John M. Kulicki, Ph.D., P.E. is Recipient of 2009 AISI/AASHTO Richard S. Fountain Award

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 28, 2009 – The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) Steel Bridge Task Force and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Technical Committee for Structural Steel Design have named John M. Kulicki, Ph.D., P.E., chairman and CEO of Modjeski and Masters, Inc., as the recipient of the 2009 Richard S. Fountain Award. The award is named for the founder of the Steel Bridge Task Force.

The Richard S. Fountain Award is presented annually to recognize leadership in steel bridge research and outstanding efforts to advance AASHTO specifications. Dr. Kulicki received the award at a recent meeting of the Steel Bridge Task Force from Alex Wilson, Manager of Customer Technical Services for ArcelorMittal USA and Chairman of AISI’s Steel Market Development Institute Steel Bridge Task Force; Ed Wasserman, Director of Structures for the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Chairman of the AASHTO-T14 Committee; and Dennis R. Mertz, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Delaware and the 2005 Richard S. Fountain award winner.

The award plaque recognizes John Kulicki’s “significant contributions to the advancement of steel highway bridges through the design of major steel superstructures, the development of comprehensive bridge design specifications, and providing inspiration to the Bridge Task Force and T-14 throughout all of our endeavors.”

“John brings more than 35 years of experience to his leadership roles with both the Steel Bridge Task Force and AASHTO T-14. His contributions to the development of Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Specifications have advanced the competitive use of steel in the bridge market by making it easier for bridge designers to specify steel for their projects. Steel provides solutions to many challenges that bridge designers face daily such as cost-effectiveness, durability, and sustainability," Alex Wilson said. 

Dr. Kulicki is Chairman and CEO of Modjeski and Masters, Inc., which provides specialized technical expertise in the design, inspection and rehabilitation of all types of bridges, with headquarters situated in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He joined the firm as a staff engineer in 1974, and held subsequent positions as partner, president and chief engineer. He was named Chief Executive Officer in 2003. In his current position, he is Principal-in-Charge of technical development for structures projects. He has experience in design, research, code development and teaching.

Dr. Kulicki was Principal-in-Charge of the design team that analyzed, designed and detailed the award-winning $80 million Second Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan, the first structure in the United States that was designed using AASHTO’s new probability-based Load and Resistance Factor Design Code with metric units. He has extensive design and rehabilitation experience with suspension, cable-stayed, truss and girder bridges.

In 2000, Dr. Kulicki was named Engineer of the Year by the Central Pennsylvania Engineers Week Council. He received a Special Citation from the National Steel Bridge Alliance for contributions to the art and science of bridge engineering in 2001. In 2002, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction and was named Engineer of the Year by the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers. In 2005, he received the Bridge Design Award from the Bridge Engineering Association and the Transportation Research Board’s Roy Crum Award. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in the Class of 2006. In 2007, he presented the Chairman’s Lecture at the annual meeting of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures, and in 2008 was named a Lifetime National Associate of the National Research Council.

Dr. Kulicki has contributed to two engineering handbooks.  He co-authored “Section 12 - Truss Bridges” in McGraw-Hill’s Structural Steel Designer’s Handbook published in 1995 and republished as a Fourth Edition in 2006; and “Chapter 5 - Design Philosophies for Highway Bridges” and “Chapter 16 - Highway Truss Bridges” in The Bridge Engineering Handbook published in 1999 by the CRC Press. He has authored or coauthored more than 80 technical papers and presentations.

Prior to joining the staff of Modjeski and Masters, Dr. Kulicki was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Lehigh University and an Assistant Professor at Lafayette College. He is a graduate of Lafayette College and Lehigh University.

The Richard S. Fountain Award was established in 2001. Past recipients of the award include:

• William J. Wright, Ph.D., P.E., Team Leader for Bridge Design and Construction Research, Office of  Infrastructure R&D at the Federal Highway Administration’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (2008)
•  Donald W. White, Ph.D., Professor of Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2007)
•  Dean C. Krouse, Independent Consulting Metallurgical Engineer (2006)
•  Dennis R. Mertz, Associate Professor, University of Delaware (2005)
•  Camille Rubeiz, former Director of Transportation and Infrastructure, AISI (2003)
•  Professor Karl Frank, University of Texas at Austin (2002), and
•  Mike Grubb, BSDI Ltd. (2001)

The Steel Market Development Institute 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 work of the Steel Bridge Task Force is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of AISI. The SMDI oversees the industry’s investment in advancing the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. Investor companies of the Construction Market Council include:

• ArcelorMittal USA
• ArcelorMittal Dofasco
• Nucor Corporation
• Severstal North America, Inc.
• SSAB North American Division
• Steelscape, Inc.
• United States Steel Corporation
• USS-POSCO Industries

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI’s member companies represent over 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more information, visit

Debbie Bennett
Manager, Communications
Construction Market
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179