Department of

Civil and Environmental Engineering



Kavanagh Lecture - Biographical Sketch

The Fourth Annual Thomas C. Kavanagh Memorial Structural Engineering Lecture

April 4, 1996

7:30 pm

Applied Research Laboratory Auditorium

Structural engineering--some trends and future directions


William McGuire
Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering
Cornell University


William McGuire is Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at Cornell University. His formal education was at Bucknell University and Cornell University, and he has served on the faculty at Cornell since 1949. He also was a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo in Japan, the University of Liege in France, and Strathclyde University in Scotland. In addition, he spent two years at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand, was a visiting lecturer at the University of Cantebury, New Zealand, and was a senior visiting fellow at the University of Western Australia.

Professor McGuire's research has focused on a broad array of problems in structural steel including progressive collapse, nonlinear torsional-flexural behavior, and the application of interactive computer graphics with an emphasis on nonlinear analysis and design of two- and three-dimensional steel frame structures. His textbook, Steel Structures, published in 1968 is a classic reference.

He has done extensive consulting work with many firms and agencies, including assignments with Cornell University and the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center on the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the National Bureau of Standards on projects related to the U.S. Olympic structure at Lake Placid, New York, the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse in Kansas City, and the East Chicago ramp collapse, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on the L'Ambiance Plaza collapse, and the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council on the development of load and resistance factor design specifications for highway bridges.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has honored Professor McGuire by awarding him the Norman Medal on two occasions (962 and 1994), the Shortridge Hardesty Award in 1992, and by elevating him to honorary membership in 1994. In addition, the American Institute for Steel Construction honored him with a Special Citation Award in 1982 and selected him for the T. R. Higgins Lectureship in 1992. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1994.