Wallace W. Sanders Jr., who researched and taught extensively on the design and behavior of highway and railway bridges and aluminum structures, and advanced design specification for structures, has died. He was 90.

Sanders, P.E., Ph.D., F.ASCE, was an emeritus professor at Iowa State University whose career began as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after receiving his doctorate there in 1960. His research had the support of state and federal government, trade groups, and private industry. He was assistant and associate director of Iowa State’s Engineering Research Institute for 11 years, associate dean of the college of engineering for three years, and director of the NASA-funded Iowa Space Grant Consortium during its four-year existence. He retired from Iowa State in 1998.

Sanders loved mentoring and giving his time and skills to not-for-profit organizations. Many saw him as a great role model, both professionally and personally. He served on numerous professional and technical committees for ASCE, ASEE, the American Institute for Steel Construction, the American Welding Society, the European Committee for Constructional Steelworks’ aluminum committee, and American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association, where he served for 25 years as secretary of its steel structures committee.

His many awards include the AISC Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Engineering Education in 2013 and ASCE’s Reese Research Prize in 1978. He was the subject of an “Unsung Hero” profile in the Ames Daily Tribune in 2006.

Sanders was also community-minded, active with the Ames Noon Rotary, Golden K Kiwanis, Iowa State University Alumni Association, and the Ames Alzheimer’s Association. He was president of Northcrest, Inc., a retirement community, for 11 years.