Hassan H. Abbas, Ph.D., is Recipient of 2012 Robert J. Dexter Memorial Lecture

WASHINGTON, DC, August 23, 2012 – The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) Steel Bridge Task Force and the AASHTO (American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials) Technical Committee for Structural Steel Design have named Hassan H. Abbas, Ph.D., assistant professor of structural engineering at the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University, as the 2012 recipient of the Robert J. Dexter Memorial Lecture. The program was instituted in 2005 in memory of Robert J. Dexter, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, who was an internationally recognized expert on steel fracture and fatigue problems.

The Robert J. Dexter Memorial Lecture program provides an opportunity for an individual early in his career in structural engineering to present a lecture on his steel bridge activities to the SMDI Steel Bridge Task Force and to participate in its semi-annual three-day meeting. The recipient becomes a member of the Steel Bridge Task Force, which is comprised of the United States’ leading steel bridge experts. Dr. Abbas was presented with a plaque commemorating the lecture by Alex Wilson, Chairman of SMDI's Steel Bridge Task Force and Manager of Technical Services for ArcelorMittal USA; and Gregory R. Perfetti, Chairman of the AASHTO T-14 Steel Bridge Structures Committee and State Bridge Design Engineer, Structure Design Unit, North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Dr. Abbas’ presentation, delivered to the SMDI Steel Bridge Task Force on August 9, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois, was entitled “Static Strength of Stud-Type Shear Connectors.” The presentation included: 1) a summary of AASHTO static strength design provisions for shear studs, 2) a comparison with design provisions worldwide, 3) preliminary results from a recent experimental program, and 4) observations and recommendations.

“Hassan is an up-and-coming researcher in the bridge engineering discipline, and the members of the Steel Bridge Task Force are particularly impressed with the innovative research that he is conducting for the Alabama Department of Transportation,” Alex Wilson, chairman of the Steel Bridge Task Force and manager, customer technical service at ArcelorMittal USA, said. “He carries on the tradition of Robert Dexter, who excelled at providing practical solutions to complicated steel bridge design problems. We look forward to additional contributions that Hassan will make in the years to come as a member of the SMDI Steel Bridge Task Force.”

In addition to being an assistant professor at Auburn University, Dr. Abbas is a partner with EHAF Consulting Engineers of Cairo, Egypt. Before joining Auburn, he was an adjunct professor and Visiting Research Scientist/Research Associate at Lehigh University. His research interests include bridge engineering, the behavior and design of steel structures, structural response to extreme dynamic loads, and large-scale structural testing. He is a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), the Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). He received his Master of Science and Doctorate degrees from Lehigh University and his Bachelor of Science degree from Cairo University.

Honorees of the Robert J. Dexter Memorial Lecture are selected on an annual basis and chosen based on recommendations from the members of the Steel Bridge Task Force. The lecture was not presented in 2008 and 2011. Previous recipients include:

• Justin Ocel, Ph.D., P.E., research structural engineer for the Federal Highway Administration (2010),
• Emmett A. Sumner III, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil engineering and technical director of the Constructed Facilities Laboratory at North Carolina State University in Raleigh (2009),
• Jennifer Righman McConnell, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware (2007),
• Reagan Herman, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental  Engineering at the University of Houston (2006), and     
• Robert J. Connor, assistant professor of civil engineering at Purdue University (2005).

SMDI’s Steel Bridge Task Force was formed more than 40 years ago to coordinate research that establishes safe, cost-effective steel bridges and to implement these developments into steel bridge design codes, specifically the AASHTO design codes. Its members include steel producers, steel fabricators, the AASHTO Technical Committee for Structural Steel Design, university faculty, consultants and representatives from the Federal Highway Administration and National Steel Bridge Alliance.

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new-growth opportunities in non-traditional steel markets.  SMDI’s Steel Bridge program is conducted under the Construction Market Council, whose investor companies include:

• AK Steel Corporation
• ArcelorMittal Dofasco
• ArcelorMittal USA LLC
• Evraz Inc. NA
• Gerdau Long Steel North America
• Nucor Corporation
• Severstal North America, Inc.
• SSAB Americas
• Steelscape, Inc.
• ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
• United States Steel Corporation
• USS-POSCO Industries

For more information, visit www.smdisteel.org.

Photo: Hassan H. Abbas, Ph.D. (center) receives a plaque commemorating the 2012 Robert J. Dexter Memorial Lecture from Alex Wilson (right) and Gregory R. Perfetti.

Contact: Debbie Bennett
Communications Manager
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179