Manhattan College Alumnus Recognized by the National Academy of Engineering

William A. Thornton ’60 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and the College will honor him on Oct. 30 with a plaque unveiling ceremony.

William ThorntonManhattan College alumnus William A. Thornton ’60, Ph.D., P.E., corporate consultant and vice president for Cives Engineering Corporation, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) this year. On Wednesday, Oct. 30, the College will honor Thornton’s accomplishments with a plaque unveiling ceremony in the William J. Scala Academy room.

Manhattan College and the School of Engineering pays tribute to Manhattan engineers elected to NAE, which is one of the highest professional distinctions an engineer can receive, with plaques in the William J. Scala Academy room. Thornton joins the 16 other distinguished engineering and science alumni elected to the NAE, including his brother, Charles H. Thornton ’61, Ph.D., P.E., chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company, LLC.

“Dr. Bill Thornton has distinguished himself through his professional accomplishments around the world,” said Tim J. Ward, Ph.D., P.E., dean of the School of Engineering. “He now joins a prestigious group of alumni who have used their Manhattan College education to further the engineering profession and be recognized by election to the NAE.” 

As an expert on the design of steel connections, Thornton has traveled throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada and Mexico to lecture on this subject. He is also the author or co-author of more than 70 technical papers, including three published in 2012 in the AISC Engineering Journal.

Throughout his 50-year career as an engineer, he has spent more than 30 years working for Cives Engineering Corporation as chief engineer, president and currently as vice president and corporate consultant. As president, Thornton managed all of the structural design performed by Cives Engineering and was a consultant to the six divisions of Cives Steel Company in matters relating to welding, quality assurance, connection design and fabrication practices.

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) recognized Thornton’s career in 2003 with the AISC Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1996, with the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award. He also received the 2004 Craftsmanship Award of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York.

In the past, Thornton has taught at Clarkson University and has been invited to lecture at numerous AISC, Structural Engineering Association and Cives Corporation sponsored seminars on connection design. He is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and a member of the American Welding Society (AWS) and the Research Council on Structural Connections (RCSC), and he currently serves as a member of the technical committees of AISC, ASCE and RCSC.

After graduating from Manhattan College in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Thornton received a master’s from Case Institute of Technology in 1964, and a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in 1967.