Todd A. Helwig Wins 2017 AISC T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award

October 14, 2016

(Chicago, IL) – Todd A. Helwig, PhD, professor of civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, is the 2017 recipient of AISC’s prestigious T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award. Helwig is being honored for his paper, “Stiffness Behavior of Cross Frames in Steel Bridge Systems,” and other papers related to stability bracing, as well as his outstanding reputation as an engineer and lecturer. This annual award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, will be presented to Helwig at the 2017 NASCC: The Steel Conference in San Antonio, Texas, March 22-24.

“The jury noted the significant and meaningful contributions of all of Todd’s work in stability bracing, not just the paper on which his nomination was based,” said Charlie Carter, AISC’s incoming president. “It touches buildings, bridges, long-span trusses, and many other types of structures that defy description by these categories. We look forward to a broadly applicable lecture at The Steel Conference.”

Helwig is in his 23rd year of teaching and conducting research in the field of structural engineering and currently holds the J. Neils Thompson Teaching Fellowship in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). He joined the faculty at UT Austin in 2005 after teaching at the University of Houston for 11 years. His area of interest is the design and behavior of steel structures with an emphasis in structural stability and bracing.

He has co-developed and taught a number of short courses on structural stability and bracing on behalf of AISC, the Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC) and the National Highway Institute. Since 1994 more than 5,000 engineers have attended the short courses that he has co-developed and taught. In addition, he has conducted a wide range of research studies on the design and behavior of steel buildings and bridges. Results from past studies have led to design methodologies for bracing systems for steel box girders as well as new details for stability bracing systems for I-shaped sections. He has also developed recommendations for cross-frame and diaphragm systems that rely on lean-on bracing to help reduce the number of fatigue sensitive braces on steel bridges.

Helwig’s research has been recognized with several awards from ASCE including the Collingwood Research Prize, the Moisseiff Award and the Shortridge Hardesty Award. In 2005 he was recognized by TxDOT with a top innovation award for his work related to lateral bracing of bridge girders by permanent metal deck forms. He also received an AISC Special Achievement Award in 2010 for his work on stability bracing systems in steel bridges. He has served on a number of technical committees for AISC, ASCE and SSRC, and currently serves as Chair of SSRC.

Each year, the T.R. Higgins Award recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper or papers, published during the eligibility period, are considered an exceptional contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel. The nominations are judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts who reflect a blend of professional insight, industry experience and academic excellence. For more information about the award, please visit


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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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