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Ronald O. Hamburger Receives 2006 T.R. Higgins Award

September 29, 2005 From American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc.

Ronald O. Hamburger, S.E., a principal with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., in San Francisco, has been named the recipient of the 2006 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award. Hamburger earned the award based on his paper Design of Steel Structures for Blast Related Progressive Collapse Resistance.

The Annual 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.

"Ron's selection as the 2006 T. R. Higgins Award recipient is particularly important for the structural engineering community," stated Louis F. Geschwindner, vice president of engineering and research at AISC. "His paper provides current information on the excellent response of steel structures to extreme events and guidance to engineers as they consider structural system selection."

Hamburger is scheduled to deliver an updated version of his paper during the North American Steel Construction Conference (February 8-11 in San Antonio, TX) and in six additional venues during the upcoming year.

The award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize, is named for Dr. 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 Dr. Higgins for his innovative engineering, timely technical papers and distinguished lectures.

Hamburger's practice has included the structural design of industrial, commercial, residential and institutional buildings, as well as failure investigation, seismic evaluation and upgrade, blast and progressive collapse evaluation, upgrade and design, construction engineering, project management, engineering research, and building code and standards development.

He currently serves as president of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (2004-2005) and vice president of the Structural Engineering Certification Board (2004-2005). He also has served as vice president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (2000-2001), president of the Structural Engineers Association of California (1999-2000), president of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (1995-96) and was a member of the FEMA/ASCE Building Performance Assessment Team that performed preliminary investigations of the destruction of the World Trade Center. He is chair of the Building Seismic Safety Council’s Provisions Update Committee (2000 - ), chair of AISC’s Connection Prequalification Review Panel (2003 - ), vice chair of AWS’s Seismic Task Group of the D1.1 Structural Welding Committee (2002 - ), and a member of the ASCE-7 Standards Committee and several of its task committees. He served as project technical director for product development for the FEMA/SAC Program to Reduce Seismic Hazards in Steel Moment Frames, and served on the product development teams for the ATC-40 Methodology for Seismic Evaluation and Upgrade of Concrete Buildings, FEMA 273/274 Guidelines and Commentary for Seismic Rehabilitation, FEMA-356 Prestandard and Commentary for Seismic Rehabilitation, and FEMA-440 Improvement of Nonlinear Seismic Analysis Methods projects. Presently he serves as project technical director for the ATC-58 program to develop next-generation performance-based seismic design criteria.

"Blast design is a hot topic that needs to be publicized," added Edward E. Garvin, executive vice president of South Carolina Steel and a member of the Higgins selection committee. "This paper comes at a very opportune time since recent concrete publications have been spreading false statements concerning the outstanding performance of structural steel in blast-related exposures."

For more information contact:

Scott Melnick
VP of Communications
(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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