Life Member and Creator of Steel-Connection Sculpture Aid for Students Dies at 82

March 13, 2018

Duane S. Ellifritt Sr., a globally recognized expert in steel building design and creator of the steel-connection teaching sculpture, has died at 82.

Ellifritt, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, was a professor emeritus in the civil engineering department at the University of Florida. His expertise in steel structures and connections was forged over nearly 20 years in the industry, and 24 years in teaching and research. He also lectured on related subjects in Singapore, Australia, Brazil, Sweden, and other countries.

He taught at Oklahoma State University, the University of Florida, the University of Western Australia, and served as a distinguished professor at the University of Wyoming in 1988.

White at the University of Florida, Ellifritt designed the first steel-connection teaching sculpture for the university’s Gainesville campus. His steel “art” has given engineering students up-close, hands-on exposure to structural steel members and connections. His sculptures can be found on college campuses around the world. He was inducted in the West Virginia Academy of Civil Engineers in 2005 and the Metal Construction Hall of Fame came in 2013.

The Life Member of ASCE since 2000 also was a life member of the Structural Stability Research Council. Ellifritt served on the American Institute of Steel Construction Specification Committee, and the American Iron and Steel Institute’s Cold-Formed Steel Specification Committee. He authored many papers on steel research and design, and co-wrote a textbook on cold-formed steel design.

When not teaching, Ellifritt enjoyed traveling, painting, and watching University of Florida Gator sports.

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