Current News

 

Robert Silman Associates Announces Principal and Associate Promotions

January 2014 — We are pleased to announce that Alastair Elliott has been named Principal and Chief Operating Officer of Robert Silman Associates, and that John McCue, our Chief Financial Officer, has been promoted to Principal. We are also pleased to announce that Luis Laso has been promoted to Associate.

Alastair Elliott Alastair C. Elliott, PE, LEED AP, Chief Operating Officer, Principal
Alastair joined Robert Silman Associates in 1995 and was named an Associate with the firm in 2003. His experience covers a wide range of project types including cultural, educational, religious, and residential. Alastair was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at Columbia University from 2004 to 2006. He has also been a guest lecturer and studio critic at Cornell University and at Parsons, The New School for Design. Active in industry organizations, he served as a board member and treasurer of SEAoNY and currently sits on its Codes and Standards committee. He was a member of the New York City Building Code revision committee.

John McCue John McCue, MBA, Chief Financial Officer, Principal
John joined Robert Silman Associates in 2001. He was named Chief Financial Officer in 2004. John received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Manhattan College in 1976 and his Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Adelphi University in 1983. Prior to RSA, John worked for 23 years in the hospitality industry for one firm, where his last position was Financial Manager.

Luis Laso Luis E. Laso, Finance Manager, Associate
Luis joined the DC office of Robert Silman Associates in 2000 as Office Manager. He was named Finance Manager in 2012. Prior to joining RSA, he studied Business Administration and developed his leadership and interpersonal skills working in restaurant management for ten years. During his time as Office Manager and Finance Manager of RSA's DC office, he led or was involved in several major initiatives, including a system conversion to a new accounting platform and the renovation and expansion of RSA's DC office.


Our Boston office is moving!


December 20, 2013 — Over the weekend, our Boston office will turn out the last light in our first home in Boston, 123 South Street. We'll miss the office we opened in 2007 in the center of the historic Leather District. But our new space, located just at the edge of the Financial District and a short walk from Faneuil Hall, promises to let us stretch and gives us much needed room to grow.

As of December 23rd, our new address will be:
111 Devonshire Street
Boston, MA 02109

All other contact information remains the same (T. 617.695.6700, F. 866.221.6438).


Robert Silman Honored with Harley J. McKee Award

APT Logo
 

» Read the press release

October 13, 2013 — The Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) presented Robert Silman with its highest honor, the Harley J. McKee Award during its 45th Conference, "Preserving the Metropolis," held at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contribution to the field of preservation technology.

"Selecting Bob for this award was easy for me. He has worked tirelessly for 50 years providing innovative structural repairs to historic buildings. He is a teacher who shares his knowledge generously, and his pioneering solutions have changed the way engineers approach preservation projects in the United States," said Joan C. Berkowitz, President of APT. "On top of that he is a really nice person."

First presented in 1985, this award is named for the late Harley J. McKee (1905-1976), the second president of APT, and a Professor of Architecture, who is most remembered for his 21 year teaching career at Syracuse University. From 1959 to 1966 he served as field supervisor of summer teams for the Historic American Buildings Survey, in 1968 compiling his work and that of others into the text Recording Historic Buildings, first publishing in 1970. His 1973 book Introduction to Early American Masonry, Stone, Brick, Mortar, and Plaster, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was the first to document the history and technology of those building materials in North America for a preservation audience. See the list of past award recipients.


Robert Silman Associates Announces Associate Promotions

July 2013 — The following new Associates have been instrumental in firm growth and project leadership at Robert Silman Associates and we are proud to recognize their contributions to our collective success with their promotions.

John DeKraker, AIA

John D. DeKraker, AIA
John ("JDK") worked as a project architect prior to joining RSA's DC office in 2007. He specializes in the integration of structure and architecture, and he has performed structural design for residential, commercial, and historical projects. He has extensive experience in the study of building envelopes. His recent projects include the National Gallery of Art East Building Exterior Stone Repairs and the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum Exterior Envelope Study, both in Washington, DC.

Laura Smith, PE

Laura R. Smith, PE
Laura joined RSA's NY office in 1999 and has worked on a variety of project types, including multi-story residential buildings, healthcare facilities, and institutional buildings. Recent, significant projects include the award-winning Milstein Hall at Cornell University, a new affordable housing tower on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the renovation and restoration of historic Iviswold Castle at Felician College, and the renovation of an existing building for use as an MSKCC outpatient medical center in Harrison, NY.

Eytan Soloman, PE

Eytan Solomon, PE, LEED AP
Eytan joined RSA's NY office in 2004. His experience encompasses new construction, adaptive re-use, historic preservation, sustainable design, art sculptures, and unconventional building materials. Recent projects include the award-winning new Student Union Building at SUNY New Paltz and the historic preservation and adaptive reuse of the Park Avenue Armory in NYC. He is active in SEAoNY, where he served as the Publications Committee Chair and newsletter editor from 2009 - 2011.

Sara Steel, PE

Sara Steele, PE
Sara joined RSA's NY office in 2001 and has worked on a range of civic and institutional projects, as well as private residences. Current, significant projects include the Harvard Art Museums expansion and renovation in Cambridge, MA, and the Conference Center at the Cité de la Democratie in Gabon. She is on the Board of SEAoNY and serves on the Engineer's Panel for the NYS Council on the Arts.


Harrison Yamamoto

2012-2013 Robert Silman Fellow for Preservation Engineering

February 1, 2012 – RSA is pleased to announce that, with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we have selected our seventh Robert Silman Fellow for Preservation Engineering. Harrison Yamamoto, who is originally from Hawaii, received both his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Columbia University's Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. He completed the undergraduate program in 2010, majoring in civil engineering and specializing in structures. He minored in architecture and additionally completed extensive coursework in art history. In 2012 he completed Columbia's Master's program, focusing on structural engineering.

Harrison, who started at RSA's New York office this past fall, will work there for six months before going on to complete his fellowship at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC.

"As cities become more and more dense it becomes imperative to preserve infrastructure not only for nostalgia, but also because it's a more environmentally friendly practice. The problem comes in balancing history and progress. I'm excited that this fellowship will give me the opportunity to investigate this problem and allow me to work on some of the country's most important historic structures," he said.

Silman Fellows must be recent graduates with an engineering degree in civil, structural, or architectural engineering. In addition, they must hold an MS or MA degree in historic preservation or an MS in structural engineering. Fellows spend the first six months of their year-long fellowship at one of RSA's three offices, then transition to the Washington, DC, offices of the National Trust where they work on projects that relate to the Trust's 27 historic sites nationwide.

"This is the best experience I could have had for working with our nation's treasures in a substantive way. Having access to the resources of one of the country's preeminent historic preservation engineering firms has been an enormous benefit," said 2010 Fellow Rebecca Buntrock.

Listen to a podcast of Rebecca talking about her experience on Preservation Nation, the blog of the National Trust.

Applications for the 2013 Robert Silman Fellowship are now available. Interested candidates are encouraged to check the Web site for updated information.


Robert Silman
photo by Sam Lahoz

Robert Silman Announces Leadership Changes

January 9, 2013 – When Robert Silman Associates opened on January 1, 1966, we embarked upon a great adventure that has transformed us - 47 years later - into a thriving structural engineering firm with three successful offices in New York, Washington DC, and Boston, and nearly 130 professionals to serve our exceptional clients. As we continue to evolve throughout our journey, I am pleased to announce a transition that promises ongoing growth and excellence in Robert Silman Associates' leadership.

  • I have stepped aside as President and have become President Emeritus,
  • Scott Hughes in New York and Vassil Draganov in Washington DC joined the leadership team as Principals,
  • And our new management team will be led by Joe Tortorella as President and Kirk Mettam and Nat Oppenheimer as Executive Vice Presidents.

I look forward to continuing to work with all three offices on a regular schedule, advising on and reviewing projects, mentoring new professionals, writing and presenting seminars, and leading the development of our in-house resource we affectionately call "Silman University."

Robert Silman Associates has always prided itself on being unique, both in our service to our clients and in our challenging, rewarding work environment. We are sure our culture will prevail through this transition and into the future. We welcome this leadership evolution and embrace these exciting changes that position us to benefit from future opportunities.

Thank you for joining us on our latest adventure as we wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year in 2013. — Robert Silman


Sandy Relief Efforts
image courtesy of Paul Lurrie

Hurricane Sandy

November 5, 2012 – We salute all of our colleagues in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry who have volunteered their time and expertise to the relief efforts, including many of our own staff. Our thoughts are with the families who have lost homes or loved ones and with the businesses in New York City and New Jersey that are working to get back on their feet.

RSA engineer Ryan Miller (near right) inspects a building in Belle Harbor in the Rockaways on November 2nd.

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