Leo Panian practices from the intersection of seismic engineering, advanced analytics, and new technology, delivering to his clients effective, cost-efficient, and high-performance projects. He has spent his career creating practicable structural solutions founded on an expert understanding of building performance, cutting-edge academic research, and technical skill. Moreover, Leo inspires younger engineers to think critically about technical conventions and established norms in resolving complex functional problems.
His early experience in bridge engineering, which included the rehabilitation of Big Sur’s Bixby Creek Bridge, led Leo to apply vertical post-tensioning technology to building design, a crucial development in Tipping’s current mastery in cost-effective, self-centering structures. His passion for extending the life of historic structures by creatively melding the archaic and the modern has deepened the firm’s capabilities in preservation and seismic retrofit.
Leo has led and managed many of Tipping’s ambitious projects, including the SF Public Utilities Commission Headquarters (SFPUC), UC Berkeley’s Campbell Hall, and Wareham Development’s 740 Heinz; he is currently principal-in-charge for San Francisco’s Moscone Center expansion. Several of his projects have garnered regional and national recognition for innovation and engineering excellence, including the SFPUC, Berkeley’s 2850 Telegraph Avenue, and the historic Pacific Place and Landmark at One Market Street in San Francisco.
Leo has played a key role in Tipping’s business operations and management, integrating staff scheduling and workflow with accounting and information architecture. He has instilled a culture of best engineering practices by encouraging generative learning, implementing and guiding technical strategy, and raising the bar for graphic standards.
Holding an MS in structural engineering from UC Berkeley and a BS in structural engineering from UC San Diego, Leo joined Tipping in 1997 and was named principal in 2011.