NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Bangladeshi-American structural engineer and architect who is best known for his tube structural systems implemented in skyscrapers.
Fazlur Khan was born on April 3, 1929 in Dhaka, East Bengal, current day Bangladesh. He studied at the Bengal Engineering College and the Ahsanullah Engineering College where he received a B.S. in Civil Engineering. In 1952 Khan received scholarships to travel to the U.S. where he continued his studies at the University of Illinois. He graduated in three years with a masters in theoretical and applied mechanics and a masters and Ph.D. in structural engineering. After completing his education, Khan began to work for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and he worked on the John Hancock Center and the 110-story Sears Tower which was the tallest building in the world at that time. Throughout his career, Khan’s main innovation was the idea of using a tube structural system for skyscrapers. Instead of rigid steel frames, the exterior wall of the building would simulate a thin walled tube. This would allow for more space inside the building, a larger resistance of lateral loads and a more efficient building process. This concept revolutionized the construction of tall buildings. Today, the Buri Khalifi in Dubai, which is the world’s current tallest skyscraper was built influenced by the tube structure design.
Photo Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fazlur_Rahman_Khan#/media/File:FRKhan.jpg
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