 308, “Standard Practice for Curing Concrete”.  He is also a member of the Strategic Development Council Board of Directors  (ACI).  He is also the Self-Consolidating Concrete "Champion" for the SDC of ACI.

Bill received the Ernest E. Trolio Distinguished Service Award  at the President's Ball on May 15th, 2015 from the Concrete Industry Board.

He was named one of  The Five Most Influential People in the Concrete Industry in 2013.  Published in Concrete Construction, January 2014.

Bill received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the New Jersey Chapter of American Concrete Institute in May 2011.

He was one of the selected Distinguished Leaders of the Industry Winner for 2007 from The Concrete Industry Board, Inc. in New York City.

He was The CANMET-ACI International Conference Winner for 2006 for “Development and Use of Chemical Admixtures in North America”.

He was The Samuel A. Face Jr. Award Winner for 2005 – The “Sam Award” for outstanding accomplishments in and contribution to The Art & Science of High Quality Horizontal Concrete Construction.

His seminar at the World of Concrete is:  “High Performance Concrete:  Key Requirements for the Concrete Team”.

He is a member of ASTM C09.22, “Materials Applied to New Concrete Surfaces,” ASTM C09.23, “Chemical Admixtures,” and ASTM C09.47, “Self-Consolidating Concrete.”

Mr. Phelan has been published in Concrete Construction Magazine, Concrete International Magazine and Structures Magazine.  


Ahmad Rahimian, 2014-15 recipient

Dr. Ahmad Rahimian, PhD, PE, SE, F.ASCE, USA Director of Building Structures, has over thirty years of experience with WSP, engineering numerous projects worldwide ranging from high-rise commercial and residential towers to stadiums and transportation facilities. 

Dr. Rahimian’s projects are counted among the world’s most iconic and award-winning building structures. Among these is One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere; Renzo Piano’s London Bridge Tower “The Shard”, the tallest building in Europe; Trump World Tower, which, in its day was the tallest and slenderest residential tower in the world and is still counted among the tallest; Lord Norman Foster’s Hearst Tower with its striking diagrid geometry; Christian de Portzamparc’s One 57 tower one of the tallest residential buildings in New York City, and Torre Mayor, tallest building in Latin America for which he holds a patent on the innovative seismic design used to make the building stand firm in Mexico City’s unstable ground and seismic events. Torre Mayor was recognized by Scientific American Magazine as one of the top innovations of 2003. Nakheel Tower, Dubai UAE, designed, foundation partially constructed but not built, was intended to be over a kilometer in height.

Dr. Rahimian has also placed his mark on major sports facilities such as the Citi Field stadium for the New York Mets and the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center currently undergoing major upgrades that include retractable roofs. 

An internationally recognized expert in tall buildings, he has published numerous articles and papers regarding the technical aspects of his approach to structural design. He has also been invited by groups such as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat to present his work at international symposia. He is the recipient of numerous awards from engineering societies for various exemplary projects that he has engineered including the 2007 AISC Special Achievement Award, 2005 ASCE-CERF Charles Pankow Award for innovation and the ENR Excellence Award as one of the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2003. 

Dr. Rahimian has shared his knowledge with engineering students as an Adjunct Professor of Architecture, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering, Graduate School of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York; and Visiting Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Rahimian received his Ph.D. from Polytechnic University and is a registered Professional Engineer in several states as well as a registered Structural Engineer in California.

Aine Brazil, 2013-14 recipient 

Ms. Aine Brazil has been responsible for the design and construction of high-rise offices, residential buildings, hotels, air-rights projects with long-span transfer systems, hospitals and parking garages. High on the list of accomplishments during her 30+ years of experience is the role she played in leading the structural engineering team for the design of more than three million square feet of high-rise office development in the Times Square area. She is currently working on another ambitious project, Hudson Yards Mixed-Use Development in New York City, which will change the look of the Manhattan skyline. Other notable projects include the major expansion of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital spanning the FDR highway, the 54-story 731 Lexington Avenue mixed-use project, and Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1999 Ms. Brazil was named one of “New York’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business” by Crain’s New York Business. In November 2006, she was honored as “Woman of the Year” by WX, New York Women Executives in Real Estate. She was also recognized as “Leader and Role Model for Young Women” by Girls Incorporated in 2008. The Real Estate Forum also selected Ms. Brazil as the “2011 Women of Influence.” In addition, she was a member of the Mayor’s Commission on adopting the International Building Code as the basis for the 2008 building code for the City of New York.

Ms. Brazil has authored numerous technical papers and lectured at universities throughout the country including Cornell, Princeton, and Columbia. She was the first president of the Structural Engineers Association of New York and was honored the Honorary Member Award in 2013. She is a member in the American Concrete Institute and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She holds a bachelor’s degree engineering from the University College in Galway, Ireland and a master’s degree in engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

Ramon Gilsanz, 2012-13 recipient 

Ramon Gilsanz is a founding Partner of Gilsanz Murray Steficek, LLP.  In his 34 year career as a structural engineer he has worked on a wide range of projects, both new construction and renovation.  Among the new construction projects, Mr. Gilsanz has worked on residential towers, hospitals, office buildings, industrial facilities, and specialty projects such as art installations.  He has been involved in renovating buildings, theaters and museums that have been deemed historical landmarks.

Mr. Gilsanz is active in making contributions to the structural engineering industry through involvement in professional societies.  He is currently serving as Chair of the New York City Department of Buildings’ Structural Technical Committee, a group responsible for the revisions of the New York City Building Code; Director for the New York/Northeast Chapter of  Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI); Chair of the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York Metropolitan Section Structural Code Committee; Past-Chairman of the code committee of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY), and he is working on several committees for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), including ASCE 7-16 Minimum Design Loads For Buildings And Other Structures, American Concrete Institute (ACI), and American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) where he currently sits on the AISC Committee on Specifications.  He also participated on the Code Advisory Committee for the National Council of Structural Engineers (NCSEA) and numerous New York City Committees on Standards. 

Robert Limandri, 2011-12 recipient 

Mr. Robert LiMandri is Senior Principal at Vidaris, currently overseeing operations and business development, and has also established its Code Advisory division. The newly formed group can deliver comprehensive solutions based on a deep understanding of building code and NYC zoning. He also explores strategic service offerings that can bridge current gaps within the complex real estate and construction market in New York City and other metropolitan markets around the country. Mr. LiMandri also serves as a member of the Management Committee.

Before joining Vidaris, Mr. LiMandri served as New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner. He is an operational executive with a history of leadership in commercial real estate, construction, development standards, and oversight—with a tenure punctuated by widespread changes in building safety standards, technology initiatives, green building innovation, and code updates. Drawing on his background in fiscal oversight and P&L management, he has managed budgets exceeding $200M, in addition to a team of 1,100 attorneys, engineers, inspectors, and architects.

His leadership impact can be felt throughout the city’s real estate industry with enhanced safety awareness, stringent mandates for construction, and quality and advances in sustainability. In addition, his innovative approach to technology utilization has saved his customers millions in staff time, while boosting customer satisfaction with the launch of cutting-edge online collaboration tools such as the paperless virtual approval of plans at the HUB, 3D site safety review, and a smart phone app.

Mr. LiMandri has also held positions at Realfoundations as a management consultant, Jones Lang LaSalle managing Class A office, Columbia University, and Honeywell Corporation.

Richard Tomasetti, 2010-11 recipient 

Richard L. Tomasetti is a preeminent structural engineer, educator, author and lecturer. He served as chairman of Thornton Tomasetti until 2007 and is currently an advisor to its board of directors. Richard’s 45 years of global experience as a structural engineer includes a variety of major projects — from the design of the World Financial Center in New York City and Plaza 66 in Shanghai, China, the tallest all-concrete building in China, to Pittsburgh’s Mellon Bank building, the first stressed skin tube structure, and Taipei 101. He is a recognized investigator of structures in distress and led New York City’s engineering support for search, rescue and cleanup following the World Trade Center disaster in 2001.

Richard was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004. Among many other honors and awards is a citation by Engineering News-Record in “Those Who Made Marks” for developing the stressed skin tube structure for high-rise buildings. Richard is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, an Honors Seminar faculty member at New York University and an active author and lecturer. He was the 2008 Fazlur Kahn Lecture Series speaker, presenting “Engineering of Major Architecture, Then and Now” at Lehigh University.

Richard is chairman of the Thornton Tomasetti Foundation, Chairman Emeritus of the New York City Urban Assembly Schools, past chairman of the New York Building Foundation and a past chairman of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Committee on High Rise Design. Throughout his career, he has generously given his time to numerous other institutions and professional organizations.


Ed DePaola, 2009-10 recipient 

Ed DePaola, PE is President and CEO of Severud Associates Consulting Engineers PC, New York.  He is licensed in 21 states, and a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Concrete Institute (ACI), The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).  He is a past President and Founding Member of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY), an ex-member of the Board of Governors of the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI), and a director on the Board of Directors of the Structural Engineering Certification Board (SECB) and the Structural Engineering Institute Futures Fund (SEIFF)

Over the past 35 years at Severud, he has designed numerous projects including high-rise buildings, long-span facilities and special structures requiring innovative structural solutions.  His structural designs include the Jeppesen Terminal Roof and Glass Enclosure Structures of the Denver International Airport and the American Airlines Terminal at JFK International Airport.  His current projects include One Vanderbilt, a 1.6 million square foot office tower in midtown Manhattan and the redevelopment of the George Washington Bridge Bus Station. He was the Principal-in-Charge of the “Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park”, formerly the second tallest building in NYC and the first high-rise office structure in the world to receive a LEED Platinum rating.

He received a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and his Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall School of Law.  In March of 2012, he was made a Fellow of The Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE.

Charles Thornton, 2008-09 recipient 

Charles H. Thornton is one of the preeminent structural engineers and educators in the world. He has been involved in the design, construction and analysis of billions of dollars’ worth of projects worldwide and served as co-chairman of Thornton Tomasetti until 2004. His award-winning work has set industry standards for innovative thinking and creativity. Charlie has led the structural design of some of the world’s most significant and monumental structures, including two of the tallest: Taipei 101 in Taiwan and the Petronas Towers in Kaula Lumpur.

He is currently Chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company, LLC, a management and strategic consulting firm, and continues as a consultant to Thornton Tomasetti. He serves as an advisor to the Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. board of directors.

In addition to design proficiency, Charlie is a recognized expert in collapse and structural failure analysis. His credits include the engineering investigation of the Hartford Coliseum Space Truss Roof collapse in Connecticut and the cooling tower scaffold collapse at Pleasants Power Station in West Virginia. He was also on the FEMA Building Performance Assessment Team for the investigation of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Charlie founded the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program, a non-profit organization that since 1993 has offered guidance and training to more than 40,000 inner-city high school students in 106 cities across the United States. ACE has awarded more than six million dollars in scholarships to date. In recognition of his founding and cultivation of the program, he received the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Hoover Medal, which recognizes engineers as humanitarians, and the Award of Excellence from Engineering News-Record.

Charlie has taught structural engineering for many years as a visiting and adjunct professor, and held visiting faculty / lecturer positions at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Princeton University, Manhattan College, Pratt Institute and The Cooper Union.

Vincent DeSimone, 2007-08 recipient 

Vincent J. DeSimone, the founder and chairman of DeSimone Consulting Engineers, was noted for his solutions to special structural problems. He was an innovative practitioner who emphasized optimization and efficiency. Some of his projects included One Thousand Museum, Grove at Grand Bay, Four Seasons Hotel & Tower, Miami, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and Atlantis in Bahamas. Mr. DeSimone received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College and was awarded an Honorary Ph.D. for his 50 years of engineering contribution. Mr. DeSimone was the recipient of the 2012 ASCE Met Section Homer Gage Balcom Award. In 2008, he was named a Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In 2007, he was honored by SEAoNY with a lifetime membership and was awarded the Humanitarian Man of the Year by the Concrete Industry Foundation. In 2001, Mr. DeSimone was chosen by the Concrete Industry Board as a “Distinguished Leader of Industry.” 

Robert Silman, 2006-07 recipient 

Robert Silman is President Emeritus of the structural engineering firm he founded in 1966. Mr. Silman has particular expertise in historic preservation, as evidenced by his work on Carnegie Hall, Fallingwater and The Museum of Immigration at Ellis Island, and including knowledge of construction systems in the United States dating back to our earliest building types. Mr. Silman is also an international leader in the promotion of sustainable design or “green” building practices. In October 2013 Mr. Silman received the Association for Preservation Technology International’s Harley J. McKee Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of preservation technology. In 2009 Mr. Silman received the AIA New York Chapter Award for his accomplishments in the field of engineering and contributions in the built environment in the City of New York. In 2006, he was honored by SEAoNY as an Honorary Member. In recognition of his dedication to excellence in structural engineering and his role as a mentor for young engineers IABSE awarded Mr. Silman the prestigious Anton Tedesco Medal in 2005. Mr. Silman was also appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to the Advisory Board for the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, for which he was past-Chairman, representing the fields of engineering and preservation education. Mr. Silman has lectured at various conferences and written a number of articles on sustainability for Structural Engineering International, and continues to teach at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, having previously taught at Columbia and Yale.

Jacob Grossman, 2005-06 recipient 

Jacob Grossman was the President and CEO of Rosenwasser / Grossman Consulting Engineers, P.C. (RGCE), and personally directed design and research projects for the firm. He joined the firm in 1957 after several years of design practice in Los Angeles, CA. During his professional career, he had been involved in the design of over 1000 concrete and steel structures, three of which were among the 100 tallest in the world.

Jacob was a Fellow and a past member of the ACI Board of Direction. He was an active ACI Committee member serving on multiple ACI committees over the span of 23 years. Jacob also instigated the formation of the Concrete (Material) Research Council (CRC) which he served on for 10 years and was a Charter Member of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE. He also served as a member of CTAC (Concrete Technology Advisory Council) and was a member of the original Seismic Committee for New York City which was adopted in 1995. Jacob Grossman was also an active consultant and panel member in both the public and private sector. He chaired the adoption of the Concrete Chapter of the International Building Code (IBC) for The City of New York 2008 Building Code. In addition he was also a member of the Tall Building Council and had written, lectured, and given seminars (locally and internationally) on the design of steel and concrete structures, construction procedures, research evaluation, etc.

In 1987, Mr. Grossman received ACI's Maurice P. Van Buren Structural Engineering Award for design and authorship of a paper concerning the first high rise diagonally braced concrete building. In 1989, he received ACI's Alfred E. Lindau Award "for advancing the design of reinforced concrete tall buildings by incorporating innovative techniques in a highly competitive field". In 2000, he was honored by the Korean Institute of Construction Engineering and Management (KICEM), which issued the Certificate of Appreciation for his contributions in transferring 2‐day Construction Cycle Technology. In 2001, Mr. Grossman received the Concrete Industry Board's Leader of Industry Award. In 2006, The Structural Engineering Association of New York (SEAoNY) bestowed upon him an “Honorary Member Award”. In 2009 the American Concrete Institute presented him with an “Honorary Member Award” for Lifetime Achievements and Contributions to ACI 318 Building Code.


Matthys Levy, 2003-04 recipient 

Matthys P. Levy is a founding Principal and Chairman Emeritus of Weidlinger Associates, which merged with Thornton Tomasetti in September 2015. Born in Switzerland and a graduate of the City College of New York, Mr. Levy received his M.S. and C.E. degrees from Columbia University. He has taught at Columbia University and Pratt Institute and lectured at universities throughout the world.

Matthys is the recipient of many awards including the ASCE Innovation in Civil Engineering Award and the IASS Tsuboi Award. He has published numerous papers in the field of structures, computer analysis, aesthetics and building systems design, has illustrated two books and is the co-author of “Why Buildings Fall Down,” “Structural Design in Architecture,” “Why the Earth Quakes,” “Earthquake Games,” “Engineering the City” and “Why Weather Matters.”

Matthys is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and numerous professional societies. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the US and Eur Ing in Europe; he was also a director of the Salvadori Center that serves youngsters by teaching mathematics and science through motivating hands-on learning about the built environment.

Projects for which he was the principal designer include the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, the Javits Convention Center and the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, the La Plata Stadium in Argentina, the One Financial Center tower in Boston, Banque Bruxelles Lambert in Belgium, the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC, a cable-stayed pedestrian bridge at Rockefeller University, the WW II Museum in New Orleans and the Marine Corps Museum in Alexandria. He is the inventor of the Tenstar Dome structure, a unique tensegrity cable dome used to cover large spaces with minimal obstruction.  

Dan Eschenasy, 2002-03 recipient 

Dan Eschenasy is the Building Department’s Chief Structural Engineer. Under the executive direction of the Commissioner he performs with great latitude structural assessments, forensic investigations and provides advice in emergency situations.

On the evening of 9/11 he was charged with organizing the engineering response to the tower’s collapse. In this capacity he worked closely with SEAoNY volunteer engineers and this contribution earned him the SEAoNY Honorary Membership.

Dan has authored papers on construction accidents and several of his forensic investigations of fatal accidents have been published. He is a member of several ASCE committees, including the Committee for Structural Condition Assessment and Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings. In this area he has published papers on the inspection and condition evaluation of existing buildings, facades and retaining walls.

Dan has received a Diplomat Engineer (BS/MS) degree from the Construction Institute of Bucharest and a Master of Science in Management from the Sloan School of MIT. In 2014 he was made a Fellow of the Structural Engineering g Institute (SEI). Presently he serves as a Director of the Structural Engineering Certification Board.

Irwin Cantor, 2001-02 recipient 

Irwin Cantor graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1951 with a Bachelor’s in Civil engineering. After college, he worked with a prominent consulting firm in New York city. From then on , Cantor acted as the principle of several different Engineering Firms. He was Principal of Hertzberg & Cantor from 1960-1971. He acted as the CEO of the Office of Irwin G. Cantor from 1971 until 1992 when Cantor Seinuk was formed. From 1992 to 1998 he served as CEO of that office. And from 1998 until the present, he has acted as the President of Irwin G. Cantor PE. Since 1994, Cantor has also been a member of the New York City Planning Commission.

Cantor has done an enormous amount of work in New York City, such as the Trump Tower and the Rockefeller Research Facility. Further, he has participated in a considerable amount of international projects, including the Chapultepec Towers in Mexico City. Currently he is working on projects in China and elsewhere.

For his work, Cantor has received numerous awards in Engineering. These include the Maurice Van Buren Award for Structural Engineering from the ACI and The Lifetime Achievement Award for Service from the AISC.


Robert Rosenwasser, 2000-01 recipient 

Robert Rosenwasser was the founder and past President of Rosenwasser / Grossman Consulting Engineers, P.C. He was a distinguished engineer with a long career who received numerous awards in structural engineering. He was acclaimed for his many contributions to the NYC skyline. Robert Rosenwasser was a graduate of the City College of New York. He was a member of Chi Epsilon, the National Civil Engineering honor fraternity, and was a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute. He was honored by the Concrete Industry Board of New York, which presented him with its Leader of Industry Award. He wrote several articles on various aspects of building design, construction and economics.

Leslie Robertson, 1999-2000 recipient 

An internationally acclaimed structural engineer, Dr. Leslie E. Robertson (P.E., C.E., S.E., D.Sc., D.Eng., NAE,Dist. M.ASCE, AIJ, JSCA, AGIR, Chartered Structural Engineerhas transformed urban and rural landscapes through innovative designs for over sixty years.   Among Dr. Robertson’s many notable designs are the World Trade Center (New York), United States Steel Headquarters (Pittsburgh), Bank of China Tower (Hong Kong), Puerta de Europa (Madrid), Shanghai World Financial Center (China), Suzhou Museum (China), the Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas) and the Miho Museum and Bridge (Japan).  Dr. Robertson participated in the structural design of the 1km high Nakheel Tall Tower (Dubai), the 630m Merdeka PNB100 Tower (Kuala Lumpur), the Suzhou Center landscaped pedestrian bridges (China), the Miho Chapel (Japan), and the 555m Lotte World Tower which was topped out in 2016 (Seoul). 

A Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Advisory Board Member of the Center of Sustainability, Accountability, and Eco-Affordability for Large Structures, Dr. Robertson has received numerous awards and honors during his career for his contributions to the field of structural engineering.  A few of them include the IStructE Gold Medal of the U. K., the Gengo Matsui Prize of Japan,  ASCE’s Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Award, AISC’s J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award, recognition as ENR’s “Man of the Year,” the first recipient of the Henry C. Turner Prize, and the Fazlur Rahman Khan Medal.  A Distinguished Alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley and recipient of doctoral degrees from Lehigh University, the University of Notre Dame, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Western Ontario, over the past five decades, Dr. Robertson has taught at numerous universities throughout the world.


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