ASCE Honors Klemencic as Distinguished Member

Ron Klemencic, P.E., F.SEI, Dist.M., NAC, NAE, one of the world’s leading structural engineers of high-rise buildings, has been honored with inclusion by ASCE in its 2020 class of Distinguished Members for his remarkable designs, his indefatigable efforts advancing construction research for the built environment, and his outstanding leadership and service to a host of professional societies.

Klemencic, chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, has helmed the completion of more than 200 structures over 27 stories high in 20 countries. He is the acknowledged leader in moving the structural profession to performance-based design (PBSD) for tall buildings, through research, lectures and 70-plus completed projects. He is now a catalyst for advancement of performance-based wind design (PBWD).

headshot of Klemencic

One project of Klemencic’s, 150 North Riverside, in Chicago, was recognized with ASCE’s 2019 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) award. Another is Salesforce Tower, the tapering obelisk in San Francisco that recently garnered an OCEA Honor Award.

When he took over as chair of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), in 2001, the organization was near bankruptcy and sorely needing forceful leadership. Klemencic steered that resuscitation, appointing an executive director and undertaking a major reorganization. With a relocation of its offices, CTBUH was on the path to its current position as the world’s largest, most influential organization for the design and construction of high-rises. An impressive feat considering that the rationale behind tall buildings was being questioned post-9/11.

As director of the Charles Pankow Foundation for more than 10 years, Klemencic has made major contributions to the cause of construction and structural research. He chairs the jury for the ASCE Charles Pankow Award for Innovation and founded the Magnusson Klemencic Associates Foundation for structural research.

For his commitment to practical and design-focused research, Engineering News-Record named him the winner of their Award of Excellence for 2018. He is also a  three-time “Newsmaker.” Other awards include ASCE’s 2019 OPAL award for design and 2016 Ernest E. Howard Award, ACI’s 2010 Alfred E. Lindau Award, and Engineer of the Year (2008) from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington.

Klemencic is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute; serves on the Board of Governors of the Network for Engineering Earthquake Simulation; and was elected in 2017 to the National Academy of Construction. He is a registered professional engineer in 16 states.

Klemencic also was elected to the National Academy of Engineers in February.

Read an ASCE Journal article by Klemencic.


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