AISC Awards First Milek Fellowship for Bridge Research

October 6, 2021


CHICAGO - The American Institute of Steel Construction has awarded the 2021 Milek Fellowship to William N. Collins, PE, PhD, associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Engineering. 

The four-year fellowship will provide Collins with a total of $200,000 to research innovative steel deck systems for highway bridge applications--the first Milek Fellowship project to focus on bridges. 

"AISC and NSBA are pleased to fund the bridge research that Dr. Collins has proposed," said AISC Director of Research Devin Huber, PE, PhD. "His research on steel deck systems will create a vital path for steel to replace concrete in more short- and medium-span steel bridge projects going forward." The goal of Collins' research is vital: to reduce weight and increase the speed of erection.

Named for former AISC Vice President of Engineering and Research William A. Milek, Jr., the Milek Fellowship recognizes a promising young university faculty member who teaches and conducts U.S.-based research investigations related to structural steel.

At least half of the Fellowship funds will support a doctoral candidate who, in Collins's opinion, demonstrates outstanding potential for future contributions to the U.S. structural steel industry. In addition to research funding, Collins will also receive complimentary registration to NASCC: The Steel Conference for four years. 

Updates on other ongoing Milek Fellowship research

There are three additional Milek Fellowship projects underway.

2020 Milek Fellow Matt Yarnold of Texas A&M is investigating the behavior of hot-rolled asymmetric steel beams. Yarnold is working with steel mills as well as engineers and fabricators to explore bringing production of these shapes into the domestic market while ensuring that any geometries developed are useful for designing and building actual structures. Yarnold and his team have started laboratory testing to examine large-scale system behavior of asymmetric beams as part of a floor system, both during construction and in service.

2019 Milek Fellow John Judd of Brigham Young University is researching inelastic design methods for steel buildings subjected to wind loads to determine whether a moderate degree of ductility will allow the main wind force resisting system to be designed with significantly reduced design forces, which would lead to more economical structures. Judd has thus far conducted extensive analytical studies to determine the wind load characteristics for nonlinear response history analysis, identify the types of structures most suitable for inelastic design, and develop archetypical model structures. He will next work to develop design and implementation guidelines for practicing engineers.

2018 Milek Fellow Gary Prinz of the University of Arkansas is developing comprehensive seismic design guidelines for skewed special moment frame connections using both full-scale experimental testing and detailed parametric finite element analysis. Prinz will complete six pre-qualification tests by the end of the year, with more to follow, and has published some early findings in the journal Steel Construction.


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Director of Marketing Communications

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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