ASCE has honored W. Samuel Easterling, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, with the 2017 Shortridge Hardesty Award for his leadership and service to the profession particularly as past chair of the Structural Stability Research Council, and his contributions in the field of steel-concrete composite systems.
Easterling is the Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design and department head in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. His primary field of study is the development, testing, analysis, and design of composite steel/concrete floor and roof systems in steel building structures. He leads the research community on these topics in the United States and is one of the top few researchers in this field internationally. Through his leadership, he has chaired the Structural Stability Research Council, the ASCE/SEI Technical Committee on Composite Construction, and the AISC Task Committee 5 on Composite Construction. Composite floor systems are among the most commonly constructed steel systems in the world, and his contributions in this field have been critical to the profession and to the safety of the public.
Easterling both develops new systems and characterizes the response of existing structures in order to enhance our understanding of these systems and ensure their safe design. He has studied the stability, strength, ductility, and progression of damage of these systems to characterize their response under extreme loads. His experimental research, in particular, has been seminal in driving new design provisions for composite floor systems, and his design recommendations have frequently been adopted into the AISC Specification for Steel Construction, the national specification for the design of steel buildings in the United States.
The Shortridge Hardesty Award is given to a member or members of the Society who have contributed substantially in applying fundamental results of research to the solution of practical engineering problems in the field of structural stability.