Industry Leaders to Receive Achievement Awards at NASCC: The Steel Conference

March 3, 2015

(Chicago, IL) – On March 25, eleven industry superstars will receive awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) at the 2015 NASCC: The Steel Conference at Music City Center in Nashville. Peter Birkemoe, Michael Engelhardt, Socrates Ioannides, Richard Kaehler, Abbas Aminmonsour, Terri Meyer Boake, Ahmad M. Itani, Ian G. Buckle, Ahmad Rahimian, Yoram Eilon, and Robert Shaw are being honored for their exceptional contributions to the advancement of the structural steel design and construction industry.

AISC’s Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals who have made a difference in the structural steel industry's success and recognizes their outstanding service over a sustained period of years to AISC and the structural steel design/construction/academic community. This year’s award recipients are:

Peter Birkemoe, Ph.D., P.E., professional emeritus, University of Toronto 
Birkemoe is a renowned researcher and authority on bolted and welded connections, with emphasis on practice-oriented results for design engineers and construction practice. He’s made extensive contributions to the research on which the industry bases the design of bolted connections and was involved with the original research that resulted in the discovery of block shear. His experimental and analytical investigations on the behavior of hollow structural sections (HSS) members led to the special strength classification for manufactured cold-formed, heat-treated tubular members. His other stability research includes the examination of safety of curved bridges during construction and the study of sustained plastic deformation beyond development of full-yield properties. He joined the University of Toronto’s Department of Civil Engineering in 1973 and continues to teach and apply his unique knowledge and vast experience with steel connections as a consultant.

Michael D. Engelhardt, Ph.D., P.E., professor, University of Texas at Austin
Engelhardt is the DeWitt C. Greer Centennial Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he’s served on the faculty since 1989 and has excelled at both teaching and research. His teaching philosophy, for which he’s received numerous awards, is to “present information in a manner that allows students to see simplicity and clarity in seemingly complex subjects.” His ability to accomplish this comes from a deep understanding of the subject and results in a valuable learning experience for his students. Also a talented and world-recognized researcher, his research interests are in the areas of seismic-resistant design of steel structures, steel and composite bridges, and structural fire engineering. His contributions to AISC have been invaluable; he has generously shared his teaching talents with the institute as an excellent continuing education provider, serving frequently as a lecturer for AISC seminars, short courses and NASCC sessions. In addition, he serves as a member of the AISC Committee on Specifications, the AISC Seismic Specification Committee, and the AISC Connection Prequalification Review Panel. He received AISC’s prestigious T.R. Higgins Award in 1999 for his outstanding research in Reduced Beam Section Moment Connections, and in 2008 he earned an AISC Special Achievement Award for his pioneering contributions to the development of Eccentric Braced Frames.

Socrates Ioannides, president, Structural Affiliates International 
Ioannides is being honored for his incredible support of AISC activities, most notably in the areas of fire engineering and residential framing in steel, as well as popularizing several rules of thumb for design that make steel easier to understand.

Richard Kaehler, vice president, Computerized Structural Design 
Kaehler is being honored for his substantial work on both the AISC Specification and Manual. He has served as editorial chair of the Specification for 10 years and during that time has improved its readability and understandability. He also has generated all tabular information in every AISC Manual since the mid-1990s.

AISC’s Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated notable achievements in structural steel design, construction, research or education. It honors those who have made a positive and substantial impact on the structural steel design and construction industry. This year’s award recipients are:

Abbas Aminmonsour, Ph.D., associate professor, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, for his contributions to the AISCSteel Construction Manual, Part 6: Combined Axial and Bending Tables, based on his Engineering Journal paper, “A New Approach for Design of Steel Beam-Columns.”

Terri Meyer Boake, professor, University of Waterloo, for her book, Understanding Steel Design: An Architectural Design Manual, which provides a beautiful, compelling and thorough overview of steel construction through photographs, drawings, diagrams and text.

Ahmad M. Itani, Ph.D., professor, University of Nevada, Reno, and Ian G. Buckle, Ph.D., professor, University of Nevada, Reno, for their work related to the seismic design of horizontally curved steel bridges.

Ahmad Rahimian, chief executive officer, WSP, and Yoram Eilon, vice president, WSP, for their innovative use of steel framing in the design and construction of One World Trade Center in New York City.

Robert Shaw, president, Steel Structures Technology Center, for his bolting and welding handbooks, which are comprehensive reference books that capture the common guidance engineers and constructors need for bolts and welds.

Headshots are available upon request by contacting AISC’s Tasha Weiss at or 312.670.5439.

For more information about The Steel Conference, please visit To learn more about AISC’s awards programs, go to


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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