Lead structural engineer for world’s tallest building to deliver Ginn lecture

Published: Feb 8, 2013 3:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Morgan Stashick, stashml@auburn.edu , 334-844-3591

Lawrence Novak, director of engineered buildings at the Portland Cement Association and lead structural engineer for the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, the world’s tallest free-standing structure, will present on the structural and sustainable design of the tower on Tuesday, March 5, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in Langdon Hall auditorium. His lecture, “The Philosophy of Engineering for the Burj Khalifa, the World’s Tallest Structure,” is hosted by the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s Ginn Distinguished Lecture Series.

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Burj Khalifa Tower 

The Burj Khalifa Tower reaches 2,717 feet high, more than half a mile tall, and includes 160 stories. The skyscraper features three million square feet of reinforced concrete and is used for retail, dining, a hotel, 144 private residences, 37 office floors and a four-story fitness and recreation annex. Novak will discuss the carefully planned concrete structure of the tower, which includes a Y-shaped design to reduce wind forces on the tower, as well as a buttressed core. Each wing, with its own high performance concrete core and perimeter columns, supports the others through a six-sided central hexagonal hub. The result is a tower that is stiff and uniquely equipped to resist lateral loads. Construction of the tower began in 2004 and it opened in 2010.

Novak has more than 20 years of experience as a structural engineer on high-rise, mid-rise and special use structures throughout the world, including seismic regions. He is the recipient of the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois’ Most Innovative Structure Award for the Burj Khalifa project. Novak was also selected as the Centennial Lecturer in engineering and was named the Citizen Engineer of the Year by the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is an active member of the American Concrete Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers and Structural Engineers Association of Illinois. Novak received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. He is a LEED accredited professional and a certified structural peer reviewer.

The Samuel Ginn Distinguished Lecture Series was founded in 2005 to bring distinguished leaders from the academic and business communities to Auburn University’s campus to interact with faculty and students. Lectures cover subjects such as engineering, education, entrepreneurship, global education issues, as well as engineering and business leadership. Auburn engineering alumnus and wireless engineering executive Samuel Ginn became namesake to the College of Engineering with a goal of advancing his alma mater into the ranks of the nation’s top wireless engineering research and teaching institutions.