Feature Stories

More than 100 years ago, our department started with only two faculty and a small but dedicated group of students. Today, we are one of the largest, most extensive civil engineering departments in the nation, with more than 10,000 living alumni, over 1,000 students, and over 60 faculty members. Even though we are top ranking and large in size and stature, we make it a priority to connect with our students and to foster a sense of community.

These stories illustrate both why our graduates are sought out by industry, government, and academia and why our research programs continue to improve the quality of life for many.

Dr. Karl Frank - John A. Roebling Medal

karl frank1

April 29, 2019

Dr. Frank will receive the John A. Roebling Medal, which recognizes lifetime achievement in bridge engineering.

Dr. Karl Frank is widely recognized as one of the top experts in the world on the design and behavior of steel bridges. His contributions have led to numerous provisions throughout the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design specification and he is the first individual often called upon on structural failures or when complex problems arise in the steel bridge industry. His contributions to AASHTO have been so significant that they literally have influenced the design of every single steel bridge constructed today. 

After retiring from the University in 2010, Professor Frank took on the role as Chief Bridge Engineer for Hirschfeld Industries – one of the largest fabricators in North America. Professor Frank retired from Hirschfeld in 2017 and has since served as a consultant for the National Steel Bridge Alliance. Professor Frank holds the title of Emeritus Professor at the University and was inducted as an Honorary Member into the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering - Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2018.

Presented by the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania, The International Bridge Conference (IBC) is the pre-eminent arena for the bridge industry in North & South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. The IBC annually attracts over 1,000 bridge owners and engineers, senior policy makers, government officials, bridge designers, construction executives, and suppliers from throughout the United States and abroad. Now in its 36th year as an annual conference, the 2018 participants came from 41 states and 15 countries. The IBC is planned by an all-volunteer group and provides continuing education and networking opportunities to members of all facets of the bridge industry.

Dr. Frank will be awarded this well-deserved distinction during the International Bridge conference in National Harbor, Maryland this June.