/ Awards / Steel Bridge Task Force Announces Justin Ocel as the Recipient of the 2024 Richard S. Fountain Award

Steel Bridge Task Force Announces Justin Ocel as the Recipient of the 2024 Richard S. Fountain Award

Parul Dubey on February 16, 2024 - in Awards, News, People

Justin Ocel with Steel Bridge Task Force members (L-R): David Stoddard, senior steel applications engineer of SSAB Americas; Chris Garrell, chief bridge engineer of National Steel Bridge Alliance; Rob Connor, professor of engineering at Purdue University; Justin Ocel, senior structural engineer at the Federal Highway Administration’s Resource Center;  Karl Frank, consultant; Mike Grubb, director of quality assurance & quality control of Grubb and Associates; Ed Wasserman, senior engineer of Modjeski and Masters; and Dan Snyder, vp of the construction program at AISI. 


Washington, DC– The Steel Bridge Task Force, comprised 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) Steel and Metals Technical Committee, has named Justin Ocel, Ph.D., P.E. at the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Resource Center, as the recipient of the 2024 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. Ocel received the award at the Steel Bridge Task Force meeting on January 24, in New Orleans.

“We applaud Justin on this award, in recognition of his significant and meaningful contributions to steel-bridge research and the overall steel-bridge community,” said Dan Snyder, vice president of construction for AISI. “Justin has authored numerous journal articles and reports and continues to provide expert advice on technically challenging topics. His contributions to the design of gusset plates, shear connector design, welding and the specifications for nonredundant steel tension members, among others, have contributed substantially to the advancement of steel bridges. Justin’s contributions are a source of inspiration, and we look forward to the ongoing influence of his ingenuity on our industry.

Ocel began his career with the FHWA in 2009 as the Structural Steel Research Program Manager at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. His research program included a diverse range of topics regarding fatigue, welding technologies, forensic investigations, and more. In 2021, he joined the FHWA’s Resource Center as a senior structural engineer providing steel bridge expertise to internal and external stakeholders.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree and Doctorate from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Justin is a registered professional engineer in the state of Virginia.


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 (EAF) steelmakers reflecting the production of both carbon and stainless steels which are critical to the everyday lives of all Americans — including national security, roads and bridges, the electrical grid, clean energy technologies and the automotive market. AISI also represents nearly 80 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, LinkedIn, Twitter (@AISISteel) or Instagram

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