Two American Iron & Steel Institute Committee on Specifications members, James M. Fisher and Thomas M. Murray, have been elected to the 2012 class of distinguished members of the American Society of Civil Engineers. With the exception of ASCE’s presidency, the status of distinguished member—formerly known as honorary member—is the highest honor conferred by the Society. There are now 209 distinguished members. The 2012 class will be formally inducted during the 142nd Annual Civil Engineering Conference, which will be held in Montreal October 18–20.
James M. Fisher, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, is honored for outstanding leadership in structural engineering through contributions to engineering education, the development of codes and standards, and the encouragement of closer ties between the design community and the construction industry.
The vice president for forensic investigations of industrial buildings for Computerized Structural Design, S.C., of Milwaukee, Fisher is an acknowledged leader in the structural engineering profession. This leadership has encompassed numerous aspects of steel design and construction, and he has been instrumental in writing landmark design guides on such topics as serviceability design for steel structures, temporary bracing for low-rise steel structures, and designing with steel joists and joist girders.
He joined Computerized Structural Design in 1973 and became a principal of the firm a year later. He has specialized in structural steel research and development and has spent much of his career investigating building systems and studying economical structural framing systems. Fisher is a recognized authority on the performance of structures and on the design of heavy industrial structures, metal building systems, and light-gauge steel structures.
Within ASCE Fisher serves on the Structural Engineering Institute’s Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures Standards Committee and the Committee on Design of Steel Building Structures, and he is recognized in the industry for lending his considerable expertise to advancing the design of cold-formed steel structures in the marketplace. In addition to serving on an American National Standards Institute committee concerned with specifications for the design of cold-formed steel structural members, he is a technical adviser to the Steel Joist Institute and a coauthor of several American Iron and Steel Institute design guides.
Recognized as an excellent teacher who does not hesitate to share his technical and practical knowledge with others, Fisher has been a civil engineering instructor at the University of Illinois, an assistant professor of structural engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and a lecturer at Marquette University. He continues to receive many requests to participate in programs and lecture at several universities.
Fisher earned a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin and both a master’s degree in civil engineering and a doctorate in structural engineering from the University of Illinois. Before joining Computerized Structural Design he worked in Monroeville, Pa., at United States Steel’s Applied Research Laboratory and was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Over the years Fisher’s work has been recognized by numerous awards from the steel construction industry. The American Institute of Steel Construction honored him with its T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award in 1984, a lifetime achievement award in 2000, and its J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award in 2006.
Thomas M. Murray, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, is honored for seminal contributions leading to the development of criteria for floor serviceability and for advancing structural engineering and engineering education.
A professor emeritus at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Murray is considered one the world’s foremost experts on problems deriving from the vibration of buildings and bridges under human, industrial, and environmental excitation. He is often called upon to recommend solutions for problems related to the neglect of dynamic excitation during the design phase of structural projects.
An internationally recognized expert on roof systems for metal buildings, Murray and his research team at Virginia Tech have developed the only known design criteria for standing-seam roof panel systems. Since generic determination of the lateral restraint supplied by these systems is not possible, he and his colleagues developed effective experimental methods. He has also developed and verified design procedures for end plate moment connections in steel buildings.
His commitment to the structural engineering profession has significantly affected the economics and safety of steel-framed buildings, primarily because of his focus on translating the latest research to the design community. Murray’s research has greatly influenced specifications developed by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the American Iron and Steel Institute and is reflected in the AISC’s Steel Construction Manual. He coauthored the design guide published by the AISC and the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction entitled Floor Vibration Due to Human Activity, which is used by engineers around the world.
Murray’s pioneering achievements were recognized by the National Academy of Engineering, which made him a member in 2002 for his leadership in developing criteria for floor serviceability and his major contributions to structural steel design engineering practice. Virginia Tech honored him when it chose a name for its Thomas M. Murray Structural Engineering Laboratory, and ASCE conferred its 2009 Ernest E. Howard Award on him for his sustained contributions in elucidating and mitigating floor vibrations in steel buildings caused by occupants. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia bestowed its Outstanding Faculty Award on him in 2006, and the AISC recognized his achievements with its T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award in 1977 and Geerhard Haaijer Educator Award in 2007.
Murray spent 17 years at the University of Oklahoma and in 1987 joined Virginia Tech, where the Board of Visitors named him the Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in 1962, a Master’s degree from Lehigh University in 1966, and a Doctorate in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Kansas in 1970.
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