Wednesday, November 14, 6:30 p.m.
The Structure of Contemporary Architecture
Charles H. Thornton is the Chairman of Charles H. Thornton and Company LLC, a management and strategic consulting firm and Managing Principal of Thornton Termohlen Group, LLC, a project management and developer of industrialized building systems. He continues to consult as Founding Principal to Thornton-Tomasetti, of which he was Chairman through December of 2004. Thornton-Tomasetti is a 550-person organization providing engineering services, failure analysis, hazard mitigation, and disaster response services.
Dr. Thornton holds a B.S. degree from Manhattan College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University. Dr. Thornton has received a number of distinguished honors in his profession, including election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997; named Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1999; awarded Engineering News-Record’s Award of Excellence 2001; selected to receive the Hoover Medal for 2002; and selected to receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Civil Engineering for 2003; elected to membership in the National Academy of Construction in 2005 and elected to Honorary Member of AIA in 2006.
Dr. Thornton’s 44 years of experience with Thornton Tomasetti have included involvement in the design and construction of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects in the U.S. and overseas, ranging from hospitals, arenas and high-rise buildings, to airports, transportation facilities and special projects. Representative projects include: the New York Hospital, New York; Chicago Stadium (Bulls and Blackhawks arena) and Comiskey Park in Chicago; the Nashville Arena in Nashville; the United Airlines Terminal at O’Hare Airport in Chicago; Terminal #1 at JFK Airport in New York; the 95-story Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur City Centre, the world’s tallest buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; the 50-story Americas Tower in New York; the 65-story One Liberty Place in Philadelphia; and the 50-story Chifley Tower in Sydney, Australia.
Dr. Thornton has provided expert witness testimony for many clients and litigations and is a recognized expert in the area of collapse and structural failure analysis. In 1978 Dr. Thornton led the engineering team investigation of the causes of the collapse of the Hartford Coliseum Space Truss Roof, and the scaffold collapse at Pleasants Power Station, West Virginia. In 1987 Dr. Thornton directed the investigation of the collapse of the New York State Thruway Schoharie Bridge. In 1996 he participated in FEMA’s Building Performance Assessment Team to investigate the Oklahoma City bombing. Most recently, Dr. Thornton was a member of the oversight team on the NIST study of the World Trade Center Collapse investigation.
Thornton has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in civil engineering, marked by numerous technical and humanitarian awards, and highlighted by work on some of the world's most recognizable structures. His 40 years in the industry is marked not only by professional accomplishments, but by a dedication to community service through his work as chairman and founder of the ACE Mentor Program, a non-profit organization that each year offers guidance and training to 1,800 inner city high schools students in architecture, construction and engineering in 28 cities across the U.S. including: New York; NY; Newark, NJ; Stamford, CT; Chicago, IL; and Washington, DC. In addition, Thornton served as President of the Salvadori Center, which each year educates over 2,000 New York City middle school students in mathematics and science using architectural and engineering principles.