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Mike Cook

On the Boards: 

Drawn Thought


Monograph, Softcover Book and Limited Edition Box Set 

Sketches and Text by Mike Cook

Edited by Jonathan Dillon, and Charles Matz


SB3-47 Conversations YES.jpg

Mike Cook is a leading structural engineer who has made a significant contribution to the design of many innovative buildings, to the development of a thriving BuroHappold practice and to the reputation of the profession. After graduating from Cambridge in 1977 he worked with Ted Happold and Frei Otto on a range of membrane and cable net structures. He joined a newly–formed research group at Bath University (School of Architecture and Building Engineering), undertaking research and development into air-supported structures (1977 to 1982). He was awarded a PhD in 1983. Since that time he has led the design of many award-winning construction projects in UK, USA, Germany, Middle East and the Far East.


Having developed a thriving design group in London he became Director responsible for the development of Building Engineering within Buro Happold world-wide. His design interests are fully international and projects include the British Museum in London, ExCeL in London, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Smithsonian Museum in Washington, an Winspear Opera House in Dallas and the pyramid of Peace in Astana, main railway terminus in Dresden, new HQ tower for National Bank of Kuwait and Khan Shatyr leisure complex in Kazakhstan. Several of these project has been awarded prizes for outstanding design by the Institution of Structural Engineers.

In 2011 Mike was elected to become Chairman of BuroHappold with guiding responsibility for long-term vision and achievement of this globally respected practice of engineers. BuroHappold Engineering is now an international firm of consulting engineers working in the built environment with some 20 office world-wide.


Beyond his design consultancy work, Mike spends much of his time spreading his passion for design across a wide, international field. He has a particular interest in the connection between natural structures and man-made structures and has presented papers in this field in many cities around the world. He works with students, presents lectures and contributes to press, radio and television as a means for communicating the message that engineering design is about translating nature into the man-made world.

Mike is particularly interested in the education of our future generations of engineers. He chairs the Engineering Leadership Group of the Institution of Structural Engineers where he also a Vice President. He is Adjunct Professor of Creative Design at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College and an external examiner at the Architectural Association, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and past member of their Education and Training Committee. He is a Trustee of the Happold Foundation, a charity registered for the promotion of education, research and training in design for the built environment. 


His contribution to the profession includes membership of the Board of the Institution of Structural Engineers where he is currently a Vice-President, was Chair of the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) from 2010-2012, and Chair of the SCI Advisory Panel 2010 -12.

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