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T.R. Higgins Award

Each year, AISC's 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.

The award is named for 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 Theodore for his innovative engineering, timely technical papers and distinguished lectures.

Winners will receive a framed certificate, which is presented at the annual AISC North American Steel Construction Conference (NASCC). Winners receive a $15,000 cash award and will present their lecture, upon request, at professional association events.


If your organization is interested in hosting a T.R. Higgins lecture, contact Christina Harber, director of education, at AISC reimburses the speaker's travel expenses for qualifying events.


The current T.R. Higgins lecturer is Ronald D. Ziemian, who received the 2019 T.R. Higgins Award at NASCC: The Steel Conference in St. Louis in April 2019. Dr. Ziemian's lecture is titled "Structural Stability - Letting the Fundamentals Guide Your Judgment". 


The 2020 lecturer will be announced in Fall 2019.


Theodore R. Higgins joined the Institute in 1940 as chief engineer and was its director of Engineering and Research from 1945 to 1968. During his tenure he was involved in all aspects of the Institute's wide variety of research activities. He played an especially prominent role in the more than 20 years of research, which led to the development of plastic design techniques for steel structures. Theodore authored the Institute's first manual on plastic design, Plastic Design in Steel.

A resolution adopted by the Institute's Board of Directors honored Higgins for his unparalleled service to the structural steel industry. The resolution defines him as a pioneer in developing the research and engineering principles which form the basis of steel design and construction today. "Theodore Higgins possessed that unique ability to translate research results into practical applications," the resolution reads.


Each year AISC invites a distinguished panel of industry experts to judge the nominations for the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award. The jury reflects a blend of professional insight, industry experience and academic excellence.

The following jurors have been selected to judge the nominations for the 2020 award:

Robert Chmielowski
Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Seattle, WA

Chris Crosby
Cianbro Fabrication
Georgetown, MA

Carol Drucker
Drucker Zajdel Structural Engineers, Inc.
Chicago, IL

Mike Engelhardt
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

Mike Marian
PVS Structures
Carter Lake, IA

Paul Richards
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT