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August 2, 2018

Robert Silman, 1935-2018

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Robert Silman—our founder, mentor, and friend—on July 31, 2018, at the age of 83.

Bob will be sorely missed by his wife, Roberta; their children Miriam, Joshua, and Ruth; and their families. A private service will be held near their home in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where Bob worked on the farm, tended his large garden, played with his dog, Finn, and attended countless concerts at Tanglewood to listen to the classical music he loved.

Those who knew Bob professionally will miss his calm, encouraging presence and his inspiring words and actions. He built the firm that bears his name with a strong humanistic vision: to create a place that was different from any other, a place where people loved to come to work, and a place where engineering made the world better. He empowered us to perform at our highest level and to find joy in everything we do. Bob taught us to treat every client the same way—with respect, passion, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. We will remember and honor his engineering talents and insights; his work for civic groups and industry organizations; his advocacy for historic preservation and sustainability long before they were commonplace; his role teaching and nurturing the next generation of designers at Columbia, Yale, and Harvard; and his pioneering work at an international level through the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). Although our hearts are heavy, we will continue Bob’s legacy by promoting his vision and values at Silman, the firm he founded 52 years ago.

A memorial service in New York City will take place on Tuesday, October 2 from 6-9pm at The Great Hall at Cooper Union.

—Joseph F. Tortorella, President

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