John A. Ochsendorf

Class of 1942 Professor; Professor of Architecture; Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; MacVicar Faculty Fellow; Founding Director, Morningside Academy for Design


John Ochsendorf is an engineer, educator, and designer on the MIT faculty since 2002. He is the MIT Class of 1942 Professor with appointments in the departments of architecture and civil and environmental engineering. Trained at Cornell, Princeton, and the University of Cambridge, he is known for creative research at the intersection of structural engineering and architecture with a particular interest in masonry and historic masonry.

Ochsendorf and his students have contributed to numerous design projects, including the Mapungubwe Interpretive Centre in South Africa, the MIT Sean Collier Memorial, several projects at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture, and multiple sculptures with leading artists. He served as the director of the American Academy in Rome from 2017–2020, and is the founding director of the MIT Morningside Academy for Design.

Ochsendorf was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to Spain in 2000. In 2008 he received the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome and a MacArthur Fellowship. He is author of “Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of Structural Tile” (2010). At MIT, he was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow in 2014 for exceptional teaching, and he received the Gordon Y. Billard Award for exceptional service in 2016.