Steven B. Tipping, a highly respected structural engineer and long time resident of El Cerrito, CA passed away unexpectedly on Friday, August 11, while on a mountain bike ride in Wildcat Canyon near his home. Born in Ithaca, New York on November 12, 1947 to Kenneth and Virginia Tipping, Steven spent the majority of his childhood in Salamanca, New York where he graduated high school in 1965. He attended Clemson University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Thereafter he served as a first Lieutenant in the United States Army, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam. Steven relocated to California in 1972 pursuing a young teacher he met in Europe and married two years later.
In 1983, Steven founded the structural engineering firm Steve Tipping & Associates, known today as Tipping Structural Engineers (TSE). Under the stewardship of Steven, TSE has come to be a widely regarded industry leader in seismic retrofit design, advancing the science and art of structural engineering. TSE has been recognized with 40 local, regional and national awards for excellence. Notable projects include the SF Public Utilities Commission Headquarters, UC Berkeley’s Campbell Hall, 680 Folsom, Niketown Union Square, Bank of America Clock Tower and the Moscone Center expansion. Steven pioneered the use of vertical post-tensioning and idiosyncratic seismic isolation systems. He was twice recognized in Engineering News Record’s Top 25 news makers and received two Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards from SEAONC (Structural Engineering Association of Northern California) of which he is a past board member and President. In 2014, he was the recipient of the Clemson University distinguished Alumni Award in Civil Engineering. He also served on the Glenn Department of C In 1995 following the Kobe earthquake Steven was selected to travel to Japan to study the devastating aftermath. In 2011, the National Park Service chose Steven to lead a team of engineers to inspect and assess earthquake inflicted damage to the Washington Monument. He was a brilliant engineer and an unstoppable innovator.
A lifelong athlete, Steven was a varsity letterman in basketball, football and track in high school, earning a trip to the New York state finals in pole vault. As an adult he was an avid basketball player, jogger, mini-triathlete, mountain biker and decades long Warriors basketball season ticket holder. He was a lover and patron of the arts. As a young adult he was an amateur photographer, poet, and artist. He did pro bono work for the Berkeley Repertory Theater and was a member of the American Film Institute. Steven was also active in the community, volunteering his time and serving on multiple boards and associations. He was especially active in the Downtown Berkeley Association.
Above all, Steven cherished his relationships with family and friends. He was a devoted husband, father, teacher and mentor. Nothing brought him greater joy than together with his wife, watching his children grow, supporting all their endeavors and traveling the world with them. He was a man of utmost integrity and work ethic, courageous, gentle and humble.
Steven is survived by his loving wife of 43 years Lu, four children Brandon, Christian, Megan (Jim, Jr.) Verducci, Justin, and grandson Nathaniel; siblings David (Jan) Tipping, Deborah Puvel, Barbara Tipping and many nieces and nephews.