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04-30-2013

Sarkisian to Speak at Clarkson University on Engineering for the Future of the Environment

Mark P. Sarkisian will speak at Clarkson University on "Engineering for the Future of Our Environment" on Friday, May 10, at 2 p.m. in Bertrand H. Snell Hall Room 213 (#16 on this map). A reception with refreshments will follow the lecture.

The futuristic design of the Poly International Plaza, currently under construction in Beijing.Sarkisian is the director of seismic and structural engineering in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. He will receive an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson's Commencement on Saturday, May 11.

In the abstract for his lecture, Sarkisian says, "Our planet is being polluted at an alarming rate and most would argue that the damaging effects of carbon emissions on the environment are irreparable. Global warming has already started to have a significant impact on weather patterns and sea level rise. Extreme storms including the recent Hurricane Sandy and flooding of cities like Venice, Italy, are occurring at a disturbingly fast rate.

"The engineering and architectural community has begun to develop new ideas that will help to mitigate the negative impacts on the environment through increased urban density, creative approaches to design, and sustainable district /city-wide developments."

In his lecture, Sarkisian will present recent work that illustrates these new ideas. Project examples will include Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s design for the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai; the 415 meter-tall Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait; the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California; and the Poly Guangzhou Tower and the Poly International Plaza in Beijing, China, among others. 

Parametric modeling, including concepts that consider genetics and natural growth patterns in the design of structures will also be discussed, as well as several recently developed U.S. patents that provide unique solutions to environmentally responsible design and construction. Techniques for calculating carbon in structures and futuristic ideas of materials and sensory fields used to anticipate loads will also be presented.

Sarkisian is a licensed Professional Engineer and Structural Engineer in 16 states, and is LEED-accredited for the design of new building and construction.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Mark P. Sarkisian, director of seismic and structural engineering in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, will speak at Clarkson University on "Engineering for the Future of Our Environment" on May 10. Above, the futuristic design of the Poly International Plaza, currently under construction in Beijing.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/poly-international.jpg.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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