Ysrael A. Seinuk, a structural engineer who pioneered innovative design techniques for tall buildings in New York City and around the world for more than 50 years, and who led two design firms, died on Sept. 14 in New York City at age 78. The cause was cancer, says a spokeswoman for Ysrael A. Seinuk PC, the New York City-based firm of which he was CEO.
Seinuk devised innovative high-rise engineering approaches, including New York’s first use of seismic isolators and a frame for a slim structure that eliminated transfer girders. He was named an ENR Marksman in 1983 for devising an engineering approach to speed the addition of 27 floors to an existing seven-story Manhattan building, noting, “The developers asked us to come up with creative ways of fast-tracking the project” (ENR 7/8/82 p. 27).
Among his many personal and project awards, Seinuk was recognized this past May with the Fazlur Khan lifetime achievement award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The engineer, who began practicing in Cuba in 1958, founded his firm in. He also became CEO in 1993 of Cantor Seinuk Group, formerly the Office of Irwin G. Cantor PC, after he acquired a majority interest. That firm was sold to U.K. design giant WSP Group in 2000.
Seinuk was on the architecture school faculty at Cooper Union, New York City, since 1969, heading its structures department. He was also invited by the European Union after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, one of only two Americans, to develop tall-building design standards for use by its member countries, says his company.
David S. Tappan Jr., the former CEO and chairman of Fluor Corp. who led the construction giant through tough times in the 1980s into new markets such as China and government work, died on Sept. 27 at age 88 in Newport Beach, Calif., after a long illness, says the firm, based in Irving, Texas. He succeeded J. Robert Fluor, grandson of the company’s founder, in those roles after Fluor’s 1984 death; he was CEO until 1989 and chairman until 1991. “Dave helped successfully transform Fluor into a robust, diversified organization,” says Alan L. Boeckmann, Fluor chairman and CEO since 2002.