Duncan McElroy, P.E.

Build a Barn, Catch the Fever

Duncan McElroyAfter graduating from Dartmouth College in 1991 with a degree in engineering sciences, Duncan immediately caught the timber framing bug while helping a friend rebuild an old barn. His subsequent, circuitous path traveled through two high-tech firms in Boston and a brief stopover as a student in Stanford University’s engineering department. A timber framing future awaited.

Duncan made his way back to New Hampshire in 1997, where he met and began working with Ben Brungraber. The two have been designing heavy timber structures together ever since. This experience, combined with Ben’s mentorship, propelled Duncan toward his goal of becoming a licensed structural engineer, a title he gained at the beginning of 2004. In 2006, he joined Ben and Mack Magee at the newly formed Fire Tower engineering firm.

Covered Bridge ManualDuncan’s main professional focus continues to be the very rewarding work of designing, engineering and detailing heavy timber structures that are fabricated in timber frame shops around the country. His achievements in the industry include providing illustrations for the Covered Bridge Manual (with chapters written by Ben) and the challenging and enjoyable endeavor of developing and teaching the online course “Design of Steel and Timber Structures” through Norwich University’s masters program.

When not pursuing his love of timber frame engineering and design, Duncan can be found playing saxophone and clarinet with friends in the pubs and taverns of Southern New Hampshire.