Chief Operating Officer

René Vignos

René Vignos is a Principal and licensed structural engineer at  Forell | Elsesser. After entering the firm in 1999 and after more than two decades of experience, he is still invigorated by the challenge of creating the most elegant, inspired engineering solutions possible to translate an architect’s vision into a constructible reality.

As  Forell | Elsesser’s Chief Operations Officer, René Vignos serves as part of the executive management team that guides the firm as a whole in addition to his responsibilities overseeing the operations of the core engineering practice.  His skills in organization, administration, and collaboration serve him well as one of the leaders of the firm.

René has developed broad engineering skills in new design and retrofit, with a specialty in preserving and protecting historic landmark structures. He is currently providing state-of-the-art structural engineering design services for the complex rehabilitation and seismic strengthening of the historic Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This project involves the unprecedented base isolation and retrofit of a massive unreinforced stone masonry structure. In addition to his cultural facilities experience, he also works on athletic facilities, education facilities, national laboratory facilities, and overseas earthquake reconnaissance efforts. René is a licensed Structural Engineer in California, Utah, Oregon, and Wyoming. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin.

In his downtime he enjoys tinkering with home improvement projects, camping with his family, and following the latest NHL hockey game.

Professional Associations

  • San Francisco Code Advisory Committee, Structural Subcommittee
  • University of California at Berkeley, Seismic Review Committee
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), Protective Systems Committee, Past-Chair & Member
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Member