Jack Raymond Janney, a founder of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE), died Oct. 9, at the age of 82. After serving as a Navy pilot during World War II, Janney earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering and a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Colorado. From 1950 to 1956, he conducted research on prestressed concrete at the Portland Cement Association’s newly constructed laboratories in Skokie, Ill. In May 1956, Janney started his own consulting firm, which eventually became WJE. The company today employs more than 400 people in 19 offices nationwide.
In WJE’s early years, Janney pioneered the use of 3-D scale models for determining the distribution of strains and stresses in structures, before the advent of computers and structural analysis programs. During his 50-plus year career, Janney investigated more than 500 major structural collapses and more than 4,000 cases of structural distress, and received many awards from state and national engineering associations. Janney retired as president of WJE in 1980 but remained on its board of directors.