Leslie E. Robertson

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Leslie E. Robertson
Leslie Earl Robertson

(1928-02-12) February 12, 1928 (age 91)
NationalityUnited States
EducationBS, University of California, Berkeley (1952)
Engineering career
Discipline Structural engineer
Institutions National Academy of Engineering
Institution of Structural Engineers
Practice nameLeslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA)
Projects World Trade Center
Shanghai World Financial Center
Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
Awards John Fritz Medal (2012)
IStructE Gold Medal

Leslie Earl Robertson (born February 12, 1928) is an American engineer. He was the lead structural engineer of the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center in New York City. [1] He has since been structural engineer on numerous other projects, including the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong.

Structural engineers analyze, design, plan, and research structural components and structural systems to achieve design goals and ensure the safety and comfort of users or occupants. Their work takes account mainly of safety, technical, economic and environmental concerns, but they may also consider aesthetic and social factors.

World Trade Center (1973–2001) complex of buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center, 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex was located in New York City's Financial District and contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.


Early life and education

Robertson studied civil engineering at University of California, Berkeley, and received a BS degree in 1952.

University of California, Berkeley Public university in California, USA

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.


Robertson's engineering career began in 1952, when he joined Kaiser Engineering. In 1958 he joined the Seattle structural and civil engineering firm Worthington and Skilling. As an "up-and-coming engineer",[ citation needed ] Robertson was selected by Worthington, Skilling, Helle, and Jackson (WSHJ) to participate in the design of the World Trade Center Twin Towers (1966–1971), his first high rise construction. [2] In 1967 Robertson was made a partner and WSHJ was renamed Skilling, Helle, Christiansen, Robertson. The firm split its operations in 1982, with Robertson renaming the East Coast office Leslie E. Robertson Associates RLLP [3]

Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Magnusson Klemencic Associates is an American structural and civil engineering consulting firm with its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The company has completed projects worth more than $73 billion in 47 states and 51 countries. Significant MKA projects through its history include the World Trade Center, the Columbia Center, Aqua, the Doha Convention Center Tower, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Since the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001, debates about the safety of rent-space-maximized designs have engaged the profession, but most would agree that the design of the World Trade Center actually withstood the impact of the plane with enough time to allow many thousands of occupants to evacuate safely. [4] Robertson's firm later participated in the development of a database of basic structural information for the towers of the World Trade Center (WTC1 and 2) for NIST and FEMA, [5] and to record the undocumented structural changes that had been made to the buildings after construction began.

Collapse of the World Trade Center collapse of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001

The Twin Towers of New York City's World Trade Center collapsed after being deliberately struck by two commercial passenger jets during the September 11 attacks. A total of four commercial aircraft were hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists on 9/11 and two of those were crashed into the Twin Towers. American Airlines Flight 11 was crashed into the north side of the North Tower and United Airlines Flight 175 was crashed into the south side of the South Tower. The collapse of the Twin Towers destroyed the rest of the complex, and debris from the collapsing towers severely damaged or destroyed more than a dozen other adjacent and nearby structures. The South Tower collapsed at 9:59 am, less than an hour after being hit, followed by the North Tower at 10:28 am. Later that day, the nearby Seven World Trade Center collapsed at 5:21 pm from fires that had started when the North Tower collapsed. As a result of the attacks to the towers, a total of 2,763 people died including 2,192 civilians, 343 firefighters, and 71 law enforcement officers as well as all the passengers and crew on the airplanes, including 147 civilians and the 10 hijackers.

Personal life

Robertson has been married for several decades to SawTeen See, an engineer who also has served as business manager of their architectural engineering practice, Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA). [6]


The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is an American nonprofit, non-governmental organization. The National Academy of Engineering is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Research Council.

Honorary degree degree awarded waiving requirements to honour an individual

An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, a dissertation, and the passing of comprehensive examinations. It is also known by the Latin phrases honoris causa or ad honorem . The degree is typically a doctorate or, less commonly, a master's degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous postsecondary education. An example of identifying a recipient of this award is as follows: Doctorate in Business Administration.

The Doctor of Engineering, or Engineering Doctorate, is a doctoral degree awarded on the basis of advanced study and research in engineering and applied sciences. In most of the countries it is a terminal research doctorate; in the United Kingdom it can be a higher doctorate. An EngD degree is essentially an engineering PhD with a solid industrial base and an additional taught element.

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  1. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/09/the_world_trade_center_work_of.html
  2. Koch, Karl (2002). Men of Steel: The Story of the Family That Built the World Trade Center. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN   1-4000-4601-7.
  3. Leadership and Management in Engineering magazine. Volume 9, Issue 1, Engineering Legends pp. 46-50 (January 2009)
  4. http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_execsum.pdf
  5. Leslie E. Robertson Associates support to NIST/FEMA Archived 2009-08-15 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "The Edward and Mary Allen Lecture in Structural Design". architecture.mit.edu. MIT Architecture Department. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  7. "NAE Members - Mr. Leslie E. Robertson". NAE.edu. National Academy of Engineering . Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  8. Lewis, Scott (April 20, 2015), "ENR Marks 50 Years of Excellence", Engineering News-Record , New York: Dodge Data & Analytics, vol. 274 no. 11, pp. 42–56, ISSN   0891-9526
  9. "Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Leadership Awards Past Award Winners". ASCE.org. American Society of Civil Engineers. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  10. "IStructE Gold Medal Winners 1922-2008" . Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  11. "2004 Fazlur Khan Medal Winner". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  12. "Historical List of Distinguished and Honorary Members" (PDF). ASCE.org. American Society of Civil Engineers. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  13. "Award Guide and Past Recipients". American Association of Engineering Societies. Archived from the original on 2013-05-11. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  14. "La Fundación José Entrecanales Ibarra premia al ingeniero estadounidense Leslie E. Robertson". Acciona. Retrieved 2016-06-20.