O’Quinn Wins 2023 Alexander D. Wilson Memorial Award

The Steel Bridge Task Force has named John O’Quinn (above), president of High Steel Structures, as the recipient of the 2023 Alexander D. Wilson Memorial Award.

[Above photo by AISI]

The Steel Bridge Task Force – formed over 40 years ago and now comprised of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), and American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials – said this annual award recognizes individuals who have made significant industry contributions to steel bridge production, design, fabrication, or construction.

The award was created 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.

Photo by AISI

“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,” explained Dan Snyder, vice president of the construction program at AISI, in a statement.

“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,” he added. “His direct support has enabled significant technological advancements for the steel bridge industry.”

O’Quinn began his steel industry career in an entry-level position at Carolina Steel in 1980, 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 then left the company as president in 2016 to take on his current role as president of High Steel Structures, in Lancaster, PA.

Since 2006, O’Quinn 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 board of directors providing oversight for the NSBA and as vice-chair of the Government Relations Subcommittee.

A member of the Steel Bridge Task Force, O’Quinn previously served as chair of the NSBA Executive Council and as two-time chair of the NSBA Market Development Committee.  


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