Renowned structural engineer, educator, and mentor Charles H. Thornton, PhD PE of Easton and local writer Amy Blades Steward of Easton recently co-authored a new book that was released this month entitled, Charles H. Thornton: A Life of Elegant Solutions.
Dr. Thornton was a founding principal and former chairman of the structural engineering company Thornton Tomasetti. Over the last 30 years, he has engineered some the world’s tallest and most innovative structures through “disruptive innovation.” He has been an adjunct professor at The Cooper Union, Pratt Institute, Manhattan College, Princeton University, and Catholic University. He founded the ACE Mentor Program, a nationwide non-profit organization offering guidance and training in architecture, construction and engineering to more than 40,000 inner city high school students in 106 cities across the United States. Talbot County high school students participate in the program.
He comments, “After being featured by Jane Pauley on the monthly NBC TODAY Show, “Your Life Calling” for the ACE Mentor Program and reading Jane’s own autobiography, entitled Skywriting: a Life Out of the Blue, I realized it was time to write my memoir.
The next step was to find a writer to help Thornton get his words on paper. Steward, who in 2007 founded Steward Writing and Communications, a public relations firm in Easton, MD, has written non-fiction articles for national, regional, and local publications for over 30 years. Thornton comments about Steward, a lifelong storyteller, “Amy was the stimulus who got me revved up to start my book. She took the time to really interest herself in my life and has made the production of this book her ‘Elegant Solution.’”
The memoir about Thornton’s life is a guide for professionals seeking to succeed in business, young engineers moving up the company ladder, graduate students facing a master’s or PhD thesis, college students coping with the rigors of an engineering program, and high school students looking toward college and a career. His 15-Steps to Success help business owners to plan and reach higher goals. His mantra – “Passion, Persistence, and Flexibility” – has transcended all aspects of his career and personal life. His story inspires others to pursue their life’s passion and seek their own elegant solutions to the challenges life presents – and to have fun along the way.
The memoir’s cover features an image of Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, one of the world’s tallest buildings designed by Thornton and completed in 1996, and includes an image of Thornton with a group of ACE students. It was designed by graphic designer Deirdre Devlin Kelly of Easton and Conner Dorbin of Easton, Amy’s son and a 12th grader at Easton High School in the school’s graphic arts completer program and a participant in the ACE Mentor Program.
Proceeds from the book will go to the ACE Mentor Program to grow its scholarships for high school students. To date, ACE has awarded more than $14 million in scholarships to students nationwide.
Thornton lives in Easton with his wife Carolyn. Steward lives in Easton with her husband, Eric, and children Conner and Andrew. Charles H. Thornton: A Life of Elegant Solutions is available through Amazon at alifeofelegantsolutions.com.
Thornton and Steward are holding book signings at Vintage Books on Dover Street in Easton, MD on Friday, May 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. and at The News Center in Easton, MD on Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Friday, May 30 at 7 p.m., they will lecture about the book and hold a book signing at the Academy Art Museum. For further information, contact Amy Steward at 410-829-0436.
Photo: Pictured is the cover of the new book, Charles H. Thornton: A Life of Elegant Solutions, which is now available through Amazon at alifeofelegantsolutions.com. The cover was written by renowned structural engineer Charles H. Thornton and local writer Amy Blades Steward. The book cover was designed by local ACE Mentor Program participant Conner Dorbin of Easton and graphic designer Deirdre Devlin Kelly of Easton.