Structural engineer Theodore Zoli makes bridges from novel materials that are both lightweight and disaster-proof.
Theodore Zoli is a structural engineer who is now the Vice President and Technical Director (Bridges) of HNTB Corporation, a leading infrastructure design firm. Using novel materials, Zoli works to construct bridges that are both visually stunning and able to withstand strong vibrations from wind and pedestrians. He has drawn on military research on weapons technology to create state-of-the-art materials that are both lightweight and blast-resistant. The elegant and colossal Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge is one recent example of his work. In 2009 Zoli became the first structural engineer to receive a MacArthur genius grant. Says the MacArthur Foundation: “In an era of aging infrastructure and catastrophic structural collapses, Zoli is safeguarding vulnerable links in the nation’s highway system and developing design principles for the construction of robust, new landmarks in the United States and across the globe.”