AISC Remembers SEI Founder Jim Rossberg

Jim Rossberg, ASCE’s former managing director for engineering programs, died unexpectedly in late March. He was 65.

Rossberg significantly impacted ASCE and the engineering profession in his 30 years with the society. He joined ASCE as a full-time staff member in 1993 and remained there until his retirement in October 2022. In 1997, he was instrumental in the creation of the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI), one of ASCE’s first two institutes. He initially joined ASCE as part of the Civil Engineering Research Foundation and was the marketing manager for the Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center.

Later, ASCE named Rossberg its director of codes and standards. He grew ASCE’s standards program from 10 standards when he began the job to more than 50 when he shifted titles.

Rossberg also envisioned and staffed ASCE’s post-9/11 building performance teams for the World Trade Center and Pentagon. His work in that role earned him a Top 25 Newsmaker Award from Engineering News-Record in 2002. He was part of several other ASCE disaster response teams, including after the Murrah Building bombing, Hurricane Katrina, and the Chilean earthquake.

"Jim was a good friend who worked closely with AISC on several initiatives, including co-locating the Structures Congress with our conference back in 2010," said Scott Melnick, senior vice president at AISC.

Rossberg shifted titles to managing director of engineering programs in 2011 and held that role until he retired. Forming the Utility, Engineering, and Surveying Institute was among his accomplishments in that role. In 2022, he received the William H. Wisely Award from ASCE.

Rossberg is survived by his wife, Jan, and two children: his daughter, Jenny, and son, Chris.