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Six Honored for Industry Accomplishments
Posted by Alison Trost on April 14, 2010 at 8:01 AM.

Six renowned structural steel industry professionals are being honored this month by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) for their contributions to the advancement of the structural steel design and construction industry.


Thomas M. Murray, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Thomas MurrayUniversity, receives the Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education. One of AISC’s most prestigious and least frequently bestowed awards, it provides special recognition to individuals who have had a profound and lasting impact in developing a unique application for engineering practice or in the mentoring of future technical leaders through their research and teaching.


Murray’s teaching and research have led to many new ideas and innovations for the steel design community and construction industry. Among other accomplishments, the AISC design guides he has written serve as the seminal works on floor vibrations and moment end-plate connections.


Two individuals are receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes those who have provided outstanding service to AISC and the structural steel design/ construction/ academic community over a sustained period of years.


Charles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., one of the founders of structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti and now chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company LLC, is honored for his body of work in the design of steel building structures.


Duane S. Ellifritt, Ph.D., P.E., professor emeritus, University of Florida, is recognized for his long-time contributions to AISC’s education efforts, especially in creating the nationally and internationally used Steel Sculpture and the Steel Connections Tool Kit. The Steel Sculpture has been built at more than 130 schools nationwide and new schools continue to add the sculpture to their campuses.


AISC’s Special Achievement Award is being presented to three individuals who have demonstrated notable achievements in structural steel design, construction, research, and education.


Theodore M. Zoli, HNTB Corporation, is being honored for his work on the S-shaped cable-stayed Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, which was converted from a concrete bridge to steel through use of design-build project delivery.


Nabih F.G. Youssef, Nabih Yousseff & Associates, receives the award for the LA Live project. His firm converted the 52-story structure from a concrete shear wall system to a steel building with a steel-plate shear wall system through performance-based design.


Todd Helwig, Ph.D., associate professor, University of Texas, Austin, is being recognized for his leadership in the area of stability of steel structures. He developed bridge girder bracing systems as well as short courses on bracing for stability that have been provided to thousands of practicing engineers throughout the U.S.


The award recipients will be recognized at the 2010 NASCC: The Steel Conference/The Structures Congress, May 12-15, in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit

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