LEWISBURG, Pa. — David Billington will give the talk, "The Art of Structural Design: From Maillart to Menn," Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.
The talk, which is free to the public, is the opening event in the Bucknell Science, Technology and Society Colloquium series, "The Elegant Equation: Engineering and the Art of Architecture."
Billington was named the first Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering at Princeton University in 1986, where he has been a member of the faculty for more than 40 years. He also serves as director of Princeton's Program in Architecture and Engineering.
He is the author of several books on the work of bridge designers Robert Maillart and Christian Menn as well as The Tower and the Bridge: The New Art of Structural Engineering; The Innovators: The Engineering Pioneers Who Made America Modern; and The Art of Structural Design: A Swiss Legacy.
Named one of the five top educators in civil engineering since 1874 by Engineering News Record, he received Princeton's President's Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science Distinguished Teacher Award. He has consulted worldwide on the design and aesthetics of major bridges.
The series will explore the idea that, even though the built environment is a unique combination of art and engineering, there is a widely held view that engineering and artistic design are distinct disciplines with little or no commonality.
"The speakers in this series will challenge this notion by exploring many of the ways engineering technologies and design practices work in the creation, preservation and understanding of architecture," said Mary Brantl, assistant professor of art at Bucknell and one of three faculty coordinators of the series.
Other lectures in the series, held in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at 7:30 p.m., are: architect Glen Howard Small and filmmaker Lucia Small, "My Father, the Genius," Nov. 16; director and writer Nathaniel Kahn, "My Architect: A Son's Journey," Dec. 1; Lehigh professor Tom Peters, "A Culture of Construction: Technical Thought and Theory in Architecture and Engineering," Feb. 22, Gallery Theatre, Elaine Langone Center; Columbia professor Barry Bergdoll, "The Aesthetics of Technology: Debates on Building in Berlin from Karl Friedrich Schinkel to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe," March 30; and engineer John Matteo of Robert Silman Associates, "Fallingwater: Structural Preservation for a Work of Art," April 3.
For more information about the series, see http://www.bucknell.edu/AcademicAffairs/