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Mike Cook

Mike Cook

On the Boards:

Drawn Thought

eBook and Limited Edition Box Set

Text and Sketches by Mike Cook

Executive Editors: Charles A. Matz, Jonathan Dillon, and Mitaali Katoch

Associate Editor: Steven Sculco


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 Buro Happold 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 the UK, USA, Germany, the 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, Winspear Opera House in Dallas, the pyramid of Peace in Astana, the main railway terminus in Dresden, the new HQ tower for National Bank of Kuwait, and the Khan Shatyr leisure complex in Kazakhstan. Several of these projects have been awarded prizes for outstanding design by the Institution of Structural Engineers.


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


Dedicated to the education of our future generations of engineers, Mike chairs the Climate Emergency Task Group of the Institution of Structural Engineers, where he has served as Vice President and from whom he received the Gold Medal in 2020. He is Adjunct Professor of Creative Design at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London, where he teaches Creative Design in the MEng course and is Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group at the University of Coventry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, where he chaired their Education for Engineers group. A past trustee of the Happold Foundation, he is now an Advisor to the Ove Arup Foundation.

Mike is also Chair of Seratech ltd, a start-up originating from Imperial College London focusing on carbon capture and low-cost routes to provide zero-carbon construction materials. 

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