John O'Quinn Honored

Steel Bridge Task Force Names High Steel President Recipient Of
The 2023 Alexander D. Wilson Memorial Award

News Hero Banner

Award Recognizes O'Quinn's Significant Contributions to Steel Bridge Industry

On October 2nd, 2023, the AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) announced that The Steel Bridge Task Force, which consists of the AISI, National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) and American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Steel and Metals Technical Committee, has named John W. O’Quinn, president of High Steel Structures, LLC, as the recipient of the 2023 Alexander D. Wilson Memorial Award.

The annual award recognizes individuals who have made significant industry contributions to advance steel as the material of choice for steel bridge supply, production, design, fabrication or construction. It was instituted in 2022 to honor Alexander D. Wilson, a major contributor to the research and development of new technologies for the bridge industry, who served as chair of the Steel Bridge Task Force for more than two decades.

The award was presented to John O’Quinn at a meeting of the Steel Bridge Task Force on September 20 in Denver, Colorado. Karl Frank, Ph.D., P.E., a consultant and member of the Steel Bridge Task Force Oversight Council, presented the award, which reads: “In recognition of his significant leadership, mentoring and support of research which have contributed substantially to the advancement of steel bridges.”

“As chair of the Steel Bridge Task Force for many years, Alex Wilson had a vision for recognizing and mentoring the next generation of talent for innovative steel bridge research,” said Dan Snyder, vice president, construction program at AISI. “It is appropriate that we present this award to John O’Quinn, who for many years has provided mentoring and guidance to researchers and engineers as well as financial and materials support for their research. His direct support has enabled significant technological advancements for the steel bridge industry. John is highly respected and greatly appreciated by his peers, and it is an honor to recognize his contributions and lasting impact on our industry with the 2023 Alexander D. Wilson Memorial Award.”

John O’Quinn began his steel industry career in an entry-level position at Carolina Steel in 1980. He learned the business from the ground up, working as a material handler, shear operator, welder and fitter before transitioning to maintenance, supervision and management. In 1993, he left Carolina Steel to launch O’Quinn Enterprises, a steel fabrication and erection company. In 2006, O’Quinn returned to Carolina Steel/Hirschfeld Industries as vice president. He left the company as president in 2016 to become president of High Steel Structures, LLC in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the position he currently holds.

Since 2006, John has served the steel fabrication industry through his participation and leadership on various boards, councils and advisory groups. He currently serves on the American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) Board of Directors providing oversight for the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) and as vice-chair of the Government Relations Subcommittee. He is a member of the Steel Bridge Task Force. He previously served as chair of the NSBA Executive Council and as two-time chair of the NSBA Market Development Committee.

About Alex Wilson

As chair of the Steel Bridge Task Force, Alex Wilson presided over a group representing the top steel bridge design experts in the United States. As manager of customer technical services for ArcelorMittal USA, he developed and tested new technologies for the bridge industry, including weathering and High-Performance Steels, both of which provide cost-effective and durable alternatives to competing materials and are widely used in bridge construction today. He conducted research on fracture mechanic evaluations, consulted on steel plate development, published 65 technical papers, and shaped the advancement of new steel bridge material specifications. Looking to the next generation of talent, he oversaw the establishment of AISI’s Robert J. Dexter Memorial Award Lecture.

The Alexander D. Wilson Memorial Award was instituted in 2022. The first award was presented to metallurgical consultant Dean C. Krouse.

The Steel Bridge Task Force was formed more than 40 years ago to coordinate research that establishes safe, cost-effective steel bridges and to implement these developments into steel specifications, specifically the AASHTO design codes. Its members include the American Iron and Steel Institute, National Steel Bridge Alliance, AASHTO Steel and Metals Technical Committee, steel producers, steel organizations, steel bridge fabricators, bridge owners, university faculty, consultants and representatives from the Federal Highway Administration.

AISI serves as the voice of the American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI’s membership is comprised of integrated and electric arc furnace steelmakers, and associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's websites at and Follow AISI on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (@AISISteel, @BuildUsingSteel) or Instagram.