T.Y. Lin: Visionary structural engineer

Berkeley Engineering 150T.Y. Lin on the Berkeley campusTalk about legends: one of the world’s most influential structural engineers was Berkeley’s own T.Y. Lin (M.S.’33 CE), professor of civil engineering from 1946–76, who perfected the use of prestressed concrete and profoundly changed the history of building construction. Often called the “Father of Prestressed Concrete,” Lin greatly simplified the design process for using the material, which quickly became integrated into high-rise buildings, long-span bridges, dams and other structures. To further real-world applications of prestressed concrete, he also founded one of the world’s premier structural engineering firms, known today as T.Y. Lin International. His many achievements included the Peace Pagoda and Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, the San Mateo Bridge, Taiwan’s Kuan Du Bridge and the National Racetrack in Caracas, Venezuela.

“Lin’s legacy is international,” said Karl Pister, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering. “Almost every continent you go to, there will be structures with T.Y. Lin’s mark on them. He was a one-of-a-kind person of incredible creative vision in structural design.”

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