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FHWA’s Ocel receives 2024 Richard Fountain Award

News | March 4, 2024 | By:

The Steel Bridge Task Force – comprised of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) and the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials Steel and Metals Technical Committee – has named Justin Ocel with the Federal Highway Administration’s Resource Center as the recipient of the 2024 Richard S. Fountain Award.

Justin Ocel, center with plaque, is the recipient of the 2024 Richard S. Fountain Award. Photo courtesy of AISI.

Named for the founder of the Steel Bridge Task Force, the Fountain Award – established in 2001 – recognizes leadership in steel bridge research and outstanding efforts to advance AASHTO specifications. “We applaud Justin on this award, in recognition of his significant and meaningful contributions to steel-bridge research and the overall steel-bridge community,” said Dan Snyder, vice president of construction for AISI, in a statement.

“Justin has authored numerous journal articles and reports and continues to provide expert advice on technically challenging topics,” Snyder added. “His contributions to the design of gusset plates, shear connector design, welding and the specifications for non-redundant steel tension members, among others, have contributed substantially to the advancement of steel bridges.”

Ocel – a registered professional engineer in the state of Virginia – began his career with the FHWA in 2009 as the structural steel research program manager at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center near Washington, D.C. In 2021, he joined the FHWA’s Resource Center as a senior structural engineer providing steel bridge expertise to internal and external stakeholders. He holds a bachelor of science and doctorate from the University of Minnesota and a master of science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Learn more about the FHWA here.

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