Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, announces that Founding Principal Charles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., Hon. AIA, Hon. ASCE, NAE is among five individuals being honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) program for their lifetime achievements. The award will be presented at a black-tie gala at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, Arlington, Va. on March 21.
The OPAL Lifetime Achievement Award is given to civil engineers who “represent a model of achievement to which future generations of engineers aspire to match or exceed.”
Thornton is being honored for his numerous contributions to the field of design. Regarded as one of the world’s preeminent structural engineers and educators, Thornton has been involved in the design, construction and analysis of projects around the world, many of which have set industry standards for innovation and creativity.
His signature projects include the Northwestern Atrium Center (now the Citigroup Center), United Airlines Terminal One at O’Hare Airport and United Center/Bulls and Blackhawks Arena, all in Chicago, Ill.; the Chifley Tower in Sydney, Australia; Tampa City Center in Tampa, Florida;; American Airlines superbay hangars in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Calif.; and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Thornton, currently chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company LLC, Straam Inc. and AECOS, Ltd., is a founding principal and former co-chairman of Thornton Tomasetti. He currently serves as a consultant to Thornton Tomasetti.
Thornton is the founder of the ACE Mentor Program, which he established in 1993. ACE has offered guidance to more than 40,000 inner-city high school students in 106 cities around the country and has acquainted these students with the challenges and rewards offered by careers in architecture, engineering and construction. Thus far it has awarded more than $6 million in scholarships. In 2011, the program received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
Thornton’s numerous career accolades include the Civil Engineer of the Year Award from ASCE’s Metropolitan Section in 1990, the Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2012, Hoover Medal in 2002, the Leonardo da Vinci Award for Leadership and Management Excellence from the Professional Services Management Association in 2003, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Civil Engineering from the Franklin Institute in 2003 and the Golden Eagle Award from the Society of American Military Engineers in 2003.
Thornton earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Manhattan College in 1961, a master’s degree, also in civil engineering, from New York University in 1963 and a doctorate in structural engineering and engineering mechanics from New York University in 1966. +