/ Awards / Steel Bridge Task Force Announces Heather Gilmer as Recipient of the 2023 Richard S. Fountain Award

Steel Bridge Task Force Announces Heather Gilmer as Recipient of the 2023 Richard S. Fountain Award

Parul Dubey on March 9, 2023 - in Awards, News

Photo: Heather Gilmer, P.E., holds the plaque commemorating her selection as the 2023 Richard S. Fountain Award winner. Pictured with Heather are (L to R): Brian Hanks, North Carolina Department of Transportation and Chair of AASHTO T-14; Ronnie Medlock, High Steel Structures; and Dave Stoddard, SSAB Americas. Medlock and Stoddard are members of the Steel Bridge Task Force Oversight Council. Photo from AISI.  


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 named Heather Gilmer, P.E., a senior engineer at Pennoni, as the recipient of the 2023 Richard S. Fountain Award.

Named for the founder of the Steel Bridge Task Force, the Richard S. Fountain Award was established in 2001 to recognize leadership in steel bridge research and outstanding efforts to advance AASHTO specifications. Heather received the award at the meeting of the Steel Bridge Task Force on January 25, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. It was presented by Ronnie Medlock of High Steel Structures, a previous winner of the Richard S. Fountain Award and a member of the Steel Bridge Task Force Oversight Council.

“We congratulate Heather on this award, which recognizes her significant contributions to innumerable AASHTO guides, standards, specifications and ballots that have substantially advanced steel bridges as solutions to restoring our nation’s infrastructure,” said Robert J. Wills, P.E., vice president of construction for AISI. “Among her many accomplishments, Heather is the primary author of or a significant contributor to several key steel bridge publications, including S2.1: Steel Bridge Fabrication Guide Specification, ‘G2.2: Guidelines for Resolution of Steel Bridge Fabrication Errors,’ the new AASHTO Specification for Steel Bridge Fabrication, and the new ‘FHWA Bridge Welding Reference Manual.’ We greatly appreciate her innovative and enduring contributions to the steel bridge industry and look forward to additional contributions in the years to come.”

Heather Gilmer has more than 20 years of experience in steel fabrication quality management and extensive involvement in the development of national codes and specifications. She joined Pennoni as a senior engineer in June 2022. She is a member of numerous industry technical committees, among them the Steel Bridge Task Force; ASTM Committee A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Alloys; the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Committee AKC70 on Fabrication and Inspection of Metal Structures; the American Welding Society (AWS) Committee D1 on Structural Welding; the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) Committee 15 on Steel Structures; and the AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration.

Heather was recognized with a Special Achievement Award by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) in June 2019 for demonstrating notable singular or multiple achievements in structural steel design, construction, research or education. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a licensed professional engineer in 12 states.

Previous recipients of the Richard S. Fountain Award include:

  • Todd Helwig, Ph.D., Director of the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory and Professor of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (2022)
  • Robert J. Connor, the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor in Civil Engineering at Purdue University (2020)
  • Ed Wasserman, Senior Engineer of Bridge Design and Engineering, Modjeski and Masters (2019)
  • Alexander D. Wilson, Manager of Customer Technical Services for ArcelorMittal, USA, Retired (2014)
  • Ronald D. Medlock, P.E., High Steel Structures, Inc., Lancaster, PA (2013)
  • Yoni Adonyi, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Omer Blodgett Chair of Welding and Materials Joining Engineering and MJE Program Coordinator at LeTourneau University (2012)
  • Ahmad M. Itani, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., F. ASCE, University of Nevada, Reno (2011)
  • John M. Kulicki, P.E., Modjeski and Masters, Inc. (2009)
  • William J. Wright, Federal Highway Administration’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (2008)
  • Donald W. White, Professor of Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials at the Georgia Institute of Technology (2007)
  • Dean C. Krouse, Independent Consulting Metallurgical Engineer (2006)
  • Dennis R. Mertz, Associate Professor, University of Delaware (2005)
  • Camille Rubeiz, former Director of Transportation and Infrastructure at AISI (2003)
  • Professor Karl Frank, University of Texas at Austin (2002); and
  • Mike Grubb, P.E., BSDI Ltd. (2001)

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 website at www.steel.org and www.buildusingsteel.org. Follow AISI on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter (@AISISteel), @BuildUsingSteel or Instagram.


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