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AISC Director of Building Design John Ruddy Passes Away

January 6, 2009 From American Institute of Steel Construction

(Chicago, IL) – John Ruddy, AISC’s former Director of Building Design, died on December 11, 2008 in Rockville, MD, after a long battle with brain cancer.

“John was a great engineer and a shrewd innovator, who counted all of his colleagues among his friends because he also was a warm and genuine person,” said Charles J. Carter, S.E., P.E., AISC vice president and chief structural engineer.  “As important as his career as a structural engineer was to him, you could see how much more important his family was to him the moment he began telling you about his four boys and the devotion with which he and his wife Jeanette raised them. I will miss my friend John, but it is comforting to know that he no longer is suffering.”

Over the course of his career, John built a strong reputation for innovation and the ability to develop cost-effective structural solutions for buildings. Among his many notable accomplishments, he pioneered work in fire resistance and safety in steel building structures. He also received numerous awards, including the Clemens Hershel Award in 1988 for his lecture, “Evaluation of Structural Concepts for Buildings" and the Special Achievement Award in 2008 from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) for his work in fire resistance and design of steel structures.

John began has career in Cleveland in 1965 with Dalton, Dalton, Little and Newport, a large architectural engineering practice. In addition to project engineer responsibilities, he developed computer applications for structural engineering in the early days of computer use for structural analysis and design. During that same time, he also taught evening courses on structural analysis and design at Cleveland State University. In 1973, he joined John Bowes & Associates, a small structural engineering consulting practice, as an associate.

In 1977, John moved to Bridgeport, CT to accept the position of Chief Structural Engineer with Fletcher Thompson, Inc., a 150-person A/E practice. In 1981, he was named Vice President of Engineering with responsibility for the direction and coordination of all in-house engineering disciplines. In 1993, John was elected to the Board of Directors for the company.

In 1998, John relocated to Nashville, TN to become the Chief Operating Officer of Structural Affiliates International, Inc. After almost a decade with SAII, John joined the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) staff as Director of Building Design. Located in Washington, DC, he was responsible for AISC seminar development, speaker training, and educational activities.

John received his undergraduate civil engineering degree from the University of Dayton in 1965 and his Master's degree in civil engineering from Cleveland State University in 1971.

A devoted husband and steadfast family man, John raised four boys with his wife Jeannette. All four boys attended Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and started their families in the area. When Jeannette died of lung cancer in 2005, John moved from Nashville, TN to Washington, DC to be closer to his sons. John is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law, Shawn and Young Mee of New York City, David and Laurie of Washington, DC, Daniel and Laura and granddaughter Kristen of Silver Spring, MD, and Kevin and Elizabeth of Baltimore, MD.

AISC would like to express our deepest sympathies to the Ruddy family. John will be greatly missed.



John Ruddy



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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