Chicago — Maria Garlock, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University, is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award, which is presented annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). Garlock is being honored for several of her papers on fire resistance in steel structures, as well as her outstanding reputation as an engineer and lecturer. The award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, will be presented to Garlock at the 2016 NASCC: The Steel Conference in Orlando, Fla., April 13-15.

"We are very pleased that Dr. Garlock has been selected as the 2016 Higgins lecturer," said Charlie Carter, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., AISC's vice president and chief structural engineer. "The jury found the work for which she was nominated to be compelling for its relevance to advancements being made today in research and practice. We look forward to Maria's presentation at The Steel Conference in Orlando, and her insights into what structural engineers need to know about fire protection and engineering."

In addition to her professorship, Garlock is the director of Princeton's Architecture and Engineering Program and acting director of the Program in Urban Studies. She's received several awards including the university's highest teaching award, the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching, as well as the Lawrence Keyes, Jr. / Emerson Electric Co. Faculty Advancement Award, and the Bronze Award for the Advancement of Arc Welded Design, Engineering and Fabrication. Garlock is also a professional engineer, having earned her license while working for Leslie E. Robertson Associates of New York City as a structural engineer, where she participated in the design of numerous buildings and skyscrapers. She received her Ph.D. and bachelor of science degree from Lehigh University, and a master of science degree from Cornell University.

Garlock's research aims to bridge the gap between academia and practice, both as related to advancing the knowledge in structural engineering and to the education of future engineers. Her work in resilient structural design for large fires and earthquakes has covered both isolated and combined multi-hazard events. She's an advocate in both fields, serving as chair of the Fire Protection Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (2010 – 2014), and president of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (2010 – present). During her tenure as chair of the Fire Protection Committee, she directed the work of the committee on an Appendix to ASCE 7 on "Performance-Based Design Procedures For Fire Effects On Structures."

She also studies the best examples of structural designs of the present and past, which encompass the ideals of efficiency, economy, and elegance. She co-authored a book on the subject (Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist) and co-curated several exhibitions with scale models and instructional displays that teach about exemplary structural engineering designs.  In addition, she's co-authored several book chapters, including the recent SOM Structural Engineering book chapter on "Efficiency and Economy." She also recently developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled "The Art of Structural Engineering: Bridges," which will be launched on the edX platform in January 2016.

Garlock's research on fire, earthquakes, and the art of engineering and education has been published in many journal papers, conference proceedings and books. She's frequently invited to lecture on such subjects within the U.S. and abroad. She also recently served as associate editor of the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering and is an editorial board member of the new journal Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.

Each year, the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper or papers, published during the eligibility period, are considered an exceptional contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel. The nominations are judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts who reflect a blend of professional insight, industry experience and academic excellence. The following jurors collaborated to select Garlock as the recipient of the 2016 award:

• Caroline R. Bennett, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.

• Joel A. Chandler, chief engineer, Owen Steel Company, Inc., Columbia, S.C.

• Brad Fletcher, S.E., sales engineer, Atlas Tube, Inc., Chicago

• Christopher M. Foley, Ph.D., P.E., professor and chair, Marquette University, Milwaukee

• Conrad Paulson, S.E., P.E., principal, Wiss Janney Elstner Associates, Inc., Pasadena, Calif.

• Joseph J. Zona, P.E., senior principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. Consulting Engineers, Waltham, Mass.

The T.R. Higgins Award is named for Theodore R. Higgins, former AISC director of engineering and research, who was widely acclaimed for his many contributions to the advancement of engineering technology related to fabricated structural steel. The award honors Higgins for his innovative engineering, timely technical papers and distinguished lectures. For more information about the award, including past winners, please visit