Department of

Civil and Environmental Engineering



Kavanagh Lecture - Biographical Sketch

The Fifteenth Thomas C. Kavanagh Memorial Structural Engineering Lecture

April 3, 2008

7:30 pm

129 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center

Bringing Together the Architect and the Structural Engineer


Leslie E. Robertson
Leslie E. Robertson Associates, R.L.L.P.


Dr. Robertson received a B.Sc. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1952. He was employed by Raymond International, John Blume & Associates, and Kaiser Engineers prior to founding Leslie E. Robertson Associates in 1958.

To list just a few, Dr. Robertson is responsible for the structural design of the World Trade Center (New York), the United States Steel Headquarters (Pittsburgh), the Bank of China Tower (Hong Kong), and the Puerta de Europa (Madrid) as well as exceptional museums and the award-winning Miho Museum Bridge (Japan). He is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has received the IStructE Gold Medal of the U.K., the Gengo Matsui Prize of Japan as the outstanding Structural Engineer in the world, an AIA Institute Honor, and was recognized as ENR's Construction 'Man of the Year'. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering as well as an Honorary and Advisory Board Member of the Center of Sustainability, Accountability and Eco-Affordability for Large Structures. He lectures regularly to students of all ages and is currently teaching at Princeton University. Further, he is a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley, has received ASCE’s Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Award, AISC’s J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award, Tokyo Society of Architects Honorary Fellowship and Medal, and is the first recipient of the Henry C. Turner Prize and of the Fazlur Rahman Kahn Medal.

Dr. Robertson is currently working with I.M. Pei on the Miho Institute of Aesthetics – the Chapel, and has completed designs for the Suzhou Museum in Suzhou, China and the Museum for Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. With the Pei Partnership he is working on the design for a new 420-meter tower in Shenyang, China, and has been working with Kohn Pedersen Fox on the Shanghai World Financial Center, which now extends to a height of 492 meters (1614 feet). Additionally, he is collaborating with Dynamic Architecture of Florence, Italy to develop prototypical designs for the Rotating Tower, Moscow.

Dr. Robertson serves on the board of several cultural and professional organizations including New York City’s Skyscraper Museum, the Architectural League of New York and the MacDowell 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 in Canada presented him with an honorary doctorate in science.