Nominate An Outstanding Paper for the 2021 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award

May 18, 2020


CHICAGO  — The American Institute of Steel Construction is now accepting nominations for the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award.

This annual award recognizes an innovative lecturer/author whose outstanding technical writing constitutes a ground-breaking addition to engineering literature on fabricated structural steel.

The winner will receive a $15,000 cash prize and be recognized as a keynote speaker at the 2021 NASCC: The Steel Conference, which will take place April 14-16 in Louisville, Ky. The winner will also present his/her work at various prestigious professional events throughout the year.

Nominations are due by July 15, 2020. AISC will announce the 2021 winner in the fall of 2020.

How to submit a nomination:

Email your nomination package to Rachel Jordan at AISC: (Please contact her if you'd prefer to submit your nomination by mail.)

All nominations must include the following:

  • The name and affiliation of the nominee

  • The title and publication citation of the nominee's outstanding paper(s). (If a work has multiple authors, please identify the principal author.)

  • A copy of the paper(s), along with any published discussion

  • A brief description of the merits of the nominee and his/her work


Any paper published in a professional journal between Jan. 1, 2015, and Jan. 1, 2020, is eligible for award consideration.

Nominees must be:

  • Permanent residents of the U.S.

  • Available to attend and present at the 2021 Steel Conference, which will be held April 14-16 in Louisville.

  • Available to present his/her work at least six times on selected occasions throughout the year


A distinguished panel of industry experts will weigh this year's nominations for the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award. The jury includes:

  • Carol Drucker, Drucker Zajdel Structural Engineers, Inc. (Chicago)

  • Matt Eatherton, Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.)

  • Mike Engelhardt, University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas)

  • Mike Marian, PVS Structures (Carter Lake, Iowa)

  • John Rolfes, CSD (Milwaukee, Wis.)

  • Matt Smith, L&M Industrial Fabrication (Tangent, Ore.)

The jury will consider each nominee's reputation as a lecturer. They will also evaluate the following aspects of his/her work:

  • Originality

  • Clarity of presentation

  • Contribution to overall engineering knowledge

  • Future significance

  • Value to the American fabricated structural steel industry

2020 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award Winner: Bo Dowswell, PE, PhD

AISC was proud to present the 2020 award to Bo Dowswell, PE, PhD, in recognition of his reputation as an engineer and lecturer, as well as his outstanding paper “Design of Wrap-Around Gusset Plates.” Dowswell serves as principal at ARC International, LLC in Birmingham, Ala.

If your organization is interested in hosting Bo Dowswell for a T.R. Higgins lecture, please contact AISC Director of Education Christina Harber:

About Theodore R. Higgins:

Theodore R. Higgins joined AISC as chief engineer in 1940 and served as its director of Engineering and Research from 1945 to 1968. He played an especially prominent role in more than 20 years of research that led to the development of plastic design techniques for steel structures. His pioneering work developed the research and engineering principles that form the basis of today's steel design and construction knowledge.

The T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award honors his unparalleled contributions to the structural steel industry and recognizes those who continue his work today. A list of past winners is available here.


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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