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Obituary: Jack Rodin (1926 – 2014)

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Jack Rodin, who played a leading role in BDP during the 1970s and 80s, has died aged 88

Born in 1926, Rodin studied civil and structural engineering at King’s College London.

In 1960 he founded engingeering firm Lowe and Rodin with his partner James Lowe. The firm worked on a wide range of buildings including Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral.  

The firm developed the Tracoba system of large panel high rise construction for use in the UK. After specialist work on a number of concrete frame projects, Rodin was called as an expert witness at the enquiry into Ronan Point - a 22-storey tower block in East London, which partly collapsed in 1968 when a gas explosion demolished a load-bearing wall.

Lowe and Rodin merged with BDP in 1971 after collaborating with the firm on the rebuilding of Aldershot military town. The merger increased BDP’s size to 500 and saw the firm become a ‘totally integrated multidisciplinary design unit’.

Ten years later, Rodin became the AJ100 practice’s first chief executive and remained in the post until his retirement in 1989.

At BDP, Rodin added his engineering input to a number of projects including the Channel Tunnel terminal and JP Morgan’s new London financial services centre which completed in 1991.

Ken Milburn, a former BDP partner, said: ‘In Jack Rodin, the firm gained a partner of considerable stature who made a significant contribution to the management and strategic thinking of BDP as well as to engineering design’.

Rodin was awarded a CBE in 1992 for services to civil engineering.

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Ken Milburn, ex-partner, BDP

‘From humble beginnings Jack Rodin achieved success and a high reputation as an engineer and a businessman. He was a man of great intellect who had that rare blend of formidable brain power and warm humility. He was a good mentor who would take time to encourage and bring out the best in others. He had a lively sense of humour and was always good company, especially on long business trips away from home. He was devoted to his family and owed much to his loving wife, Liz, who brought up the family while Jack was often away and took care of him in later life. As well as Liz, he leaves daughters Penny and Sarah, son Jonathan and five granddaughters. He is missed by us all and will be remembered with great affection.’

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