John D. Hooper, P.E., S.E., NAC, F.SEI, Dist.M.ASCE, an outstanding leader who has earned national and international acclaim over the course of his 40-year career, has been honored with inclusion in ASCE’s 2021 class of Distinguished Members for his eminence in advancing the seismic design provisions of building codes, furthering performance-based seismic design, innovating the seismic design of large and iconic projects in earthquake-prone regions around the world, and supporting the profession through his involvement in codes and standards development, lectures, and research collaboration.
Hooper’s contributions to the engineering profession exemplify both technical and service excellence. Since 2006, he has chaired the ASCE 7 Seismic Subcommittee, leading the development of major advancements in seismic design criteria and requirements adopted into building codes throughout the world. Through Hooper’s leadership, this subcommittee has grown to include more than 100 members and 12 task committees. His organizational skills have ensured that materials representatives, product producers, and other stakeholders have input on difficult decisions related to safety standards in the structural engineering field.
He has played a major role in shaping balanced guidelines and adopted technologies that fall within the practical constraints of the engineering profession. He has improved the seismic safety and performance of tall buildings, pioneered the application of nonlinear analysis methods, and served as a remarkable advocate for performance-based earthquake engineering.
Hooper is a senior principal at Magnusson Klemencic Associates, where he has served as the firm’s director of earthquake engineering for 23 years. His knowledge, insight, and dedication to scores of projects have furthered MKA’s reputation as an award-winning firm grounded in innovation, helping them to earn 15 out of their 31 national American Council of Engineering Companies Engineering Excellence Awards. He has led over 200 projects at MKA and has participated in over 60 PBSD projects. Some of his significant projects include Seattle Seahawks’ Lumen Field (Seattle); San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, CA); Salesforce Tower, recipient of the ASCE 2020 OCEA Silver Award (San Francisco); and Rainier Square Redevelopment (Seattle).
Never content with professional memberships alone, Hooper is an active and passionate volunteer who often serves on committees where true progress is achieved. Despite a heavy workload, he has still found the time to deliver more than 125 lectures, write more than 50 papers, attend many conferences, and participate in dozens of interviews with media organizations – all in an effort to help the public better understand issues related to seismic design and engineering.
Hooper has also worked with civil engineering researchers at colleges and universities, offering his input on tall-building shear wall design and performance; diaphragms; column performance; and the seismic performance of tall, steel, moment-frame structures built in the 1960s. He served for 10 years as a business and industry partner reviewing both Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center workplans and reports prepared for the National Science Foundation.
Hooper was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2020 and the National Academy of Construction in 2021. He received the first James Merriam Delahay Award by the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations in 2005, SEI’s Walter P. Moore, Jr. Award in 2016, and the Washington State Society of Professional Engineers’ Professional Engineer of the Year Award in 2008, among many other professional honors.