Industry veteran awarded for commitment to steel standards development

Kevin Dempsey, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) (right), presented the 2022 Market Development Industry Leadership Award to Benjamin W. Schafer, PhD, PE (left), recognizing him as “a key factor in the success of AISI’s standards development activities for his entire career.” Photo courtesy American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI)

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) presented its 2022 Market Development Industry Leadership Award to Benjamin W. Schafer, PhD, PE, recognizing him as “a key factor in the success of AISI’s standards development activities for his entire career.”

Established in 2007, AISI’s market development awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing the competitive use of steel in the marketplace.

Dr. Schafer’s post-doctoral work at Cornell University helped facilitate 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 method for the design of cold-formed steel members with more complex cross-sections than traditional methods.

His vision and drive led to the first earthquake test on a full cold-formed, steel-framed building in 2013, along with the development of AISI S400, North American Standard for Seismic Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Systems, in 2015. AISI S400 brought into a single standard the code-recognized, cold-formed steel seismic force-resisting systems and established a “path” for new systems to provide lighter, stronger, more resilient, and less expensive buildings.

Dr. 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 in the Engineering Mechanics and Infrastructure Group. He is an active member of the AISI Committee on Specifications and the 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 also serves on numerous other industry technical committees.

“We are pleased to recognize the leadership and commitment of Dr. 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, says Kevin Dempsey, president and CEO of AISI. “His contributions have enabled transformative changes in the building construction industry, helping to ensure steel remains the material of choice.”

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