Structural Engineers Association of New York

Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards

The SEAoNY Excellence in Structural Engineering (EiSE) Awards Program recognizes the innovative and complex projects completed by structural engineering firms located in the New York City area.  The SEAoNY EiSE Awards Program is modeled after the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) EiSE Awards.  The winning projects themselves can be located anywhere in the world but must demonstrate:

      • Creativity of complex design
      • Innovative use of materials and techniques
      • Sustainability of design in social, economic, or environmental considerations 

SEAoNY EiSE Award winners are selected from four major categories: 

New Buildings

New building projects will be submitted under a single category. Three awards will be given in this category. Projects may include any type of building that is occupied or used by people including parking garages, airport control towers, industrial buildings, and other similar structures.

Forensic Analysis / Renovation / Retrofit / Rehabilitation of Structures

This category includes forensic analysis, structural renovations, seismic retrofits, adaptive reuse, rehabilitation of existing buildings or bridges, and similar projects. One award will be given in this category.

Other Structures

This category includes all non-building structures, such as towers, monuments, sculptures, art installations, pavilions, and similar projects. Bridges and other transportation structures may also be submitted such as vehicle and pedestrian bridges, highway structures, pipe or utility support spans, and similar structures. Projects may be of any span length or overall size. One award will be given in this category.

Engineer’s Choice Award

All finalists considered for awards will be entered for the Engineers’ Choice Award. An electronic poll open to the international structural engineering community is conducted to select the winner. 

2020 EiSE Award Winners

New Buildings

15 Hudson Yards - WSP

The Shed is an innovative project that creates a unique and unrivaled space in New York City. Founded on the principle of flexibility, the project comprises a museum, theater/performance space, rehearsal area, and artists’ lab. One of the Shed’s most iconic features is an entire building deployed on rails in order to double the footprint of the project and create an unprecedented space dedicated to the arts. Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering, kinetic consulting, façade design and day-lighting analysis for the structure. The complex and innovative project included high-performance materials and structural systems and architecturally exposed steelwork.

Ministry of Taxation - Baku - Thornton Tomasetti

The Ministry of Taxation (MOT) tower adds a new twist to the Baku’s skyline. The tower features five stacked cubes that cantilever independently from a circular central core—and each cube rotates 1.2 degrees from the cube below, resulting in a 40 degrees rotation overall. The tower posed interesting challenges related to its unique design, its location in a high seismic region, and significant wind demand. We used Performance-Based Design principles to address the seismic loads. Creative approaches to the lateral system, construction sequencing and truss design helped overcome challenges and create a new landmark in the region.

Charles Library at Temple University - LERA Consulting Structural Engineers

The Charles Library redefines what a modern library can offer its inhabitants and the surrounding community. The design architects, Snøhetta, conceived a grand architectural vision, with an emphasis on soaring, open, and fluid spaces. This vision demanded a dynamic and innovative structural system in kind, employing a combination of large cantilevers and long-span arches. The 4-story, 220,000-sf library features a 47,300-sf building-wide green roof, reading and study spaces, event space, a 3D-printing workshop, and virtual reality space, as well as a 3-story-tall automated book storage and retrieval system that condenses the vast majority of the library’s collection into high-density storage units.


Forensic Analysis/ Renovation/ Retrofit & Rehabilitation of Structures

Woolworth Tower Residences - Gilsanz Murray Steficek Engineers and Architects (GMS)

The innovative and elegant early skyscraper completed in 1913, endures today as an iconic form on the New York City skyline - the tallest building in the world until 1930. Our team renovated, restored, and redeveloped the upper 30-story “tower” to luxury condominiums, while the lower 28 floors of offices remained occupied throughout reconstruction. A high level of collaboration between the design and construction teams ensured this project was successful. All materials were hoisted within the building – no exterior crane! Where removals and reinforcing was necessary to create modern apartments, the building’s stiffness was maintained to assure no change to the support conditions of the envelope.

Other Structures

730 Fifth Avenue Cantilevered Work Platform - Gilsanz Murray Steficek Engineers and Architects (GMS)

The historic Crown Building is located on the southwest corner of this intersection and is currently configured as a condominium, with one Owner for the retail spaces between the cellar and third floors and another Owner for the hotel and residential condominiums in the upper stories. Our firm provided the structural engineering to the Retail Owner and their architect to develop a unique solution to create a cantilevered work platform, which would protect pedestrians without posting columns down to the sidewalk, 47 feet below. The retail tenants understood that work on the upper levels and façade, would be on-going, and negotiated into their leases that the sidewalks would remain open, without restrictions or impediments to the flow of New Yorkers.

Engineer’s Choice Award

Ministry of Taxation - Baku - Thornton Tomasetti

Thank you to the 2020 EiSE Award Judges:

James Vignola - Past President of SEAoNY & Director of Technical Design, Structural Engineering at RAND Engineering & Architecture

Vicki Arbitrio - Associate Partner at Gilsanz Murray Steficek (GMS)

Standish Lee - Assistant Vice President of Development at L&L MAG

Joe Flannigan - Director of Engineering at the National September 11 Memorial Museum 

EiSE Award Archive

To view the winning projects and firms of previous years, please visit the Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards Archive.

Contact Us

For questions and comments, please contact the SEAoNY Awards Committee here.

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