Large-format 3D Printing Researcher Receives AISC’s 2023 Milek Fellowship

August 14, 2023


CHICAGO - If you’ve visited Amsterdam in the last two years, you might have strolled across a particularly noteworthy steel landmark: the first 3D-printed bridge.

The challenge now: Can 3D printing be an attractive, economically viable option for large-scale structural steel projects?

Ryan Sherman, PE, PhD, of the Georgia Institute of Technology is working to answer that question--and that research has garnered him the American Institute of Steel Construction’s 2023 Milek Fellowship.

“Additive manufacturing (sometimes called 3D printing) could be a game-changer,” said AISC Director of Research Devin Huber, PE, PhD. “Dr. Sherman is exploring whether combining commercial robotic welding hardware with readily available wire feedstock could achieve a high-throughput and favorable economics compared to other metallic additive manufacturing techniques, which would make that a practical solution for the structural steel industry.”

Specifically, Sherman will look into material factors (including non-destructive and destructive evaluation), mechanical and small-scale component testing of various connection types, and computational analyses and large-scale testing to demonstrate structural steel applications.

Sherman is an assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering where he has worked since 2019. Before his current position with Georgia Tech, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction.

He earned both his PhD and Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Purdue University, where he was advised by Rob Connor, PhD. Sherman’s primary interests include the behavior and performance of steel building, bridge, and ancillary highway structures, including large-scale structural testing, field monitoring, material characterization, and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulation. His research has specifically focused on fatigue and fracture, large-format metallic additive manufacturing, and high-toughness steel.

He received an AISC Terry Peshia Early Career Faculty Award in 2022 and serves on the Institute’s Partners in Education committee, which focuses on curriculum development, faculty development, student activities, and industry interaction.

Outside of his research interests and teaching activities, he most enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children; when time permits his favorite hobbies are woodworking, golf, mountain biking, and snowboarding.

About the Milek Fellowship

Since 2004, AISC has given a promising non-tenured university faculty member the AISC Milek Fellowship (formerly the AISC Faculty Fellowship), a four-year, $50,000-per-year award. The award was renamed after William A. Milek Jr., former AISC Vice President of Engineering and Research, to recognize his invaluable contributions to AISC and the structural steel industry as a whole.

Part of the value of this program to AISC, the selected fellow, and the university is the public recognition of the honor. The faculty member whose application is selected will be identified as the AISC Milek Fellow in selected publications and other venues, and they will be presented with a Milek Fellow certificate and will receive free registration at NASCC: The Steel Conference for the four years following their selection as Milek Fellow.

The Milek Fellowship is also intended to support the next generation of great thinkers. The faculty member must use at least half of the Fellowship funding to support a particularly promising doctoral candidate. The subject of study may be chosen from a wide array of topics in steel design and construction.

AISC will accept applications for the 2024 Milek Fellowship between August 14 and September 15. Further information will be available at


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. 

130 E. Randolph St, Suite 2000
Chicago IL 60601