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Chicago — Twelve leaders from across the structural steel design, construction and academic communities will be presented with prestigious awards by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) at the 2018 NASCC: The Steel Conference (April 11-13 in Baltimore). The awards presentation and opening keynote will take place on Wednesday, April 11, from 9:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center.

AISC awards honor significant individuals who have made a difference in the success of the fabricated structural steel industry. Whether it’s for an innovative design, an insightful technical paper or a lifetime of outstanding service, an AISC award bestows prestige and well-deserved recognition upon its recipient.

Row one, left to right: Bruce R. Ellingwood, William B. (Brad) Bourne III, Robert J. Connor, Gary S. Prinz; Row two, left to right: Duane K. Miller, Michael A. Grubb, Donald W. White, Thomas A. Sabol; Row three, left to right: LeRoy A. Lutz, Keh-Chyuan Tsai, William N. Collins, Ashley P. Thrall.

Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education

The Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education is only presented infrequently and recognizes individuals who have had a profound and lasting impact in developing a unique application for engineering practice or in the mentoring of future technical leaders. The award honors those who, through their research and teaching, have had an outstanding impact on advancing the use of structural steel framing in the construction industry.

Bruce R. Ellingwood, PE, PhD, NAE, F SEI, Dist M ASCE, professor and College of Engineering eminent scholar, Colorado State University, is the recipient of the Geerhard Haaijer Award. Internationally recognized as an authority on structural load modeling, reliability and risk analysis of engineered facilities, Ellingwood is a prominent leader in the technical development and implementation of probability-based codified design standards for building structures. His research and professional activities involve the application of probability and statistics to structural engineering, particularly in structural reliability theory and probabilistic risk assessment. He directed the development of the general probability-based load criteria for limit states design that have appeared in successive editions of the ASCE/ANSI Standard on Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures since 1982, which are the basis for strength design in the U.S. His work has also been instrumental in the development of the load and resistance factor design methodology used in AISC specifications that forms the basis for modern steel design.

AISC Board of Directors Award

The AISC Board of Directors Award is given on a special basis and honors those who have provided, over a sustained period of time, significant and outstanding service on the AISC Board of Directors and have contributed to the success of AISC and the structural steel industry.

William B. (Brad) Bourne III, Universal Steel Inc., Universal Steel of N.C., LLC, is the recipient of the AISC Board of Directors Award. Bourne began working for Universal Steel more than 40 years ago and became president in 1989. Together with his family, he grew the scope and volume of the business to become one of the preferred structural and miscellaneous fabricators in the southeast. He has served as an AISC board member for nearly two decades. He was the board’s vice chair from 2007-2009, and chair from 2009-2011.

T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award

The T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award is presented annually and recognizes a lecturer and author whose technical paper or papers, published during the eligibility period, are considered an outstanding contribution to engineering literature on fabricated structural steel.

Robert J. Connor, PhD, professor, Purdue University School of Civil Engineering, is being recognized for a number of papers, primarily on fatigue and bridge design, particularly, “State-of-the-Art Fracture Characterization I: Master Curve Analysis of Legacy Bridge Steels” and “State-of-the-Art Fracture Characterization II: Correlations between Charpy V-Notch and the Master Curve Reference Temperature,” both published in the ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering. Connor will present his keynote lecture, “Towards an Integrated Fracture-Control Plan for Steel Bridges,” at the conference on Friday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Milek Faculty Fellowship Award

The Milek Faculty Fellowship Award, presented each year, recognizes a promising young university faculty member who teaches and conducts U.S.-based research investigations related to structural steel.

Gary S. Prinz, PE, PhD, assistant professor, University of Arkansas, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Arkansas, has been named this year’s Milek Fellow. The AISC Committee on Research chose Prinz as the recipient of the 2018 Milek Faculty Fellowship for his proposal on the seismic performance of special moment frame skewed beam-to-column connections. The committee noted that skewed connections are frequently encountered in special moment frame connections and that this project will address a very real challenge in engineering practice. The committee also appreciated the rigorous physical testing program and Prinz’s enthusiasm and promise as a future leader in the steel industry. He leads the university’s steel structures research laboratory where his research efforts focus on steel infrastructure challenges related to extreme and repeated loads.

2018 Steel Conference Speaker Award

The 2018 Steel Conference Speaker Award is a new award that honors the most acclaimed speakers at AISC events.

Duane K. Miller, PE, ScD, The Lincoln Electric Co. is the inaugural recipient of the Steel Conference Speaker Award. Miller is a recognized authority on the design and performance of welded connections. He is a popular speaker on the subject and has lectured around the world. He publishes frequently and on three occasions, has been awarded the Silver Quill Award of the American Welding Society (AWS) for the excellence of his published work. He also serves on the AWS Board as a director-at-large. He has authored or co-authored texts and chapters of many handbooks, including the AISC Design Guide on Welding and the Mark’s Handbook of Engineering, 12th Edition. He has also appeared as a subject expert on the History Channel and Discovery Channel. You won’t want to miss his conference keynote presentation, “Important Lessons I’ve Learned During The Past 40 Years,” on Thursday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals who have made a difference in AISC’s and the structural steel industry’s success and provides special recognition to those who have provided outstanding service over a sustained period of years to AISC and the structural steel design/construction/academic community. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winners are:

Michael A. Grubb, PE, M.A. Grubb and Associates, LLC. Grubb has been pivotal to the progress of bridge design specifications for four decades, helping to guide new research, design innovations, clarifications and reorganization relating to steel bridge design into the AASHTO Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges and its successor, the AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor Design of Highway Bridges. He also co-authored several versions of the AASHTO Guide Specifications for the Design of Curved Steel Girder Highway Bridges. Over the years he has led the development of code language that is clear, understandable and consistent, and built a solid reputation of responsibility and integrity among the members of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures, enabling adoption of ballots regarding steel bridge and design.

Donald W. White, PhD, professor, Georgia Institute of Technology. White has generously served AISC thoughout his career. He’s been a member of the AISC Committee on Specifications since 2008, and has served on AISC Specification Task Committees TC3 – Loads, Analysis and Stability, and TC4 – Member Design since 2002, as well as the AISC Educator Awards Committee. He has also presented many successful webinars on behalf of AISC, and was the long-time faculty advisor to the Georgia Tech student steel bridge team, regularly appearing at the National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC). His research covers a broad area of design and behavior of steel and composite steel/concrete structures as well as computational mechanics, methods of nonlinear analysis and applications to design.

Thomas A. Sabol, SE, PhD, principal, Englekirk, and adjunct professor, UCLA. Sabol has provided exceptional service and contributions over many years to AISC, the structural steel industry and the structural engineering profession. His sustained contributions have made a major impact on advancing the practice in seismic-resistant design of structural steel buildings, as well as advancing AISC standards and the use of structural steel. He has been responsible for the structural design of numerous mid- and high-rise buildings, institutional and educational structures and a wide range of other projects. He is also an adjunct professor at UCLA, where he has taught classes in structural and earthquake engineering for many years. He is a leader in the field of structural earthquake engineering, with a strong focus on seismic-resistant design of structural steel buildings. He was an active participant in the SAC-FEMA steel moment frame project after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and served as a lead guideline writer for this project. He has also collaborated with a number of university faculty on research related to seismic performance of steel buildings. In addition, he has served on various AISC committees for more than 20 years and has contributed extensively to AISC continuing education programs.

Special Achievement Award

The Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated notable achievements in structural steel design, construction, research or education. It honors those who have made a positive and substantial impact on the structural steel design and construction industry. This year’s award recipients are:

LeRoy A. Lutz, SE, PE, PhD, vice president emeritus, Computerized Structural Design (CSD Structural Engineers). Lutz is being recognized for his work in advancing the state-of-the-art for the design of single-angle compression members and providing a simplified approach for the design of these members, which are commonly used as bracing members in steel buildings and bridges. He has served on various AISC committees over the years and presently serves on the TC3 and TC4 committees.

Keh-Chyuan Tsai, SE, PhD, professor of civil engineering, National Taiwan University. Tsai is being recognized for his extensive work with U.S. researchers to conduct large-scale system level testing of structural steel seismic force resisting systems, leading to system level verification of many of the AISC 341 provisions.

Early Career Faculty Award

The Early Career Faculty Award provides recognition to faculty who demonstrate promise in the areas of structural steel research, teaching and/or other contributions to the structural steel industry. This year’s recipients are:

William N. Collins, PE, PhD, assistant professor, University of Kansas. Collins has been successful in the multifaceted roles of his position as assistant professor. His excellent teaching record, successful research portfolio and impactful professional service activities indicate that he will have a long and successful career as a professor and will continue to contribute to the structural steel industry through numerous avenues. All of the classes he has taught at KU are directly related to structural steel. These include undergraduate steel design, graduate steel building design and graduate fracture mechanics. In addition to teaching, he has created a variety of learning opportunities for students outside of the classroom. In the past three years he has taken more than 150 students to SteelDay events around Kansas and Missouri, which gives students a first-hand view of the structural steel industry and has even led to employment opportunities for KU graduates. In addition, he is working on a variety of projects with the potential to influence the structural steel industry. As principal investigator he is leading two major steel bridge related projects. The first is an NCHRP project examining the fracture toughness of heat-affected zones in welded steel bridges. The second is an exploration into the use of digital image correlation (DIC) to identify fatigue cracks as part of an automated inspection process. Collins is also contributing to this important area of research as a collaborator on a FHWA Pooled Fund project using elastomeric skin sensors to identify fatigue crack initiation on steel bridges without the need for human inspectors. He also serves as a member of two Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees, and is an active member of ASTM International committees related to fracture mechanics and impact testing of metals.

Ashley P. Thrall, PhD, Myron and Rosemary Noble associate professor of structural engineering, University of Notre Dame. Thrall is an innovative and dynamic researcher and teacher in the structural engineering group of the University of Notre Dame. She has a unique perspective that started early in her career studying historical structures and developing an understanding of their design. She went on to develop a deep mechanics-based analysis expertise which has blossomed into building the leading laboratory in the country focused solely on civil kinetic structures. The problems and methods she has tackled have been widely varied but always focus on out-of-the-box innovative design, incorporate the most advanced analysis, rapid prototyping and testing methods, and bring communities together whether in Europe or the U.S., integrating industry, consulting and academia. Her steel-focused work includes accelerated construction of steel bridges through adjustable connections and modular design, impacting both fabrication and erection costs and setting a firm theoretical framework to a very practical problem. Her digital image correlation methods applied to laser etched steel are revolutionary. She will be monitoring the steel girders of the new Tappan Zee Bridge using the digital image correlation methodologies. Her innovation and creativity are widely recognized and as a result her laboratory is very well funded through a diverse range of federal and state agencies, something that is extremely difficult to do in her area. Thrall has also been as innovative mentoring students in her laboratory and teaching classes as she has been in her research. She arms the students in her statics, steel and bridge classes with the ability to solve challenging and real world problems, as well as provides high school and graduate students exposure to the many and diverse aspects of her discipline through a wide range of opportunities, from field trips to lectures.

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