Jon Brody's intelligence, sharp wit, guitar playing, and sense of humor are greatly missed here in the office. He left us all far too soon, and we are truly devastated.
Jon's abilities, and he had many, made him a remarkable human being. His path to structural engineering, like so much about him, was unconventional. A true lover of languages and cultures, Jon studied German literature in college before diving into a completely different kind of language: assembly language coding for computers. This kind of crossover of talents, an east meets west/ yin yang mentality, defined Jon’s life. In his early twenties, he spent time at an ashram in India, mixing long stints of meditation and chanting with his job as in-house electrician. Jon knew about grounding. Upon returning to New York he built a small construction company (pun intended) with a buddy who also happened to be his brother-in-law. Strong allergies to dust put an end to this endeavor, and Jon decided to transfer his interest in construction to architecture and structural engineering. He attended graduate school at UC Berkeley, where he also served as an adjunct faculty member, ultimately obtaining dual licensure. His first job out of grad school was in Emeryville where his office had a fabulous view of the San Francisco Bay, so what to do but teach himself to windsurf. He and others at the office had windspeed alarms aptly called “The Call of the Wind” (remember beepers?) to alert and direct them real-time to the spots with the best breeze; the blueprints could wait but not so for a good, strong wind. Jon was not one to do things half-assed, and if good gear could be had, he had it. Jon was equally comfortable with the random forces of nature as he was the rules of mathematics and calculus of engineering. He saw art in nature and, through his design work, transformed structure into art. Jon worked and played, played at work and worked at play. In addition to being an avid and disciplined guitarist, he also loved photography, and, after the engineering/windsurfing gig in Emeryville, packed his bags and took an extended road trip around the country taking photographs. When a former student asked him to engineer a new residence in Los Angeles, he responded to the call of the west coast and Jon Brody Structural Engineers was born. Jon nurtured his company from its early days in 1998 until the fall of 2021.
We miss Jon immensely, and we are working hard to carry forward his legacy here at JBSE Inc.
Photo by Jon, taken from his kitchen window