Daniel A. Cuoco, Leader of the World Trade Center Structural Engineering Disaster Response Team Following 9/11, Dies at Age 68

September 26, 2014

Daniel A. Cuoco, P.E., F.ASCE, former president and CEO of Thornton Tomasetti Inc., who led the World Trade Center structural engineering disaster response team in the assessment of buildings in the immediate collapse area following the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, passed away on September 21 at the age of 68. Cuoco, who joined the firm in 1971 and served as president from 2002 to 2011, and CEO from 2008 to 2011, had through his distinguished career been directly involved in the investigation of numerous building failures, ranging from field reconnaissance to collapse analysis to expert testimony services. With him as leader, the World Trade Center structural engineering disaster response team investigated demolition and temporary stabilization procedures along with the design of grillages, they analyzed the existing structures to support construction equipment, they coordinated the survey monitoring of the existing damaged structures, and they inspected approximately 400 buildings in the area surrounding the collapse site. Born March 3, 1946, in the Bronx, New York, Cuoco graduated from City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and from New York University with a master’s degree in civil engineering. He also held a master’s of business administration from Adelphi University. In his 4 decades with Thornton Tomasetti, Cuoco established new offices, launched innovative ventures, and helped build the firm’s preeminent structural engineering and investigation practices. Cuoco had extensive experience in the design of major projects, such as long-span structures, high-rise buildings, hotels, industrial buildings, airport structures, schools, parking structures, hospitals, and special structures. He worked on many remarkable projects, including the firm’s first high-rise building, and numerous landmarks, such as the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway and World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Among the major projects he investigated include the L’Ambiance Plaza lift-slab building collapse, the Hartford Civic Center roof collapse, the East Coldenham School wall collapse, the Journal Square ceiling collapse, and the Javits Convention Center space frame node failures. In addition to his professional practice, Cuoco had authored numerous technical papers and lectured extensively at universities and engineering conferences internationally.

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