/ Awards / Steel Bridge Task Force Announces Ryan Sherman as Recipient of the 2023 Robert J. Dexter Memorial Award Lecture

Steel Bridge Task Force Announces Ryan Sherman as Recipient of the 2023 Robert J. Dexter Memorial Award Lecture

Parul Dubey on February 24, 2023 - in Awards, News, People

Photo: Ryan Sherman, Ph.D., P.E. (at right, with students) is the recipient of the 2023 Robert J. Dexter Memorial Award Lecture. Photo courtesy of Ryan Sherman.  


WASHINGTON, DC – The Steel Bridge Task Force, which consists 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 Ryan J. Sherman, Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as the recipient of the 2023 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. Sherman will present a lecture on his research findings at the next meeting of the Steel Bridge Task Force on September 21, 2023 in Denver, Colorado.

“Though early in his career, Dr. Sherman has already established himself as a highly productive researcher who is solving practical problems facing the industry,” said Robert J. Wills, P.E., vice president of construction for AISI. “He is investigating large-format metallic Additive Manufacturing (AM) with the goal of translating the technology to large-scale civil infrastructure. He played an active role in NCHRP Project 10-74, which resulted in a new fatigue design load for high-mast lighting towers that was adopted into the AASHTO LRFD LTS Specification. His research for the Federal Highway Administration Transportation Pooled Fund resulted in a proposed methodology to set rational inspection intervals using high-toughness steel and an integrated fracture control plan. All of these projects are contributing to the significant advancement of the steel bridge industry.”

Dr. Ryan J. Sherman joined the faculty in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant professor in 2019. He earned his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University and his M.S. degree and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. Previously, he served on the faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Construction, and worked as a research engineer at the Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research at Purdue University. Dr. Sherman has conducted large-scale laboratory testing and performed field monitoring and instrumentation projects on steel bridge and ancillary highway structures across the United States. His research encompasses the areas of large-scale structural experimentation, structural health monitoring, material characterization, finite element simulation, fatigue and fracture, and additive manufacturing for civil engineering infrastructure. Dr. Sherman serves on professional technical committees for the Transportation Research Board (TRB), National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), and American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Nevada.

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

  • William Collins, Ph.D., P.E., University of Kansas at Lawrence (2022)
  • Matthew Yarnold, Ph.D., P.E., Texas A&M University (2021)
  • 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’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 websites at www.steel.org and www.buildusingsteel.org. Follow AISI on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter (@AISISteel), @BuildUsingSteel or Instagram.         


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