This post originally appeared on the AISI website.
Benjamin W. Schafer, the Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Civil and Systems Engineering, received the 2022 Market Development Industry Leadership Award from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) on June 28, 2022. The award was presented by Kevin Dempsey, president and CEO of AISI, at the Institute’s offices in Washington, DC. AISI’s market development awards were established in 2007 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing the competitive use of steel in the marketplace.
“We are pleased to recognize the leadership and commitment of Ben Schafer, who has made many significant contributions to advancing the competitive use of steel in construction and has been a key factor in the success of AISI’s standards development activities for his entire career. His contributions have enabled transformative changes in the building construction industry, helping to ensure that steel remains the material of choice,” said Dempsey.
Schafer’s post-doctoral work at Cornell University paved the way for the development and adoption of the Direct Strength Method (DSM) in AISI S100, North American Specification for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members, which provided a new and powerful method for the design of cold-formed steel members with more complex cross-sections than allowed by traditional methods.
His vision and drive led to the first earthquake test on a full cold-formed steel framed building in 2013 and development of AISI S400, North American Standard for Seismic Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Systems, which in 2015 brought into a single standard the code-recognized cold-formed steel seismic force-resisting systems and established a “path” for innovative new systems to be approved that provide lighter, stronger, more resilient and less expensive buildings.
His leadership and execution of the multi-year Steel Diaphragm Innovation Initiative will result in the adoption of new provisions in seismic codes and standards, increase the already high level of seismic safety of steel buildings, lead to more efficient design and enhance steel as the material of choice for sustainable seismic solutions.
His current National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research is focused on demonstrating the advantages of cold-formed steel in high seismic applications, advancing the use of steel in taller and more economical wind towers and advancing the application of next-generation steels into building construction.
Schafer is the founding director of the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He is director of the Cold-Formed Steel Research Consortium and a consulting principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. in the Engineering Mechanics and Infrastructure Group. He is an active member of the AISI Committee on Specifications and AISI Committee on Framing Standards and served as chair of the AISI Analysis Task Group (2012 to 2022) and Strategic Planning Committee of the AISI Standards Council (2016 to 2020). He serves on numerous industry technical committees.