Leading Structural Engineer Named ASCE Fellow

July 10, 2017


Ron Klemencic, S.E., P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, the chairman and chief executive officer of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, a 185-person international structural and civil engineering firm headquartered in Seattle, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.

Klemencic has been the structural engineer-in-charge for more than 175 buildings over 27 stories high in 19 countries. This represents over 190 million square feet of space and over $39 billion in construction cost. In addition to his extensive project work, research advocacy, and profession leadership positions, he has been heavily involved in engineering firm management. In 1992, he started at Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire (now renamed MKA) and six years later was elected president. The American Council of Engineering Companies has awarded MKA with 27 National Engineering Excellence Awards in the last 30 years. To date, the firm has completed projects in 47 states and 54 countries with an aggregate construction cost of $99 billion.

Klemencic was recognized with the 2016 Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal, awarded by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), for his engineering excellence of tall buildings and his leadership of the multidiscipline council. In 2008, he was named Structural Engineer of the Year by Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings Journal. His leadership in the collaborative design of tall buildings was recognized with the rare election of an engineer to Honorary Membership by the American Institute of Architects.

His leadership in the development and advancement of performance-based seismic design of tall buildings was recognized with both the 2016 ASCE Ernest E. Howard Award and with ranking in the 2008 Top 25 Newsmakers by Engineering News-Record. His activities advancing PBSD include involvement with initiatives like PEER TBI Guidelines, meetings with building department officials, and serving as a peer reviewer, and his projects take in the structural design of more than 70 PBSD structures, including the 326.2-meter-tall Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.

Klemencic has been a tireless advocate for increasing structural engineering research as a director of the Charles Pankow Foundation for the last nine years, as a leader and catalyst for specific collaborative industry research, and as one of the founders of the research-based Magnusson Klemencic Associates Foundation. His efforts have directly resulted in 25 research projects in the last 10 years alone. He is also the jury chair for the ASCE Charles Pankow Award for Innovation.

As chairman of CTBUH from 2001 to 2006, he helped the profession through one of the most difficult times for tall buildings. He organized professional conferences on tall buildings (London, Seoul, New York) and granted myriad media interviews on topics ranging from the devastating 9/11 attacks, to challenges of tall buildings and their effect on community life. He took an organization that was near bankruptcy and put it on a path to its current 9,043 organizational members from 53 countries.

Klemencic earned his BSCE at Purdue University in 1985 and his MSCE at the University of California, Berkeley in 1986.

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