Author Biography: Matthys Levy

Matthys P. Levy is co-author of the best-selling Why Buildings Fall Down, as well as Structural Design in Architecture, Why the Earth Quakes, Earthquake Games and Engineering the City. His new book, Why the Wind Blows, is his latest book making complex topics accessible to the general public. His other works include numerous papers in the field of structures, computer analysis, aesthetics and building systems design.

Levy is a founding Principal and Chairman Emeritus of Weidlinger Associates, Consulting Engineers. Born in Switzerland and a graduate of the City College of New York, he received his MS and CE degrees from Columbia University. He has taught at Columbia University and Pratt Institute and lectured at universities throughout the world. Mr. Levy is the recipient of many awards including the ASCE Innovation in Civil Engineering Award and the IASS Tsuboi Award.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and numerous professional societies. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the US and in Europe; and has served as a director of the Salvadori Center that serves youngsters by teaching mathematics and science through motivating hands-on learning about the built environment.

Projects for which he was the principal designer include the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, the Javits Convention Center and the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, the La Plata Stadium in Argentina, the One Financial Center tower in Boston, Banque Bruxelles Lambert in Belgium, the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC, and a cable-stayed pedestrian bridge at Rockefeller University, the WW II Museum in New Orleans and the Marine Corps Museum in Alexandria. He is the inventor of the Tenstar Dome structure, a unique tensegrity cable dome used to cover large spaces with minimal obstruction.Why the Wind Blows

Excerpts from Reviews and Commentaries,
Why the Wind Blows

  • From the co-author of Why Buildings Fall Down and Why the Earth Quakes (Norton) comes another fascinating look at practical science. This time it’s the science of weather.
  • Like Levy’s other books, this is a page-turner. He recounts fascinating true stories of exploration, each affected by weather and mankind’s ignorance of its consequences.
  • Over 70 illustrations by artist Sue Storey help to make the material easy to follow.
  • Today, he shows, we can no longer afford ignorance of the subject, as we face the greatest weather-related challenge in human history, global warming. Action is needed now to alter its potentially devastating effects on future generations.

In easily understandable prose and through the use of true stories of exploration,Why the Wind Blows looks at how these adventures were influenced by the weather and man’s ignorance of its consequences. The science of meteorology is gently interspersed throughout the text, so that understanding weather becomes an integral part of the stories. Concluding with the influence of modern civilization on the changing climate and its world-altering consequences, the author challenges the reader to take action now to alter the effects of global warming on future generations.

What People are Saying

“This is a straightforward, fascinating and powerful users guide to the planet, one that leaves us no doubt we need to make some pretty serious changes in our standard operating procedures, and pronto.”

—Bill McKibben

“Fun, informative, and, ultimately, gripping, Why the Wind Blows is a welcome addition to the growing voice for action on global warming.”

—Civil Engineering magazine

“If you still believe that weather is something that can be summarized on the back page of the first section of the newspaper, I suggest that you pick up a copy of Matthys Levy’s book.”

—Rachel Lapidow, The Burlington Free Press

“It is a useful and interesting book for a general audience; and clearly written.”

—Dr. Alan K. Betts Atmospheric Research

“I recommend that all scientists read this book. It is a sobering look at the impact of society on nature.”

—Dr. Gary F. Bennett, Journal of Hazardous Materials

More information and how to contact Matthys Levy

To arrange an interview or to track down Matthys Levy for expert information and advice for a news or feature article, contact Steve Carlson at Upper Access Books. Call 1-800-310-8320 or 802-482-2988, or e-mail To reach Matthys Levy directly by e-mail, use Additional information can be found at the author’s Web site,