Structural engineer D. Stanton “Stan” Korista, who had worked in the Chicago office of architect-engineer Skidmore, Owings & Merrill since 1965, died on May 8. He was 77 years old. 


During his 52 years at SOM, Korista was involved with the structural engineering of more than 300 buildings in 42 states and 27 other countries. But current and former colleagues say his influence went beyond structures. Korista was a mentor to hundreds of SOM staff.

Architect Carrie E. Byles, an SOM partner in San Francisco, joined the Chicago office in 1986. “To this day I am amazed Stan spent so much time with me, particularly since I was an architect,” she says. “He seemed to have no limit to his aspirations for me as a 24-year-old, and if he didn’t, neither did I.” She  adds: “I am still working on Stan’s challenges—to advance innovation and technology and mentor and guide people.”

Structural engineer Robert Sinn, a principal of Thornton Tomasetti who worked at SOM for 23 years until 2007, adds, “Stan’s interest in the built environment went well beyond structural engineering. He had an encyclopedic knowledge that allowed him to contribute to the complete design of a building.”

Korista, an SOM director of structural/civil engineering, received a Master of Science in civil-structural engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1964, after having earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Bradley University in 1962.

Among his favorite projects were Chicago’s Hancock Center, Boston’s Rowes Wharf, London’s Canary Wharf and Dubai’s record-tall 828-meter Burj Khalifa.