Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Tung-Yen (T.Y.) Lin

Tung-Yen (T.Y.) Lin M.S., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Tung-Yen (T.Y.) Lin received an M.S. degree in Civil (Structural) Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1933. He also received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Jiao Tong University in 1931. For 13 years after receiving his M.S., he worked on mountain railroads as chief bridge engineer for several Chinese government railways. From 1946 to 1976, he held the position of Professor of Civil Engineering at Berkeley where he also served as Chairman of the Division of Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics, Director of the Structural Engineering Laboratory, and Chairman of the Board of Educational Development for the Berkeley Campus. In 1953, he founded T.Y. Lin International, which for more than 60 years has been a leading international structural engineering firm that has worked on many of the most noteworthy bridge projects around the world. Professor Lin was born in Fuzhao, China in 1912 and died in El Cerrito, California, in 2003 at the age of 91.

In addition to contributing to more than 100 technical papers, Professor Lin co-authored three books: Design of Prestressed Concrete Structures (3rd ed. 1981), Design of Steel Structures (2nd ed. 1968), and Structural Concepts and Systems for Architects and Engineers (2nd ed. 1987). He is particularly well known for his groundbreaking research in prestressed concrete, profoundly influencing modern structural design methods and making possible today’s high-rise buildings and long span structures. He became so widely known for his work in this area that he is often referred to as “The Father of Prestressed Concrete.”

Professor Lin is considered one of the greatest and boldest structural engineers of his time. As leader of T.Y. Lin International he designed innovative bridges in Costa Rica, Libya, Taipei, Taiwan and the United States. In San Francisco, he engineered the multiple 300-foot arches that support the ceiling of the massive Moscone Convention Center, making it the largest underground room in the world at the time of its construction. He is also well known for daring designs that have yet to be built, including the Intercontinental Peace Bridge that would span the Bering Strait to connect Siberia and Alaska, and the Strait of Gibraltar Bridge with two 16,000 foot spans.

Among his many honors are the National Medal of Science from the President of the United States, American Consulting Engineers Council’s Award of Merit, University of California Berkeley Citation, National Research Council’s Quarter-Century Citation, FIP Freyssinet Medal, AIA Institute Honor, ASCE and AIA Honorary Member, and the PCI Medal of Honor. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1967. He was also awarded honorary doctorates of law from four universities in the U.S.A and the far east, and he held four honorary professorships in China, including one from his alma mater, Jiao Tong University.