Phoenix Award to British engineer for the first time in 36 years

James O’Callaghan will receive this year’s Phoenix Award

This year’s Phoenix Award goes to a British engineer – James O’Callaghan, co-founder of British structural engineering consultancy Eckersley O’Callaghan.

James O’Callaghan, co-founder of British structural engineering consultancy Eckersley O’Callaghan, has been selected as the 47th recipient of the Phoenix Award and ‘Glass Person of the Year 2017’. This distinguished global award recognises outstanding contributions to the international glass industry. James is the first structural engineer to receive this award, and the first British recipient since Sir Alistair Pilkington, the inventor of the float glass process, was awarded the prize in 1981.
The Award celebrates James’ contribution to advancing the application of structural glass in the built environment. His work has seen glass panels grow in size with connection details rationalised on a journey of projects that has incrementally increased transparency, ambition and redefined industry benchmarks. His success in innovation has been achieved through close collaboration between engineering design, academic research and industrial developments. He is widely acknowledged to be an authority within the industry.
James joined Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners (DMP) in 1995 where he first discovered glass as a structural material. He then worked with DMP and Rafael Viñoly Architects on the Samsung Jong-Ro Building in South Korea which, at that time, had the world’s largest structural glass façade.
In 2001 James was introduced to Steve Jobs, leading to a design partnership with Apple that has defined glass as a key element in the identity of their stores. James has since engineered the highly innovative designs for the glass stairs, bridges, facades, and other structural elements for Apple retail stores around the world, as well as supporting many other clients with their building projects. Apple Zorlu Glass Lantern, Istanbul, was awarded the IStructE Supreme Award for Excellence in Structural Engineering in 2014.
James and Brian Eckersley co-founded engineering design practice Eckersley O’Callaghan in 2004. The 90-strong practice is based in London with studios in New York, San Francisco, Paris and Shanghai; supporting projects all around the world.
In 2016 James was awarded the UK’s IABSE Milne Medal, the highest accolade awarded to an individual engineer for excellence in structural design, and the firm was named Building Award’s ‘Engineering Consultant of the Year 2016’.

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