Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Ronald Klemencic

Ronald Klemencic M.S., P.E., S.E., Hon. AIA, N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Ron Klemencic received his M.S. degree (1986) in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in structural engineering. He also received his B.S. degree (1985) in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. Following graduation, he worked as a design engineer at two firms before joining the firm now known as Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) in 1992. In addition to his extensive record of project contributions and research advocacy while at MKA, he has held the management positions of Vice President (1994), Senior Vice President (1996), President (1998), and Chairman & C.E.O. (2013-present).

Mr. Klemencic is one of the preeminent high-rise structural engineers practicing today. His noteworthy projects include: Salesforce Tower, San Francisco (61 stories - and tallest office tower in a seismic zone in the Western Hemisphere); Vista Tower, Chicago (100 stories); 150 North Riverside, Chicago (54 stories); Aqua, Chicago (87 stories); Leatop Plaza, Guangzhou, China (60 stories); Rainier Square Redevelopment, Seattle (58 stories); and111 South Wacker, Chicago (53 stories). He pioneered the application of performance-based seismic design for tall buildings and co-authored the Tall Buildings Initiative (TBI) Guidelines, published through U. C. Berkeley’s Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center. As a Director of the Charles Pankow Foundation for 11 years, he has been a catalyst to identify research needs to advance structural engineering practice, build funding alliances, and personally provide industry oversight and review for several large research or guideline development efforts. As a 17-year member of American Concrete Institute (ACI) 318 Building Code Committee, he brings design-engineer insight, intuition, and sensibility to building code committee deliberations. As past Chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), he championed improvements in high rise safety and led CTBUH to a revived relevance on the world stage.

Mr. Klemencic's work has been recognized by numerous awards, including: Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Award, ASCE (2019); Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award, ASCE (2019); National Academy of Construction (2017); Honorary Member, American Inst. of Architects (2014); Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal, CTBUH (2016); Ernest E. Howard Award, ASCE (2016); Alfred E. Lindau Award, ACI (2010);; Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, Purdue (2013); and 3-time Top 25 Newsmaker, ENR (2005, 2008,2018), including Newsmaker of the Year (2018). Mr. Klemencic was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2020.

Mr. Klemencic has been a strong supporter of Berkeley CEE through invited lectures, collaboration on multiple research projects with Professor Jack Moehle, support of research through the Charles Pankow and MKA Foundations, and by recruiting Berkeley structural engineering graduates for employment at MKA.