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Donald W. White Wins 2009 T.R. Higgins Award

October 22, 2008 From American Institute of Steel Construction

Donald W. White, Ph.D., a professor at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the prestigious 2009 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award. White is being honored for his papers on stability analysis and design and the flexural provisions of the 2005 AISC Specification for Steel Buildings published in the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering and the AISC Engineering Journal.

The Higgins Award is presented annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper(s) are considered an outstanding contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, will be presented at the 2009 NASCC: The Steel Conference in Phoenix from April 1-4.

Recent recipients include Walterio Lopez and Rafael Sabelli for their paper on the Seismic Design of Buckling Restrained Braced Frames, Shankar Nair for his paper on the Stability and Analysis Provisions of the 2005 AISC Specification for Steel Buildings, and Ronald O. Hamburger for his paper on Alternative Methods of Evaluating and Achieving Progressive Collapse Resistance. For more information on past winners, visit visit www.aisc.org/higgins.

“Don’s work forms the foundation of many of the new provisions in the 2005 AISC Specification,” commented Charles J. Carter, S.E., P.E., AISC vice president and chief structural engineer. "He’s a particularly productive researcher, author and lecturer. We’re fortunate to have him as a contributor to the advancement of fabricated structural steel and as a member of the Committee on Specifications. He’s an outstanding selection as the T. R. Higgins Lectureship Award winner.”

This year’s T.R. Higgins Award jury consisted of:

  • William D. Bast, P.E., S.E., Principal, Thornton Tomasetti, Chicago
  • Ronald O. Hamburger, S.E., Senior Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., San Francisco
  • Lawrence F. Kruth, P.E., Engineering & Safety Manager, Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation, Lansing, MI
  • Judy Liu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Larry S. Muir, P.E., President, Cives Engineering Corporation, Roswell, GA
  • Chia-Ming Uang, Ph.D., Professor, The University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

White has been a member of the Georgia Tech faculty since 1997. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, he served on the faculty at the Purdue University School of Civil Engineering from 1987 to 1996. He received his doctorate in Structural Engineering from Cornell University in 1988 and attended North Carolina State University for graduate school.

Prior to graduate study, Dr. White worked as a structural engineer with J.E. Sirrine Company and with Carolina Power and Light Company in Raleigh, North Carolina. His research covers a broad area of design and behavior of steel and composite steel-concrete structures as well as computational mechanics, methods of nonlinear analysis and applications to design.

He’s a member of the AISC Committee on Specifications as well as various other AISC technical committees. He’s also a member of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Bridge Research Task Force and the Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC). In addition to his contributions to the 2005 AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, he served as a major contributor to the 2004 update of the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Load and Resistance Factor Design Specification provisions for curved and straight steel bridge design.

White received the 2005 Special Achievement Award from AISC for his research on design criteria for steel and composite steel-concrete members in bridge and building construction and the 2006 Shortridge Hardestey Award from ASCE for his research on advanced frame stability concepts and practical design formulations. He’s an Associate Editor of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Structural Engineering and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Constructional Steel Research.

“I’m delighted to have this opportunity to present practical and innovative ideas for the design of steel structures to the structural engineering profession,” commented White. “Many thanks go to the jury members for selecting me and to the teachers and collaborators with whom I’ve had the privilege to interact.”

To view a few recent samples of his writing, visit www.aisc.org/donaldwhite.

For more information contact:

Tasha O`Berski
Communications Department
(312) 670-8314
[email protected]


American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a 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, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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