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Tilt-Up Awards | Professional

David L. Kelly Distinguished Engineer Award

The TCA created the David L. Kelly Distinguished Engineer Award to recognize members of the Tilt-Up industry who are committed to pursuing engineering excellence and advancing the industry.

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This award recognizes members of the Tilt-Up industry who are committed to pursuing engineering excellence and advancing the industry.

It is presented during the annual TCA Tilt-Up Expo and Convention.

2017 - Laurence Smith, P. Eng.

2016 - LJB Inc.

2014 - Timothy W. Mays, Ph.D., P.E.

Timothy W. Mays, Ph.D., P.E. is an associate professor of Civil Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC Mays graduated with a 4.0 GPA for all three of his college degrees, which include a B.S.C.E. degree from the University of Memphis in 1996, a M.S.C.E. degree from Virginia Tech in 1997, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech in 2000. He was asked to speak at two separate graduation ceremonies and in 2000, his comments were read into the Congressional Record by Senator John Warner of Virginia.

While pursuing his graduate studies, he was one of ten civil engineering students nationwide selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as NSF Graduate Research Fellows. With more than thirteen years of experience as a consulting structural engineer, he remains active in the design arena designing buildings, bridges and marine structures. His has won two design awards for his work with buildings.

Mays recently served as executive director of the Structural Engineers Associations of South Carolina and North Carolina. He currently serves as National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) Publications Committee Chairman. He has received three national teaching awards, from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). He has also received both national (NSF) and regional (American Society for Engineering Education) awards for outstanding research. He is a past recipient of the NCSEA Service Award and Virginia Tech’s Young Alumni Award. He is a prolific speaker who sits on several code-writing committees and his areas of expertise are code applications, structural design, seismic design, steel connections, structural dynamics and civil engineering aspects of anti-terrorism.

In 2013, Mays collaborated with TCA member Joseph J. Steinbicker, P.E., S.E. on the newest publication from the TCA, which is the third in a trilogy of resources covering the architecture, engineering and construction of tilt-up. Engineering Tilt-Up contains basic engineering principles and code interpretation as well as in-depth analysis of a tilt-up structure and its components. Adhering to the latest codes and standards, the book serves as a one-of-a-kind resource for tilt-up engineers looking for an excellent summary of standard practice in tilt-up and alternative ways to seek code compliance. Since its publication, Mays has traveled the United States presenting the content and promoting the book. Mays is a new member of the TCA’s education committee and is currently developing a block of engineering curriculum for the TCA to distribute to colleges and universities. The TCA, along with Mays, will offer Engineering Tilt-Up as a webinar series later this year.

2013 - Joe Steinbicker of Steinbicker & Associates s

Joe Steinbicker, PE, SE, began working in the tilt-up industry in 1976 and founded Steinbicker & Associates, Inc. in 1982. Over time, Steinbicker saw the need for proprietary software that could assist his team in delivering tilt-up designs more efficiently. Steinbicker & Associates began developing their own technology and software to do just that. The result is a software package which has been utilized on hundreds of tilt-up projects to effectively deliver structural designs and drawings. In 1989, he founded Tilt-Up Design Systems, LLC (TDS), and now brings that technology to market as Tilt-Werks®. With more than 32 years of experience in the design and construction of structural steel, precast and tilt-up buildings, Steinbicker and his team have been responsible for the design of more than 900 tilt-up buildings encompassing approximately 65,000,000 square feet throughout the Eastern United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

“Joe has been very active in the industry with the TCA, ACI and other facets of the industry, however, it is the impact he had on tilt-up in Florida and many other parts of country that warrant this recognition,” said Bob Theisen, Jr., Chairman/Founder of Tilt-Con.


2012 - Jeffrey Needham of Needham and Associates

This year's recipient, Jeffrey Needham, P.E., has been instrumental to several efforts undertaken by the TCA in the past year. A founding member of the TCA, Needham donated and oversaw his staff's time as the engineering lead on the Korean War Memorial for Kansas City. Perhaps even more significantly, Needham served as the chair of the TCA's appointed Natural Disaster Task Force that investigated the collapse of a Home Depot in Joplin, Mo. after taking a direct hit from an EF-5 tornado.

Needham's leadership on the task group led to a comprehensive report that investigated the cause of the collapse and identified five general recommendations that focus on increasing building safety in catastrophic storms through enhanced building performance and/or use of shelters. The recommendations also stress the inherent strength and durability of tilt-up construction and recommends the TCA develop responses that take advantage of this performance.

"The award is especially significant to me," said Needham. "Dave Kelly was a mentor to me early in my career, and I hope that in some sense this award recognizes how the TCA has served to develop the people in the industry. I hope I can in turn help the next generation of engineers and leaders move the TCA forward."

2011 - Philip Kopf of The Kopf Consulting Group

This year's recipient, Philip Kopf, has been committed to promoting Tilt-Up as a preferred method of construction. He has served the industry unselfishly by maintaining active participation and consistent input on various ACI and TCA committees focused at improving both the design recognition of Tilt-Up and the parameters to which it is promoted. Kopf served on the TCA Board of Directors for 15 years, during which he served two terms as TCA president to provide leadership to the direction of the industry. His service also included participation in the TCA's Seismic Task Force, AFRL Blast Testing Program and a variety of other initiatives that aimed to set standards or answer key industry influences.

"I am humbled and excited to receive this award," said Kopf. "This award has special meaning to me since Dave Kelly is a friend and mentor to me in this industry. Throughout my career, I have always sought to invest back into the industry that has provided so much help and support for me over the years. I am truly honored that my years of professional practice are being recognized. "

2010 - Johnson Structural Group, Inc.

This year’s recipient is Johnson Structural Group, Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. The firm has received more than a dozen TCA Achievement Awards in recent years and has been heavily involved with some of Tilt-Up’s most recognized projects. Noted for always willing to push the elements of Tilt-Up beyond the perceived limits of the system, their award winning designs feature spandrel panels, load bearing multi-story panels, non-load bearing cladding panels and panels that lean out of plane. Their approach to the adaptive use of Tilt-Up makes Johnson Structural Group, Inc. a true reflection of David Kelly’s vision of the Tilt-Up industry.

“Receiving the David L. Kelly Engineering Award was a surprise and quite the honor for both me and my staff,” said Mark Johnson, president of Johnson Structural Group, Inc. “Being relatively young in the engineering and Tilt-Up business (12 years), this award is the biggest achievement we have accomplished to date. Since the company’s inception, we have always had a passion for the Tilt-Up process and have worked with many outstanding Tilt-Up companies to develop new techniques and design ideas. These new ideas are reflective in many of our Achievement Awards and the David L. Kelly award is confirmation that we are making an impact in the industry. We are extremely honored to receive this award from TCA and we are excited about how we see the Tilt-Up industry growing and progressing over the next few decades.”

2008 - BBM Structural Engineers

BBM Structural Engineers (formerly Burton, Braswell, Middlebrooks) is a well-known engineering leader in the Tilt-Up industry, as evidenced by their perennial involvement in many award-winning projects. BBM also has committed significant energy to the betterment of the industry through involvement in such activities as the ACI 551 Tilt-Up Concrete Committee to develop state-of-the-art industry practices through construction and design guides. The dominance of Tilt-Up in the state of Florida is certainly partially credited to the engineering expertise and creativity demonstrated by the founding partners of BBM.

2007 - Alan Reay Consultants Ltd

2006 - John Lawson (Kramer and Lawson Inc.)

2005 - Jeff Griffin (LJB, Inc.)

2004 - Gerry Weiler (Weiler Smith Bowers Structural Engineers)

About the TCA

Founded in 1986, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) strives to improve the quality and acceptance of site-cast Tilt-Up construction, a method in which concrete wall panels are cast on-site and tilted into place. Tilt-Up construction is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, combining the advantages of reasonable cost with low maintenance, durability, speed of construction and minimal capital investment. At least 10,000 buildings, enclosing more than 650 million square feet, are constructed each year using this construction method.

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