2011 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.