Structural engineer Edward Cohen, CEO of Ammann & Whitney from 1977 to 1996, died Jan. 28, at age 96.
A registered professional engineer in 15 states, a licensed land surveyor in four and a chartered civil engineer in Great Britain, Cohen spent more than 55 years in research, design, wind forces, hardened design, tower analysis and bridge restoration. He served as commissioner for the Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Commission from 1981 to 1983 and as special adviser for the New York State Centennial Commission-Statue of Liberty in 1985.
He was active in many industry groups, including the New York Concrete Industry Board, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American National Standards Institute.
Two of his most notable building projects were the centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty and a restoration of the U.S. Capitol.
Cohen, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Columbia University, joined Amman & Whitney (A&W) in 1949, left in 1973 and returned as CEO in 1977.
“He was a brilliant engineer, and his contribution to the profession was enormous,” says Bal Cherwoo, a senior vice president of Louis Berger, which acquired A&W in 1993 and absorbed all but the A&W bridge group last July.
Cherwoo recalls briefing Cohen—during a 10-minute walk to a client meeting—in 1977 on a proposed method to replace cracking terra cotta on the Woolworth Building. “He listened, said, ‘I’m good,’ walked into the conference room and articulated all I had told him 10 times better than I would have,” Cherwoo says. “He was a very quick study.”