Fernando Friás, IMCA President, Dies at 90

Fernando Friás, longtime president of the Mexican Institute of Steel Construction (IMCA), passed away on March 8 at the age of 90.

“As the driving force behind IMCA, Friás was instrumental in establishing positive relationships between IMCA and AISC,” said Roger Ferch, P.E., AISC’s president. “In addition to his success as a steel fabricator, he helped grow and advance the fabricated structural steel industry in Mexico, including translating the AISC Specification, and he was a frequent participant at NASCC: The Steel Conference.”

Friás served as an advisory member on the AISC Specification Committee and in 1998, he initiated IMCA’s collaboration with AISC’s annual Steel Conference. In 2005 he received the AISC Honorary Member Award and in 2010 was honored with the AISC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Friás received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico and his master’s degree from the National University Autonoma in Mexico. He began his career as the director of FESA, a steel fabrication shop he founded in 1958, and was also one of the founders of Sociedad de Fabricantes de Estructuras Metálicas A.C. (FEMAC), where he served as president from 1980 to 1984.

Friás was a founding father of IMCA, which formed in 1983. The following year he was elected president, and he served in that role for more than 30 years until his passing. During his tenure he promoted a wide variety of activities in education and standard practice for complex steel construction designs. He was also the primary advocate and promoter of the IMCA Steel Construction Manual since its first publication in 1984, up until the most recent (5th) edition, which was published in 2014.