Metal construction engineer Bill Croucher was named to the 2016 Metal Construction Hallof Fame at the 2016 METALCON awards ceremony.
Croucher earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Structural Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He originally wanted to build bridges but spent his entire 45-year career in the metal construction industry.
A registered professional engineer since 1975, he started his career at Inryco in Milwaukee in 1971 and worked there until 1988. He helped design Inryco’s space frame system.
One of his most satisfying and interesting projects at Inryco was his work with NASA to solve a problem on launch pads 39A and 39B where the space shuttles launched. “The Inryco foam panels got totally destroyed after the first launch,” he says. “NASA called and asked if we could figure out what happened. I determined the natural frequency of the foam panels was at a peak frequency of the shuttle and the panels vibrated themselves apart. We added a couple of additional structural girts, which shortened the panels and changed their natural frequency.”
Croucher also worked on and tested the electrified floor system on the Sears Tower in Chicago, and developed Inryco’s tornado siding system for nuclear power plants.
Croucher has done some of his most important work for the metal construction industry working as director of engineering at Lancaster, Pennyslvania-based Fabral Inc. since 1988. He has authored many technical bulletins that can be found online at fabral.com/technical. These are informational documents available for industry-wide.
While working at Fabral in 1994, his patent, “Building Panel Assembly” was approved. “I worked on four patents with some other engineers at Fabral for our Grandbeam panel system,” Croucher says. “It’s a horizontal roof panel installed from truss to truss, eliminating the need for horizontal purlins. It has been used primarily in animal confinement projects. The patent provides a stiffer building and a less-expensive building.”
In addition to having served Fabral’s customers as an industry expert on many projects, Croucher has aided industry associations. His first involvement as a committee member was working on the committee that wrote the composite beam design with formed metal deck section of the American Institute of Steel Construction’s “Manual of Steel Construction.” “It was very political, but very rewarding,” he says. Croucher has been a member of ASTM for 26 years and on the committee that developed the ASTM E1592 wind uplift test procedure for testing standing seam systems.
Croucher has been involved in the Metal Construction Association (MCA) for about 25 years and has been on the board of directors (on and off) for about 15 years. “At MCA I have been involved in many of the technical projects and research work MCA has done,” he says. “This includes working on the committees that developed the Metal Roof Installation Manual, the industry Life Cycle Assessment and the Environmental Product Declaration. I have also been involved in the Metal Roofing Alliance and the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition. In all these organizations I was honored to work with many of the technical leaders in our industry. I have always felt I got much more from these organizations that what I contributed to them.”
In recognition of his exemplary service to the metal construction industry, in 2005 Croucher received MCA’s highest honor, the Larry A. Swaney Award.