David Brakeman, longtime engineering director at Alpine, a provider of building component software, metal connector products and equipment for component manufacturers, has been named to the Rural Builder Hall of Fame. This prestigious award honors individuals who have helped to advance the post-frame construction industry. It was presented by Sharon Thatcher, editor of Rural Builder and Frame Building News magazines, during a special ceremony at the 2016 Frame Building Expo in Indianapolis, Ind., on March 10.
In addition to his responsibilities at Alpine, where he oversees all work in wood truss design, research, testing and standards development, Brakeman is active in the Truss Plate Institute, the national organization that writes the design standards for wood truss construction. He also has served as a member of the Technology and Research Committee for the National Frame Building Association, authoring or coauthoring numerous articles on trusses in post-frame construction. Based in Alpine’s office in Maryland Heights, Mo., Brakeman was an adjunct professor of civil engineering for more than 20 years at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., where he taught a course on designing timber structures.
“David Brakeman is an excellent example of how the industry continues to advance post-frame construction through the unselfish sharing of information and expertise,” said Thatcher. “It is particularly significant that he was selected for this honor by his peers. While Rural Builder magazine monitors the system, members of the Hall of Fame, with roots dating back to 1982 and now numbering more than 100 members, actually nominate and vote for new inductees. They don’t take their responsibilities lightly, and now Dave joins this elite group.”
After earning his B.S. degree in civil/structural engineering from Washington University and a B.A. degree in physics from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis., Brakeman joined Lumbermate Company in 1978. He held a variety of key engineering positions until he moved to Alpine in 1989 with its acquisition of Lumbermate.
Brakeman is one of only three persons to lead Alpine’s engineering organization during its 50 years, following in the footsteps of company cofounder William McAlpine and Charles Hoover, Jr. All three individuals pioneered many truss design and engineering innovations while shaping Alpine’s strong focus on the engineering services and principles for which it is renowned.