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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Steel Bridge Task Force Oversight Council of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), and the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) T-14 Technical Committee for Structural Steel Design have selected Matthew Yarnold, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor in the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas as the recipient of the 2021 Robert J. Dexter Memorial Award Lecture. The program was instituted in 2005 in memory of Robert J. Dexter, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, who was an internationally recognized expert on steel fracture and fatigue problems in bridges.

The Robert J. Dexter Memorial Award Lecture program provides an opportunity for individuals early in their careers in structural engineering to present a lecture on their steel bridge research activities to the Steel Bridge Task Force and to participate in its semiannual three-day meeting. Recipients become invited guests of the Steel Bridge Task Force, which is comprised of leading steel bridge experts.

Dr. Yarnold will present a lecture on his research findings at the next meeting of the Steel Bridge Task Force on August 12, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“As an assistant professor, Dr. Yarnold has already been widely published, contributing reference journal articles on a wide range of topics,” said Robert Wills, P.E., vice president of the construction group at AISI. “His extensive design and research experience are essential to solving ‘real-world’ challenges that are directly applicable to the design, construction and fabrication industries. We look forward to the contributions that he will make in the years to come to advance steel bridge design.”

Matthew Yarnold, Ph.D., P.E., earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Lehigh University. After graduation, he accepted a position with the engineering firm Ammann & Whitney, during which time he contributed to more than 15 bridge design and rehabilitation projects while also obtaining his professional engineering license. Despite a successful career as a consultant, he returned to academia where he completed his Ph.D. at Drexel University. Dr. Yarnold’s passion for research led him to a position at Tennessee Tech University where he was an assistant professor for four years. In 2017 he joined the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Previous recipients of the Robert J. Dexter Memorial Award Lecture include:

  • Matthew H. Hebdon, Ph.D., P.E., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2019)
  • Hussam Mahmoud, Ph.D., Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado (2014)
  • Caroline R. Bennett, Ph.D., P.E., University of Kansas in Lawrence (2013)
  • Hassan H. Abbas, Ph.D., Auburn University (2012)
  • Justin Ocel, Ph.D., P.E., Federal Highway Administration (2010)
  • Emmett A. Sumner III, Ph.D., North Carolina State University in Raleigh (2009)
  • Jennifer Righman McConnell, Ph.D., University of Delaware (2007)
  • Reagan Herman, Ph.D., University of Houston (2006)
  • Robert J. Connor, Ph.D., P.E., Purdue University (2005)

The Steel Bridge Task Force was formed more than 40 years ago to coordinate research that establishes safe, cost-effective steel bridges and to implement these developments into steel bridge design codes, specifically the AASHTO design codes. Its members include steel producers, steel organizations, steel bridge fabricators, bridge owners, the AASHTO T-14 Committee, university faculty, consultants and representatives from the Federal Highway Administration.

AISI serves as the voice of the American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI’s membership is comprised of integrated and electric arc furnace steelmakers, and associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel). Follow AISI’s construction market news on @BuildUsingSteel.