Alexander D. Wilson Named Recipient of 2014 SMDI/AASHTO Richard S. Fountain Award

WASHINGTON, DC, August 28, 2014—The Steel Bridge Task Force of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), and the AASHTO (American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials) Technical Committee for Structural Steel Design have named Alexander D. Wilson, Manager of Customer Technical Services for ArcelorMittal USA, as the recipient of the 2014 Richard S. Fountain Award. 

Named for the founder of the Steel Bridge Task Force, the Richard S. Fountain Award recognizes leadership in steel bridge research and outstanding efforts to advance AASHTO specifications. Wilson received the award at the meeting of the Steel Bridge Task Force, which was held on August 7, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The award was presented by 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; and Dennis Mertz, Ph.D., professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Delaware.   

“It is a special honor to present the Richard S. Fountain Award to Alex, who has made many significant contributions to the advancement of steel highway bridges over the years and has played a key role in the development of innovative technologies such as weathering steel and High-Performance Steel for bridges,” said Robert Wills, Vice President, Construction, Steel Market Development Institute. “Alex has been the backbone of SMDI’s Steel Bridge Task Force and has served as its chairman for more than a decade, growing it into one of the nation’s premiere collection of experts on steel bridge design. We appreciate the outstanding leadership that he has provided to challenge and inspire the past, current and future leaders of the Steel Bridge Task Force and AASHTO T-14.” 

Wilson has worked with ArcelorMittal USA and its predecessor companies since 1974. He manages the technical support activities for plate steel customers and end users, and coordinates the development of high-strength steels with inproved weldability for bridge, military, structural and pressure vessel applications. He has been involved with developing new steels and their properties, and has also been influential in the development of bridge material specifications. He is the author of more than 65 papers. 

Wilson earned bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in Metallurgy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was recognized in 2004 with the U.S. Department of Transportation Achievement Award and in 2012 with the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The Richard S. Fountain Award was established in 2001. Past recipients of the award include: 
  • Ronald D. Medlock, P.E., Vice President, Technical Services for High Steel Structures, Inc. (2013) 
  • Yoni Adonyi, Ph.D., P.E., professor, Omer Blodgett Chair of Welding and Materials Joining Engineering and MJE Program Coordinator at LeTourneau University (2012) 
  • Ahmad M. Itani, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., F. ASCE, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno (2011)
  • John M. Kulicki, Ph.D., P.E., chairman and CEO of Modjeski and Masters, Inc. (2009)
  • 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)

SMDI’s Steel Bridge Task Force was formed more than 45 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.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 22 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at

The Steel Market Development Institute 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 North America; Nucor Corporation; Severstal North America; SSAB Americas; and United States Steel Corporation. For more information, visit

Photo Caption: Alexander D. Wilson (center), accepts the 2014 Richard S. Fountain Award from Dennis Mertz, Ph.D., University of Delaware (left) and Gregory R. Perfetti, Chairman of the AASHTO T-14 Steel Bridge Structures Committee. 

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

Deanna Lorincz
Senior Director, SMDI Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 248.945.4763