/ Awards / AISC to Honor 11 Outstanding Designers, Industry Professionals, and Educators

AISC to Honor 11 Outstanding Designers, Industry Professionals, and Educators

Parul Dubey on December 12, 2022 - in Awards, News

CHICAGO – The American Institute of Steel Construction will present some of its most prestigious awards to 11 remarkable people at the 2023 NASCC: The Steel Conference.

“This is a time of extraordinary innovation in design and construction with structural steel,” said AISC President Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD. “It’s always a pleasure to recognize the exceptional people who have driven our industry to where it stands today–and who continue to ensure a bright future.”

AISC’s Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize living individuals who have made a difference in the success of AISC and the structural steel industry.

In 2023, AISC will present Lifetime Achievement Awards to:

  • Professor Terri Meyer Boake of the University of Waterloo for her significant contributions to AESS (architecturally exposed structural steel) and architectural education as well as her service to AISC.

    Terri Meyer Boake, LEED AP, is a full professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo in Canada. She has been teaching building construction, structures, environmental design, and film since 1986. She works with Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and AISC to develop teaching resources for architectural education, specializing in AESS. She has published several books about various aspects of steel design and won a 2015 Special Achievement Award for Understanding Steel Design: An Architectural Design Manual.

  • Robert J. Connor, PE, the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University Lyles School of Civil Engineering, for his significant contributions over many years to the advancement of design in the area of fatigue, fracture, and other performance and durability issues related to steel bridges as well as his service to AISC and the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA).

    Robert J. Connor is the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor of Civil Engineering and is the director of the Steel Bridge Research, Inspection, Training, and Engineering Center at Purdue University. Connor has been working in the area of fatigue, fracture, and other performance and durability issues related to steel bridges for over 25 years. Connor’s research interests include fatigue and fracture of steel structures; field testing and remote monitoring of structures; bridge inspection reliability; and risk-based inspection methods. He won AISC’s 2018 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award and a 2012 Special Achievement Award.

    Connor is a member of the AISC Committee on Research, the NSBA Technical Committee, AISC’s Technical Committee 10 (Materials, Fabrication, and Erection), and several AASHTO/NSBA Collaboration task groups.

  • Chief Engineer Mark V. Holland, PE, of Paxton & Vierling Steel Co. for his work as one of the preeminent fabrication engineers in the world as well as his contributions to AISC and the steel industry through his service on committees, his speaking engagements, and his many articles and papers.

    Holland is a registered professional engineer in nine states. From 1986 to 2013, he was responsible for connection design, material procurement, detailing, shop scheduling, project management, and change order management. From 2013 to the present, he has been mentoring the next generation of steel fabricators. Holland is a regular speaker at NASCC: The Steel Conference as well as several other industry events on subjects related to fabricated structural steel and connection design.

    Holland chairs AISC’s Committee on Manuals and Committee on Structural Stainless Steel and serves on several other AISC committees, subcommittees, and technical committees. He also served as a judge for the 2021 IDEAS² Awards.


  • Larry S. Muir, PE, for his work as one of the preeminent fabrication engineers in the world as well as his contributions to AISC and the steel industry through his service on committees, his speaking engagements, and his many articles and papers.

    Larry Muir is a licensed engineer with more than two decades of engineering and structural steel fabrication experience. He served as the director of technical assistance at AISC for five years, where he led the operations of the technical aspects of the AISC Steel Solutions Center. Prior to that, as chief engineer of Cives Steel Company, he oversaw connection design for six steel fabrication plants with a combined annual capacity of over 100,000 tons. Muir has participated in the design of numerous large-scale, high-profile projects, including high-rises, stadiums, and power plants. He co-authored (with Bill Thornton) AISC Design Guide 29, Vertical Bracing Connections–Analysis and Design.

    Muir sits on AISC’s Committee on Specifications and Technical Committee 1 (Coordination) and chairs AISC’s Technical Committee 6 (Connection Design).

  • Francesco Russo, PE, PhD, the founder and principal of Russo Structural Services, for his work advancing the state-of-the-art in the analysis and design of complex bridge engineering, bridge inspection, forensics, the inspection/emergency rehabilitation of complex bridge structures, and bridge education–as well as his dedicated service to NSBA.

    With over 25 years of experience in bridge engineering, Frank Russo is responsible for complex project support nationwide including major steel bridge design and rehabilitation. His experience includes developing training courses and materials in areas such as steel bridge analysis and design, bridge load rating, and fatigue and fracture for steel bridges.

    Russo is a member of the NSBA Technical Committee, the NSBA Redundancy Task Force, and several AASHTO/NSBA Collaboration task groups. He is vice-chair of AASHTO/NSBA TG 13: Analysis of Steel Bridges.

  • Senior Structural Engineer Clifford Schwinger, PE, of the Harman Group for his contributions to the development of the AISC Steel Construction Manual and his work to advance the understanding of high-quality structural steel engineering drawings, delegated connection design, and quality assurance–as well as his dedicated service to AISC.

    Cliff Schwinger, PE, has more than 40 years of experience in structural design and is a renowned quality assurance expert. He joined The Harman Group, now IMEG, in 1986. He served as the full-time quality assurance manager between 2002 and IMEG’s 2022 acquisition of The Harman Group and continues to perform structural engineering quality assurance reviews on many of the firm’s projects prior to completion of design. He establishes office standards for design and documentation of designs; develops, maintains and updates a library of more than 1,000 typical details; answers technical questions; and trains new engineers.

    He serves on the AISC Committee on Manuals and chairs Subcommittee M1 (Member & System Design Considerations).

  • Vice President of Construction Robert J. Wills, PE, of the American Iron and Steel Institute for his long and illustrious career in the steel industry, including his work on codes and standards and construction market activities.

    Robert J. Wills, PE, is responsible for overseeing AISI’s Construction Market programs in commercial buildings, residential construction, and the transportation/infrastructure markets, as well as the AISI Construction Technical Program. He became vice president of construction market development in 2008 following 18 years of service with the AISI Code and Standards program, during which he was responsible for design specifications, test methods, product specifications, and installation standards related to steel in construction. He is widely recognized for his expertise in fire safety engineering; structural fire testing and performance; wind engineering; and geotechnical and foundation engineering. He was very involved in the development of the International Building Code and the NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code.

    Wills is a member of the NSBA Market Development Committee.

AISC will honor additional two people with Special Achievement Awards.

  • President Patrick M. Hassett, SE, of Hassett Engineering, Inc. for advancing the state of the art in erection engineering on projects ranging from the Walt Disney Concert Hall to Micron’s Giga Factory.

    Patrick Hassett, SE, MS, has been involved in steel design and construction engineering since 1985. He founded Hassett Engineering in 1995 and has worked on major projects for some of the largest steel fabricators and erectors in the country, focusing on steel erection engineering, value engineering, connection design, temporary framing, and systems design for construction of special and unusual projects.

    Hassett is a member of AISC’s Committee on Specifications and Technical Committee 6 (Connection Design).

  • Ronald J. Janowiak, SE, PE (retired from Elexon) for leading the adoption of the Specification for Safety-Related Steel Structures for Nuclear Facilities (ANSI/AISC N690-18) by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Ron Janowiak currently works as a consultant, having recently retired after 28 years with Constellation Energy (formerly Exelon Nuclear). He has over 40 years of engineering experience, devoting most of that time to nuclear power plants in the U.S.

    Janowiak has served as chair of AISC Technical Committee 11 (Nuclear Design) since 2008 and is a member of AISC’s Committee on Specifications and Technical Committee 1 (Coordination).

AISC also recognizes those who build a brighter future by supporting tomorrow’s leaders. This year, AISC will present the Terry Peshia Early Career Faculty Award to:

  • Hannah Blum, PhD (assistant professor and Alain H. Peyrot Fellow in Structural Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

    Hannah Blum’s research encompasses a wide range of topics including the design and analysis of steel and stainless-steel members and systems; steel joists; structural stability; structural reliability; data-driven design approaches in structural engineering; mixed reality in structural steel fabrication; and virtual and augmented realities in structural engineering education. Her research work aims to improve and inform design specifications to produce resilient and efficient infrastructure.

    Blum holds a PhD from the University of Sydney as well as an MSE and BS from Johns Hopkins University.


  • Thomas Gernay, PhD (assistant professor, Johns Hopkins University)

    Thomas Gernay’s research focuses on the development of performance-based design and risk assessment methods for enhancing resilience of structures subjected to fire. His research aims to positively and profoundly impact the industry through new knowledge on the response of steel material and structures at elevated temperature; new structural fire design methods that are proposed in building codes committees; and development of software to enable simulation of the behavior of steel structures subjected to fire.

    Gernay holds a PhD in structural engineering as well as an ME and BSE in civil engineering from the University of Liège in Belgium.

AISC will also present its highest industry honor, the Robert P. Stupp Award for Leadership Excellence, to David Zalesne of Owen Steel and its highest education honor, the Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education, to Michael Engelhardt of the University of Texas at Austin.

Headshots of all winners are available for download here.

The presentations will take place on April 12, 2023, during the opening session of NASCC: The Steel Conference in Charlotte, N.C. Registration for the Steel Conference opens January 23.

About the American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information.

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