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John Ochsendorf

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Architecture
Building Technology Program
Masonry Research Group
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 5-418
Cambridge MA 02139
(617) 253 4087

Associate Professor of Building Technology

As a structural engineer and specialist on the mechanics of stone and brick, Professor Ochsendorf directs the Masonry Research Group (, which works to understand the history and technology of ancient masonry structures. He and his students are developing new analytical methods to prove the safety of masonry buildings around the world, and to prevent unnecessary structural interventions in historical monuments. They collaborate with archaeologists to investigate the cause of historical structural failures. They also work closely with preservationists on the long-term care and safety assessment of masonry monuments around the world.

Selected Publications

2006 Engineering Analysis for Construction History: Opportunities and Perils. In Proceedings of the Second International Congress on Construction History, Vol.1, Malcolm Dunkeld et al. (Eds.), pp. 89-107. Cambridge, UK: Construction History Society.

Block, P., DeJong, M., and Ochsendorf, J.A. 2006 As Hangs the Flexible Line: The Mechanics of Masonry Arches. Nexus Network Journal on Architecture and Mathematics 8 (2): 9-18.

Nikolinakou, M., Tallon, A., and Ochsendorf, J.A. 2005 Structure and Form of Early Flying Buttresses. Revue Européenne de Génie Civil 9 (9-10): 1191-1217.

Cipriani, B. and Ochsendorf, J. 2005 Construction Techniques in Medieval Cairo: The Domes of Mamluk Mausolea. In Proceedings of Theory and Practice of Construction: Knowledge, Means, and Models, G. Mochi (Ed.), pp. 575-587. Ravenna: Fondazione Flaminia.