Steel News

Bruce Shields, AIST 71-Year Life Member, Passes Away 

2/5/2020 - Bruce M. Shields, a longtime U. S. Steel metallurgist and an AIST Life Member who held one of this organization’s longest active memberships, has passed away. 

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mr. Shields, 97, of Naples, Fla., died 16 January of complications from a stroke.
Mr. Shields was a 71-Year AIST Life Member and was, at the time of his death, AIST’s longest-tenured member. 

Mr. Shields began his steel career in 1947 with United States Steel Corporation subsidiary Carnegie-Illinois Steel. He remained with U. S. Steel until 1983, when he retired as director of metallurgical engineering. He then worked for an additional 23 years as an independent consultant. 

A son of a steelmaker and the nephew of famed engineer Julian Kennedy, who was known as Andrew Carnegie’s “Furnace Wizard,” steelmaking was a lifelong passion for Mr. Shields. 

“He grew up in Pittsburgh around the steel industry – he had steel in his blood,” his son, Gordon Shields, told the Post-Gazette.

As Mr. Shields told AIST’s Iron & Steel Technology magazine in a 2011 interview, one of his most notable technical achievements was his work on developing a grade of steel designed for use as welded line pipe in the Arctic.  

As he told Iron & Steel Technology:  “There had been several large-diameter pipelines conveying natural gas at high pressure that had ruptured by accident, and the fracture had run for miles. This was a challenge to U. S. Steel and a task force of scientists and technicians (including me) were assembled to develop a new grade of steel to meet the requirements of stopping crack formation in line pipe operating at high pressure under severe Arctic cold temperatures. The end result was the development of an Arctic grade of line pipe steel that will meet the requirement of minimum fracture propagation at high pressures and low-end temperatures.”

But while Mr. Shields may have had steel in his blood, he had adventure in his heart.  An avid traveler, he made 156 visits to 74 countries. 

According to his son Gordon, the travel bug bit his father while working for U. S. Steel, which, at one point, transferred him to Spain to work with a group helping to improve the operations of a mill there. 

Other foreign assignments – and personal travels -- followed. 

“We were all over Europe,” his son recalled. “I think we visited every cathedral that existed in Europe," his other son, Duncan Shields, told the Post-Gazette. 

A funeral was held 18 January. Memorial donations may be made to: Moorings Park Foundation, 120 Moorings Park Drive, Naples, Fla. 34105.