Distinguished Alumni Awards

Eli W. Cohen

Eli  W. Cohen
To Eli W. Cohen for his innovations in design and constrution of tall buildings and for his outstanding sevice to the structural engineering profession.

Principal, TT-CBM Engineers, Inc., Chicago, Illinois

BS, 1955, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

For more than 40 years, Eli Cohen has led the activities related to the design and construction of a diverse array of structures, including office buildings, hotels, hospitals, retirement homes, schools, manufacturing plants, warehouses, and specialty structures like hyperbolic thin-shell cooling towers. His greatest skill is effectively combining engineering, architectural, and economic requirements to arrive at excellent solutions for his buildings. Among the leading specialists in building structures in the United States, he has had a major impact on the Chicago Skyline. A short list includes the Xerox Center Office Building, the world headquarters of the American Medical Association, the Swisshotel, the Hotel Nikko, the Chicago Marriot Hotel and Conference Center, the 50-story Leo Burnett Office Tower, and the 50-story R. R. Donnelly Office Tower.

For a short time after receiving this degree from Illinois, Cohen worked on bridge structures for the Illinois Division of Highways. He then joined an engineering firm in Chicago, became partner in 1965, and president and principal of CBM, Inc., in 1969. During the period of his leadership, the firm has been involved, as structural engineers of record, with more than 350 major projects. Included are more than 70 tall buildings, most of which are located in Chicago. Awards from Structural Engineers Association of Illinois include Most Innovation Design for 10 South La Salle in 1987 and Best Structure Award for 181 West Madison in 1991 and 77 West Wacker Drive in 1992. In 1993, CBM merged with Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers of New York City and became known at TT-CBM Engineers, Inc.

Cohen has been an active member of the engineering community. He served as president of the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois and is a member of the Chicago hi-Rise Building Committee. He was registered as a Structural Engineer or Professional Engineer in more than 30 states and served on the Chicago Building Code Committee. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering presented him with the distinguished alumni award in 1990. He received the John Parmer Award for outstanding lifelong contributions in structural engineering from the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois in 1994 and a Special Citation Award for outstanding contribution to the art of building with prefabricated structural steel from the American Institute of Steel Construction. In 1998, he won the Henry Crown Award from the American Concrete Institute.

Current as of 1999.