Jon Magnusson

Engineer of the Year 1999, President's Award 1988, SEAW President 1988, SEAW Seattle President 1997

Jon D. Magnusson received the BSCE from UW summa cum laude in 1975 and the MS from the University of California Berkeley in 1976, and went immediately to work with John Skilling. As a young engineer, he designed notable projects such as One Union Square, Columbia Center, and Husky Stadium in Seattle. Principal of the firm at age 30 and CEO at 34, Jon set the course for a firm honored with ACEC's top national award for structural engineering of buildings in 6 of the 10 years 1989-99, more than any other firm in the US. With professional licensure in 24 states, Jon has led MKA as the firm worked on projects in 47 states and 49 countries, totaling over $73 billion worth of projects designed.

From the nomination for his 2003 recognition as an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects:

"As Chairman/CEO of Seattle-based engineering firm Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire [later Magnusson Klemenic Associates/MKA], Jon D. Magnusson (BSCE UW summa cum laude, MCE UC Berkeley) leads what many people consider the most creative consulting firm in the US today. His design leadership has created and advanced a portfolio of completed projects in 43 states and 31 countries, recognized by national awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in 11 of the last 16 years among 117 awards for engineering excellence -- and credit for 28 'world's firsts' in design. In his native Washington, he served as Principal Structural Engineer on most of the Puget Sound's newest generation of landmarks, including Bellevue Art Museum, Benaroya Hall, Experience Music Project, Key Arena, Safeco Field, Seahawks Stadium, and the Seattle Central Library. In 2002, ACEC of Washington named him Washington's Consulting Engineer of the Year; in addition, he has taken an active leadership role in national activities of ACEC and the engineering professions.

In the days and months following the tragedies of 9/11/01, Jon Magnusson helped Americans and the world to understand the miracle of engineering that allowed many to survive the attacks on the World Trade Center. The original engineering masterpiece, and Jon's articulate explanations, exemplify the highest values of design and the design professions. A dedicated partner in practice and ally in design, he has demonstrated outstanding and intelligent leadership in making design comprehensible and accessible, even to our youngest citizens, through his advocacy and his commitment to mentoring.

In 2001, Jon established a high school mentoring program in the Puget Sound area, known as the ACE Mentor Program, to expose students to architecture, construction, and engineering career opportunities."

Nationally, he has contributed his engineering expertise to many significant projects: the design of a new football stadium on the University of Minnesota campus, as well as convention centers in Phoenix, Honolulu, and Minneapolis. Current projects [April 2012] include a complete reconstruction of the University of Washington Stadium and a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers. He has contributed to the skyline and culture of his home in Seattle, providing structural engineering for the Experience Music Project, Safeco Field, Qwest Field, Key Arena, the Seattle Central Library and many other projects. He has previously served on the SEI Board of Governors and was recently recognized as a Distinguished Member of ASCE and as "Engineer of the Year" for the State of Washington, Honorary Member of the national American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers in London, and a past recipient of the ASCE Ernest E. Howard Award for contributions to the advancement of structural engineering. (Source: Structures April 2012)

Jon's community volunteering has engaged him with Water 1st International, the Boy Scouts, Seattle Rotary Club, Seattle Children's Hospital, and founding the ACE Mentor Program of Washington.

Jon joined SEAW in 1978, and served the organization as Refresher Course Chair, Long Range Planning Chair, 6 years on the Code Advisory committee including 2 years as Chair, 5 years on the Scholarship Committee, and State Representative to ICBO General Design Committee, in addition to his Board service. In 2013 the UW College of Engineering honored him with its Diamond Award for Distinguished Achievement in Industry. In 2014 the American Society of Civil Engineers honored him with its OPAL/Outstanding Projects and Leadership Award.

Updated June 2013, March 2014