SMDI Announces Lifetime Achievement Award Winners for 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. June 7, 2017 -- The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), presented Michael F. Engestrom (retired, Nucor-Yamato Steel) and Ronald P. Krupitzer (retired, SMDI) with SMDI Lifetime Achievement Awards for their lasting contributions to the steel construction and automotive markets, respectively. The awards were presented by AISI Chairman John Ferriola, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Nucor Corporation, during the Institute’s General Meeting in Washington, DC.

The SMDI Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who, over the course of their careers, have had significant impacts in advancing the competitive use of steel in the construction, automotive and packaging markets.

“We are pleased to recognize Mike and Ron, whose dedication, leadership and enthusiasm for the steel industry made transformative changes to the construction and automotive markets. They were both involved in introducing new tools and technologies to the marketplace and in implementing technology transfer practices to benefit those industries while advancing the competitive use of steel.  We commend them for their achievements and this much-deserved award,” said Ferriola.

Michael Engestrom was a driving force behind advancing the competitive use of steel in the short span bridge market, defined as bridges up to 140 feet in length. He was a founder and the first chairman of the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA), a group of bridge and buried soil steel structure industry leaders whose efforts delivered innovations such as the web-based design tool eSPAN140 and press-brake-formed steel tub girder technology.  Engestrom’s contributions were essential to the SSSBA’s success in simplifying the design of short span bridges, making them more economical to fabricate as well as easier and faster to install. Engestrom also contributed technical and marketing expertise on several SMDI and AISI committees, including the Construction Sustainability Council and the Steel Industry Code Forum.  He was Technical Marketing Director at Nucor-Yamato Steel before his retirement.


Throughout his career in the steel and automotive industries, Ronald Krupitzer was involved in the development of advanced high-strength steels that increase the safety of vehicles while reducing their total weight, which is critical to enabling automotive manufacturers to reach stringent fuel efficiency standards. While Vice President, Automotive Market at SMDI, he worked with North American steel producers and automotive manufacturers on research to incorporate advanced high-strength steel technologies in various automotive components and to provide technology transfer opportunities for automotive engineers and designers. His efforts were critical to introducing next-generation steel technologies to the automotive industry to help them meet safety and efficiency goals while ensuring the competitive use of steel.


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 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 120 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.

SMDI increases and defends the use of steel by developing innovative materials, applications and value-added solutions for customers in the automotive, construction and packaging markets. SMDI investors include: AK Steel Corporation, ArcelorMittal, Nucor Corporation and SSAB Americas. For more information on SMDI visit or follow @SMDISteel on Twitter.



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