/ Awards / Structural Stability Researcher to Receive 2024 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award

Structural Stability Researcher to Receive 2024 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award

Parul Dubey on September 20, 2023 - in Awards, News

CHICAGO – The American Institute of Steel Construction will present Benjamin Schafer, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University with the 2024 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award for “Review of Local Buckling Width-to-Thickness Limits.”

“Dr. Schafer’s work in the areas of structural stability and local buckling in hot-rolled structural members is consistently outstanding,” said AISC Vice President of Engineering and Research Christopher H. Raebel, SE, PE, PhD, “and his reputation as a researcher, professor, and lecturer is similarly remarkable–in fact, the jury’s selection was unanimous. It is a privilege to have him represent AISC as a T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award recipient.”

Schafer will give the final keynote address at the 2024 NASCC: The Steel Conference, where he will also receive the $15,000 honorarium. He will present his work on request throughout the country over the course of the year, as well. (Organizations interested in hosting a T.R. Higgins Lecture can contact AISC Senior Director of Education Christina Harber at [email protected].)

AISC would like to thank the members of the 2024 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award jury for their time and thoughtfulness:

  • Michael Kempfert, PE, PhD of CSD Engineers, Milwaukee
  • Jason McCormick, PE, PhD, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Chia-Ming Uang, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
  • Brian Volpe, SE, PE, PhD, LEED AP of Cives Engineering Corporation, Alpharetta, Ga.
  • W. Duff Zimmerman, PE, of Cooper Steel, Shelbyville, Tenn.

About the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award
AISC’s T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper or papers, published during the eligibility period, are considered an outstanding contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel.

The 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.

About Benjamin W. Schafer, PhD

Benjamin W. Schafer is the director of the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute and Hackerman Professor in the department of civil and systems engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He is also active in engineering consulting and is currently a consulting principal at Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University in structural engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Iowa. Schafer has led numerous research projects on the behavior and design of thin-walled steel structures. 

He is dedicated to the codes and standards process with over 20 years of service to AISC, AISI, and ASCE, and currently serves as Chair of AISC TC4 on Members, Vice Chair of the AISC Committee on Structural Stainless Steel, and Chair of ASCE 8 on cold-formed stainless steel. He has previously served as Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins, Chair of the Structural Stability Research Council, President of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute, and North American Editor of the Journal of Thin-walled Structures. 

He is an award-winning teacher, dedicated runner, regretfully retired youth soccer coach, and facilitator for a middle school maker program. He currently resides in Washington with his wife and son.

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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