College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Easterling receives American Institute of Steel Construction Special Achievement Award

Sam Easterling
Sam Easterling

W. Samuel Easterling, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering at Iowa State University, has received a 2024 American Institute of Steel Construction Special Achievement Award.

The award recognizes Easterling for steel diaphragm research innovations that drove changes to standards governing the use of metal deck diaphragms in steel structures.

Easterling is honored with fellow lead investigators in the Steel Diaphragm Innovation Initiative (SDII), a multi-year, industry-academic-government partnership to advance the seismic performance of steel floor and roof diaphragms in steel buildings.

SDII was a unique collaboration between the American Iron and Steel Institute and the American Institute of Steel Construction, with contributions from the Steel Deck Institute, the Metal Building Manufacturers Association, and the Steel Joist Institute in partnership with the Cold-Formed Steel Research Consortium.

As an SDII lead investigator, Easterling contributed his internationally recognized expertise in composite and cold-formed steel structure design and performance.

His outstanding contributions to the field of structural engineering have been recognized with multiple major professional awards, including the T.R. Higgins and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction, election as a Fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute, and as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Stability Research Council.

Easterling, a registered Professional Engineer, is also an accomplished engineering educator and administrator. As dean of engineering, he leads the largest college at Iowa State, which includes approximately 8,000 students, 500 faculty and staff, 15 academic majors, multiple research centers and programs, and 12 buildings.

Before being named James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering at Iowa State University in 2019, Easterling was department head of the Charles Edward Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he’d been a faculty member since 1987 and the Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design.

Easterling earned a doctorate in structural engineering from Iowa State University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from West Virginia University.