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The Weidlinger Legacy

Weidlinger Associates was founded as Paul Weidlinger, Consulting Engineer, in Washington, DC, in 1949; moved its headquarters to Manhattan in 1951; was renamed Weidlinger Associates Consulting Engineers in 1974; and was incorporated as Weidlinger Associates, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1982 and in New York in 2011. Dr. Jeremy Isenberg succeeded Paul Weidlinger as President and CEO in 1993, and Dr. Raymond Daddazio succeeded Dr. Isenberg on January 1, 2006. The firm employs more than 300 people and bills about $60 million per year.

Weidlinger owes its reputation for innovative design to Paul Weidlinger and the distinguished group of engineers he chose to be his partners, five of whom joined him as elected members of the National Academy of Engineering. Paul Weidlinger pioneered in the fields of high-rise buildings and high-strength concrete, and he collaborated with many renowned twentieth-century architects, including Marcel Breuer, Gordon Bunschaft, Walter Gropius, Eero Saarinen, and José Luis Sert.

Early on, the firm took a singular direction with the addition of an applied science division, founded by two Columbia University professors, Drs. Mario Salvadori and Melvin Baron. It was a turning point that ensured early and continuing use of computers to perform sophisticated advanced analysis and design. Dr. Baron initiated many of Weidlinger's longstanding relationships with U.S. federal agencies, building the firm's practice in defense-related research. R&D and advanced analysis are still a vital force at Weidlinger, used to solve complex design problems, improve industrial tools and practices, and protect structures worldwide.

Dr. Salvadori was a specialist in thin-shell structures and a leading educator, who wrote many celebrated textbooks and popular books on engineering principles. Late in life, he taught inner-city children and developed a built-environment curriculum for teaching math and science that remains one of his most enduring legacies. Matthys Levy, a former student of Dr. Salvadori's and coauthor of many of his books, headed Weidlinger's architectural engineering group for many years. He is still writing books and creating elegant and unprecedented structural systems, such as those he designed for the Javits Center, the Georgia Dome, and the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

Herbert Rothman, who worked closely with O.H. Ammann early in his career, joined Weidlinger in 1976. He launched the firm's transportation division, which became known for innovative bridge designs and construction methods and for life-extending reconstructions of historic suspension bridges. Before he retired, Rothman led the team that designed a self-anchored suspension bridge to replace the eastern-span cantilever bridge of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which had been severely damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The design for the new signature span was selected over the cable-stayed alternative in a fierce and very public competition.

As Weidlinger expanded and became incorporated, Drs. Jerry Isenberg and Ray Daddazio extended the firm’s geographic and technical reach. The firm established a European base of operations in Scotland in 2000 as Weidlinger Associates, Ltd., to provide services in the fields of nonlinear dynamics, explosive loading, and shock and vibration. Forensic, seismic, and wind engineering received new emphasis in 2001, when Dr. Gary Hart opened the firm's first office in Southern California, which subsequently joined forces with Brian Cochran, Inc., to become a full-service structural engineering firm in the Los Angeles area.

Special structures, such as the Rose Center glass cube, continue to define Weidlinger 's buildings practice, but infrastructure projects have become another hallmark of the firm, based on our innovative contributions to the Boston Tunnel project and to New York projects at Ground Zero. The security and applied science practices have matured of necessity post-9/11, and Weidlinger continues to be unique in the number and complexity of its sensitive physical security projects. As most of these projects are subject to non-disclosure restrictions, this critical attribute of Weidlinger is not immediately apparent on viewing the website. Dr. Daddazio is especially supportive of the collaboration across disciplines that was evident in our 2004 investigation of the causes of the World Trade Center collapses, the most comprehensive to date. He is committed to the continued growth of all Weidlinger's lines of business, especially in the Western U.S., Europe, and Asia.

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