Burj Khalifa engineer honoured by UK university

William F Baker, the acclaimed SOM engineer behind Burj Khalifa, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

This is the second honorary degree for SOM’s partner in charge of structural engineering, who was lauded by University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 2011.

“There are only a select number of engineers in the world that can truly say they have designed structures that have a global impact….Bill is one of those engineers,” said Professor Peter Woodward, head of Heriot Watt’s Institute for Infrastructure and Environment.

“Bill’s philosophy of pushing the boundaries with new, innovative technologies and techniques aligns closely with our own aspirations for our graduates,” added Prof Woodward.

To support Burj Khalifa’s record height of 828m, Baker developed the buttressed core structural system, which consists of a hexagonal core reinforced by three buttresses that form a Y shape.

Baker also worked on SOM’s twisted Infinity Tower, which is nearing completion in Dubai Marina.