Charles H. Thornton is the Chairman and managing principal of TT Group, Inc., a project management and developer of industrialized building systems and Chairman of Straam, a company offering services aimed at diagnosing, assessing and managing structures. Previously, Charlie was founding principal and Chairman of Thornton-Tomasetti; a 550-person organization providing engineering services, failure analysis, hazard mitigation, and disaster response services.
Dr. Thornton holds a B.S. degree from Manhattan College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University. Dr. Thornton has received a number of distinguished honors in his profession, including: election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997; named Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1999; awarded Engineering News-Record’s Award of Excellence 2001; selected to receive the Hoover Medal for 2002; and selected to receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Civil Engineering for 2003; elected to membership in the National Academy of Construction in 2005 and elected to Honorary Member of AIA in 2006.
Dr. Thornton’s 44 years of experience with Thornton Tomasetti have included involvement in the design and construction of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects in the U.S. and overseas, ranging from hospitals, arenas and high-rise buildings, to airports, transportation facilities and special projects.
Representative projects include: the New York Hospital, New York; Chicago Stadium (Bulls and Blackhawks arena) and Comiskey Park in Chicago; the Nashville Arena in Nashville; the United Airlines Terminal at O’Hare Airport in Chicago; Terminal #1 at JFK Airport in New York; the 95-story Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur City Centre, the world’s tallest buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; the 50-story Americas Tower in New York; the 65-story One Liberty Place in Philadelphia; and the 50-story Chifley Tower in Sydney, Australia.
Dr. Thornton has provided expert witness testimony for many clients and litigations and is a recognized expert in the area of collapse and structural failure analysis. In 1978 Dr. Thornton led the engineering team investigation of the causes of the collapse of the Hartford Coliseum Space Truss Roof, and the scaffold collapse at Pleasants Power Station, West Virginia. In 1987 Dr. Thornton directed the investigation of the collapse of the New York State Thruway Schoharie Bridge. In 1996 he participated in FEMA’s Building Performance Assessment Team to investigate the Oklahoma City bombing. Most recently, Dr. Thornton was a member of the oversight team on the NIST study of the World Trade Center Collapse investigation.
Dr. Thornton was most recently on the visiting faculty at Princeton University and Manhattan College. He has taught at Pratt Institute and Cooper Union in the past.
Dr. Thornton is Chairman and Founder of the ACE Mentor Program, a non-profit organization that, each year, offers guidance and training to inner city high schools students in architecture, construction and engineering in cities across the U.S. including: New York; NY; Newark, NJ; Stamford, CT; Chicago, IL; and Washington, DC.
In addition, Dr. Thornton is a member of the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT) and the National Research Council’s Committee for Oversight and Assessment of Blast-Effects and Related Research. Dr. Thornton has served on the Board of Trustees for Manhattan College; the Applied Technology Council (ATC); and the National Institute of Building Science’s Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) and Multi-hazard Mitigation Council (MMC).