Lin popularized prestressing.

Tung-Yen Lin, a visionary civil engineer known as the pioneer of standardizing use of prestressed concrete and post-tensioned slabs, died Nov. 15 of natural causes in El Cerrito, Calif. He was 91.

Born in Fuzhou, China, Lin earned the moniker "Mr. Prestressed Concrete" for introducing to the U.S. in the 1950s the idea of strengthening concrete by prestressing it with steel cables.

"The profession has lost one of the modern pioneers in structural engineering design," says American Society of Civil Engineers president Patrick J. Natale. "Lin’s spirit will live on through the bridges and buildings he designed, and the countless structures that employ his revolutionary usage of prestressed concrete."

Among those structures are the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco and Costa Rica’s "smiling" Colorado River Bridge. One of his unfulfilled dream designs was a bridge across the Bering Strait.

Lin was born Nov. 14, 1912, and received his M.S. in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1933. After rebuilding railroad structures in China during wartime, he returned to Berkeley in 1946 as a professor. He founded T.Y. Lin International in 1954, then left in 1992 to found a firm in China (ENR 8/10/92 p. 9).