Advisory Group, Member (2011-present)
Committee; Awards, Member (2004)
Conference; Organizing Committee, Member (Chicago, 1996; Chicago, 2009)
Joseph G. Burns is Practice Leader, Managing Principal and board of director member for Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. His more than 30 years of experience and his contributions to the field of structural engineering have been recognized with his advancement to fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE).
A recipient of the American Institute of Steel Construction's Special Achievement Award and named to ENR's Top 25 Newsmakers list, Joe is well-known for his innovative structural design work with projects of significant magnitude. Domestically, he has managed the design of more than 12 million square feet of high-rise projects, including the award-winning 50-story, LEED Certified One North Wacker office tower, which features the first American use of a two-way cable-net wall; the award-winning, 37-story 191 N. Wacker Drive; ABN AMRO Plaza, which was recognized by Midwest Construction as project of the year in 2004; and the award-winning, 25-story Erie on the Park, whose efficient, modern architectural design and exposed chevron braces were achieved through Thornton Tomasetti’s implementation of cutting-edge 3D computer modeling techniques. Joe also led Thornton Tomasetti’s structural-engineer-of record team in the design of The Chicago Spire a 2,000-foot-tall, Santiago Calatrava-designed residential tower and the design development of the proposed 2,000-foot-tall office tower, Project 2000.
Joe’s international commissions include parcels at King Abdullah Financial Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the proposed 123-story Meraas Tower in Dubai, UAE; and the 1.25-million-square-foot, seven-story Masdar headquarters building for Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, a zero carbon emission green community planned for construction in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
As an active member of the design community, Joe promotes innovation and progressive project delivery methods in design and construction. He serves as a peer reviewer for the GSA Design and Construction Excellence Programs. His expertise in design and construction has been shared through publications and lectures, with presentations at the 2010 AIA National Convention, 2009 Autodesk AEC Executive Summit, and 2008 IABSE Congress.
Joe’s involvement at institutions of higher learning include service as a member of the Advisory Committee for Northwestern University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering – Architecture Concentration; participation as a member of the Design Council at the School of the Art Institute; and past teaching engagements at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Architecture; Illinois Institute of Technology, College of Architecture; and University of Maryland, School of Architecture – where he was named a KEA Distinguished Professor in 2005. Joe is a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois, The Institution of Structural Engineers, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.