In Memoriam: Raymond H.R. Tide

Raymond H. R. Tide, PE, PhD, former principal at Wiss Janney Elstner, died October 7, 2022, at the age of 83.

Tide worked as an AISC regional engineer before becoming manager of engineering for Paxton Vierling Steel and then joining WJE in 1982. He was widely recognized as an expert on collapses, material deterioration, fatigue, brittle fracture, welding, mill-rolling defects, fire exposure, and structural damage.

He also conducted load tests on bridges, industrial structures, and commercial buildings. In 2014, he received AISC's Lifetime Achievement Award.

"Ray was a purposeful volunteer and leader in the technical activities of AISC, RCSC, and other organizations," said Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD. "He always had things he wanted to accomplish and rarely did he fail. More personally, I remember how encouraging he was early in my career that I should pursue and achieve licensure as a PE and SE."

While at AISC, he is credited with compiling the first version of the steel shapes database in 1980 in conjunction with the release of the eighth edition of the AISC Manual of Steel Construction. Tide was assigned the responsibility of producing the column charts for variable braced lengths. After he realized that no help was coming from the steel mills, he decided to handle the massive amount of work by generating the data through the use of a computer program.

Working with IBM cards, he did his best to get as much data as possible on each individual card. "All computer-generated data had to be plotted and then professionally drafted," Tide noted. "We did not have the current graphics capabilities. I had to program the computer to move the ink pen to form the dashed lines, etc. We didn't have automated graphics programs."

Tide's love of steel continued throughout his career. At WJE, his bookshelves were filled with references and reports that encompass structural steel and bolting over the past 60 years.

He joined the Research Council on Structural Connections in 1982, serving on the Council's Executive Committee multiple times and as Chair of the RCSC from 2000 to 2006. His participation on the Council resulted in significant improvements in our understanding of bolt design provisions, including his work in long joints that yielded more economical connections.

He led committees on research needs as well as bolts under tension and prying action and has also been an active member of the AISC Specifications Committee. He also served on the FEMA-sponsored SAC Joint Venture seismic investigations of weld fractures after the Northridge Earthquake.

He was a registered professional engineer in multiple U.S. states and Canadian provinces. In addition to his long history with AISC and RCSC, Ray has been closely involved with the development of the American Welding Society's (AWS) D1.1 Structural Welding Code -- Steel and was part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Subcommittee on Structural Connections as well as the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) and Applied Technology Council (ATC) following the 1994 Northridge earthquake. A University of Manitoba and Lehigh University graduate, he served three years as an officer in the Canadian Army Corps of Engineers, spending some time abroad on the Sinai Peninsula.

"Throughout the years, Ray mentored many of us by his example of active membership. He set a standard for technical leadership for all Council members to follow," said RCSC Chair Salim Brahimi, PEng, PhD. "Personally, I am forever grateful for Ray's support of my research initiative on hydrogen embrittlement, especially during the early days (2003-2005) when support by RCSC was a crucial piece of the collaborative fundraising puzzle."