University Programs

Educator Awards

AISC Educator Awards honor individuals who have contributed to the success of the fabricated structural steel industry through their research, teaching or a lifetime of outstanding service.

Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education

The Geerhard Haaijer Award is named for one of AISC’s most respected Vice Presidents for Technology and Research. It is given only to individuals who, through their teaching and research, have had a profound and lasting impact on the structural steel construction industry.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals who have made a difference in AISC’s and the structural steel industry’s success.  It provides special recognition to individuals who have provided outstanding service over a sustained period of years to AISC and the structural steel academic community.

Special Achievement Award

The Special Achievement Award provides special recognition to individuals who demonstrated notable singular or multiple achievements in structural steel education.  This award honors living individuals who have made a positive and substantial impact on the structural steel design and construction industry through one or more particular projects.

Early Career Faculty Awards

The Early Career Faculty Award provides recognition to tenure track faculty who demonstrate promise in the areas of structural steel research, teaching and other contributions to the structural steel industry.

The 2017 Educator Awards were presented on March 22 at the 2017 NASCC: The Steel Conference in San Antonio, TX.


2017 Educator Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Roberto Leon, Ph.D., Professor, Virginia Tech

Dr. Leon has made significant and sustained contributions to the academic community, to the structural engineering profession, to the structural steel industry and to AISC since completing his Ph.D. and starting his academic career in 1984.

Dr. Leon has made important research contributions in numerous areas, including, semi-rigid (PR) steel and composite connections, composite joists and trusses, long-term behavior of composite structural systems, behavior of bolted connections subjected to large cyclic loads, design of SRC and CFT composite columns, and the design of innovative braced frames for large seismic loads. Dr. Leon’s broad body of work on composite steel-concrete members and systems has had a major impact on the AISC Specification and the structural engineering profession.

Dr. Leon has provided leadership in developing multi-university research initiatives, notably through the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering and the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. He also has provided leadership to many professional organizations, including the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE, where he served on many technical and administrative committees and ultimately as President of the Board of Governors of SEI. He has organized or co-organized many national and international conferences and workshops on topics that include steel connections, stability, and composite construction. In addition, he has served on AISC’s Committee on Specification (1999-present), and technical committees TC-2 (1998-2010), TC-5 (1993-present; chair 1999-2010), TC-9 (1998-present) and CPRP (1999-2007).

Dr. Leon’s research and professional accomplishments have been recognized by a number of major awards, including the AISC T.R. Higgins Award (1993), AISC Special Achievement Award (2011), the ASCE Norman Medal (2000), the SEI Presidential Award (2013) and many others.

Special Achievement Awards

Amit Kanvinde, Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Davis

For his research on column connection details including requirements for Column splices which permit the use of PJP joints, and column bases which provide shear mechanism study and stiffness models for exposed and embedded column bases.

Amit Varma, Ph.D., Professor, Purdue University

For facilitating the development, design, and licensing of the next generation of nuclear power plants in the US and around the world by developing fundamental knowledge in terms of experimental data, numerical models, and design specifications for steel-concrete composite (SC) walls and connections.

Early Career Faculty Awards

Patricia Clayton, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, University of Texas at Austin

In her three years at the University of Texas, Patricia Clayton has a brought a tremendous energy, enthusiasm and passion for teaching and research.

Dr. Clayton has taught four different classes including Elements of Steel Design, Probability and Statistics, Earthquake Design, and Advanced Structural Metals. In every class she has had incredible student evaluations, placing her near the top of all faculty in the University. Many students have commented that she is the best teacher that they have ever had among all of their classes at the University of Texas.

Dr. Clayton also has hit the ground running on research. She is currently co-PI on six ongoing research projects funded either by the National Science Foundation or by the Texas Dept. of Transportation. Several of these projects are focused on structural steel buildings or bridges, and all have the potential for improving the economy and competitiveness of structural steel for the building and bridge markets. Looking to the future, Dr. Clayton is very interested in modular steel building construction, as a means of decreasing construction time and cost.

In addition to her strong performance in both teaching and research, Dr. Clayton has become quite involved in professional committee activities and has made significant efforts to mentor students outside the classroom. She serves as the faculty advisor to a number of student organizations and has worked on a number of outreach activities in the local Austin Independent School District in an effort to attract young students into

Hussam Mahmoud, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Colorado State University

Hussam Mahmoud is a key member of the structures faculty at Colorado State University, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on behavior and design of steel structures to highly laudatory reviews.

Prof. Mahmoud’s research focuses on fatigue and fracture assessment of steel structures, and the response of steel structures under extreme single and multiple hazards. He is equally strong in analytical and in experimental research. His recently developed ductile fracture model has been validated against experimental studies and has been shown to yield accurate predictions. He also has conducted various studies on the response of steel structures under single and multiple hazards, including fire, fire following earthquakes, wind and earthquake effects.

In addition to his teaching and research talents, Prof. Mahmoud has been an outstanding campus citizen. He has served as the civil engineering department’s ASCE student chapter faculty advisor for the past four years and has served as a member of the University’s graduate school alliance for graduate education and professoriate faculty, which is an NSF-funded program to promote faculty diversity.