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Fred R. Beckmann, Former AISC Director of Bridges, Dies at 82

June 3, 2013 from American Institute of Steel Construction

Fred Beckmann_300 
Fred R. Beckmann, former AISC director of bridges, passed away last Friday, May 31, at the age of 82.

He was known as one of the nation’s most-recognized experts on steel bridge fabrication. In addition to his love of bridges, he especially enjoyed sharing his advice and wisdom.

“Fred’s passion was in the building of steel bridges and he developed an understanding of how steel girders behave as loading changes during construction,” said Bill McEleney, director of the National Steel Bridge Alliance. “His desire to share this knowledge will have a lasting effect on steel bridge design and construction in the future.”

Beckmann was born in Pekin, Ill., on July 25, 1930. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1953 with a degree in civil engineering and in 1953 married Joanne Drake, also of Pekin, and they spent the majority of their life together in Chicago Heights, Ill. He was also an avid tennis player.

Beckmann started his career in Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel and later moved back to Illinois to work in Springfield. The majority of his career was spent at Chicago Heights Steel. He joined AISC in 1980 as its director of bridges and retired 14 years later in 1994.

In 2002, he received an AISC Lifetime Achievement Award in special recognition of his many years of exceptional service to AISC and the structural steel design, construction and academic communities.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne, their three children and their families.

Funeral services will be conducted on Tuesday, June 4, at 11 a.m., with a 10 a.m. visitation prior to the service, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2901 Western Avenue, Park Forest, Ill., 60466.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either Trinity Lutheran Church (2901 Western Avenue, Park Forest, IL 60466) or to AISC (general scholarship fund in Fred Beckmann's name). Checks should be made payable to AISC Education Foundation, Inc., and mailed to: AISC, Attn: Danielle Bronkema, One E. Wacker Drive, Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60601. Please note Fred Beckmann in the memo portion of the check.


For more information contact:

Tasha Weiss
Communications Department
(312) 670-5439
[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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