20/06/2011 - 04:00 am

AIST Names Crane Innovation Award Winner

The Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST), Pittsburgh, Pa., and its material movement and transportation technology division, presented the 2011 Crane Innovation of the Year Award to John Austin, mobile maintenance manager, Gerdau Petersburg, for his paper entitled, "Improvement in Operating Efficiencies Through Scrap Handling Devices."

Austin received the award at the 18th Annual Crane Symposium last week at the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Established in 2007, the Crane Innovation of the Year Award is given annually to the author of a paper, selected by the AIST material movement and transportation technology division and judged by the cranes technology committee, to be the best technical paper submitted that year.

Austin was hired by Chaparral Steel, now Gerdau Petersburg, in 1999 as a maintenance electrician, and in 2001 he was promoted to meltshop shift maintenance foreman. In 2005, he was given a project to improve reliability of meltshop cranes, and this opportunity evolved into the creation of the cranes maintenance group, when Austin assumed responsibility for all cranes in the facility. Then in 2010, he was promoted to mobile maintenance manager of all mobile equipment at the facility: cranes, trains, loaders, forklifts and automobiles.

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