Bill Croucher, PE:
Patents, dedicated commitment and 45 years of successful service
2016 Metal Construction Hall of Fame
Bill Croucher loved math and science
in school. He originally wanted to build bridges and earned
Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Structural
Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Since then,
he has left a legacy of his entire 45 year-career providing
invaluable service to 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 worked as a product development engineer, product engineer and
finished as the manager of technical services. He helped design
Inryco's space frame system.
One of the 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
Fabral and Patents
Croucher has done some of his most important work for the metal
construction industry working as director of engineering at
Lancaster, Pa.-based Fabral Inc. since 1988. Croucher has authored
many technical bulletins that can be found online at
fabral.com/technical. These are informational documents available
for industry-wide use.
"Working in metal
construction has been my livelihood and a great industry to work
in. There are wonderful, high-quality people in it and I've
developed many friendships."
"Bill's commitment to the industry is his legacy," says Daisy
Lilley, former marketing manager at Fabral. "He has been a wealth
of knowledge and support to various members of the MCA. Bill is an
expert. Bill is professional. Bill is humble and does not look for
praise and he shares his knowledge openly with others. From fellow
employs at Fabral to customers, Bill helps others find the right
solution and to then become more proficient at their own endeavors.
Bill is committed to doing the right thing. He will not waiver in
his integrity to insuring products are designed and installed
properly but he will rise to the challenge to ensure he can help a
customer create their vision while doing it right."
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
with his expertise. He calls his extensive association input very
worthwhile. 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
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, named after the fellow 2016
Founder inductee. "Receiving it was a huge and humbling honor," he
says. "I am, certainly, very proud of that and very grateful to MCA
for the honor."