which have yet to be built. To cover an oil refinery, he proposed an air-supported fabric roof spanning more than 2 kilometers. For an airport to be built offshore in the ocean, he proposed an assembly of floating units consisting of prefabricated concrete cylinders that could be built in a dry dock, floated out to an assembly point, and attached with tension cables to anchors on the ocean floor. For a 120-meter-diameter radio antenna, he proposed a steel-trussed structure with active deformation-compensating cable ties that would permit the antenna’s surface to retain its shape to within 2 mm during the complex movement of the dish. For a long-span bridge for the Great Belt in Denmark, he developed the concept of a tubular, self-anchored, prestressed concrete suspension bridge that would protect users from the harsh environment.
Paul was honored with membership in the National Academy of Engineering and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Frank P. Brown Medal of the Franklin Institute, the Ernest E. Howard Award, Moissieff Award, the J. James R. Croes Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Engineering News Record Construction Industry Award. He also published extensively on structural engineering, the effects of nuclear and conventional weapons on structures, and applied mechanics.
Weidlinger’s leisure hours were taken up with literature, music, and an appreciation of the fine arts. As a humanist, he struggled to arrive at a working philosophy to counterbalance the realities of defense commissions, and he was also concerned with the social impact of political decisions. Paul was an intensely private person who internalized the tragedies in his life, such as the dissolution of his first marriage and the loss of a child. With his second wife, Solveig, he raised two daughters, Jody and Lina, and he loved romping with his twin grandchildren. He was also intensely proud of his oldest son, Tom, a documentary filmmaker.
Up to the time of his death on September 5, 1999, he was still exploring the frontiers of engineering, looking into “super-strength” concrete, and solving mathematical problems. The firm he founded has grown to more than 300 people who are still exploring structural challenges. This is his legacy.