Crane Innovation of the Year awarded by AIST
AIST presented the 2011 Crane Innovation of
the Year Award to John U. Austin, mobile maintenance manager,
Gerdau Petersburg, for his paper entitled, “Improvement in Operating
Efficiencies Through Scrap Handling Devices.”
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, Austin was promoted
to mobile maintenance manager of all mobile equipment at the
facility: cranes, trains, loaders, forklifts and automobiles.