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Steel Shots: Happy New Year!
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 30, 2011 at 9:56 AM.

From all of us at AISC, we’d like to wish you a safe and Happy New Year! Thank you for all of your outstanding contributions to the steel design and construction industry. Here’s to a prosperous 2012! We’ll be back in the office on Tuesday, January 3. Pictured above: AISC Chicago staff

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A Year of Happy Listening
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 29, 2011 at 10:07 AM.

It’s been a year since AISC launched its series of free podcasts, “Steel Profiles.” We hope you’ve enjoyed listening to these monthly conversations with steel experts hosted by AISC staff member Margaret Matthew. Thank you to all of our interviewees for providing valuable and fascinating insight on topics relevant to the steel design and construction communities:


Episode 1: James Fisher, P.E., Ph.D., on Load Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) vs. Allowable Stress Design (ASD)
Episode 2: Shankar Nair, S.E., Ph.D., on being the newly elected AISC Specification Chair
Episode 3: Duane Miller, P.E., Sc. D., on his welding expertise and experience working with Omer Blodgett
Episode 4: Louis F. Geschwindner, P.E., Ph.D., on his tenure as AISC Vice President and 40-year-long career at Penn State
Episode 5: Scott Melnick on his favorite MSC stories and 22-year-long vocation at AISC
Episode 6: Frank Hatfield on the National Student Steel Bridge Competition
Episode 7: Mark Trimble on hosting a SteelDay event
Episode 8: Cindi Duncan on the 14th Edition Steel Construction Manual, AISC Design Guide series, and what it was like to be the first female engineer on staff at AISC
Episode 9: A special recording from our archives featuring an interview between AISC’s Charlie Carter and Omer Blodgett
Episode 10: Ted Galambos, P.E., Ph. D. on being “The Father” of LRFD
Episode 11: Reidar Bjorhovde, P.E., Ph.D., on his international research and experience as an AISC Regional Engineer in the 1970s
Episode 12: Charlie Carter, S.E., P.E., Ph.D., on his 20-year-long career at AISC
Episode 13: Thomas M. Murray, P.E., Ph.D., on his floor vibrations research and experience working on the St. Louis Arch
Coming January 6: An interview with AISC President Roger Ferch, P.E.


If you’ve missed any of the past 13 episodes, you can easily play and download them for free at Look for a new episode on the first Friday of each month. You can also find the series on iTunes (search for “Steel Profiles”) — register for a free Steel Profiles subscription and each new monthly episode will automatically be downloaded for you.

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Opportunities for Educators and Students at The Steel Conference
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 28, 2011 at 12:30 PM.

With sessions focusing on their very specific informational needs, the 2012 NASCC: The Steel Conference, April 18-20 in Dallas, is an excellent place for engineering and architectural educators and students.


For Educators:

This year’s special Educator Session for university faculty will be presented by Ronald Ziemian, professor of civil & environmental engineering at Bucknell University, who will discuss “Stability: Using Computer Software as a Virtual Lab for Learning Structural Stability.” The session is scheduled for the first day of the conference, Wednesday, April 18, 2012, from 8 am to noon.


By registering for the conference and signing up for the Educator Session, full-time faculty members can receive up to $300 for travel expenses. First, you must register for the conference at To attend the Educator Session, simply send an email to Maria Mnookin at with your name and university.

For Students:

The progranascc_2011-061.jpgm starts with a seminar Thursday morning, April 19, featuring career advice from representatives at top structural design firms, and the afternoon Direct Connect session allows students to network with several leading experts from design and construction companies in North America. Students will also receive a guided tour of the exhibition hall and are encouraged to attend other sessions.


As always, students who are AISC members (membership is available for free to qualified students) receive free admission to The Steel Conference and the student program. To learn more about becoming a student member, go to


Students who attend the full student program will receive free admission to the conference dinner Thursday evening at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center’s new Paradise Springs pool complex. Additionally, they are eligible for a $100 stipend to use toward travel expenses.


More information on both the Educator Session and student program can be found on page 36 of the Advance Program, which you can download from the conference web page at Or view it directly at

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Reminder: 2012 Prize Bridge Entries Due This Week
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM.

We know it can be tough to come out of a holiday food coma, which is why we’d like to remind you to submit your steel bridge projects for the 2012 Prize Bridge Competition. Entries are due by this Saturday, December 31. Next year, the winners will be announced at the World Steel Bridge Symposium co-located with NASCC: The Steel Conference, April 18-20, 2012 in Dallas.


Submit your steel bridge projects via the Prize Bridge entry website at


For additional information about the competition, view our previous news post at

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Steel Shots: Wish Upon A Chair
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 23, 2011 at 1:03 PM.


Our dream gift this holiday season — the Polaski Chair. Click the photo to spin it around for a view of the back. Photo: Bourgeois Boheme


Remember when you were a kid and wished all year for that one magnificent gift, almost too good to be true? Well, that’s how we at MSC felt when we saw the “Polaski Chair”. Its patent pending C cross-frame design appears to defy the laws of physics and will reinvent your idea of what a single-seat lounger should be. The harmony of completely unique ideas, incredible beauty, precise and thoughtful dimensions; it’s like you’re kicking back in a steel masterpiece.


And that’s exactly what the designer, Christopher Polaski, intended. The Polaski Chair is a summation of his years of experience as an engineer, architect, designer and craftsman. His unique, modern pieces are all fabricated and made in the U.S. Learn more about Christopher Polaski Designs at


The Polaski Chair – almost too cool to sit in – is 29.5 in. in width and length, and 32 in. tall. Its frame is made of stainless steel and hand polished, with a mirror finish, and the leather tufted cushion is suspended by leather strapping. Sorry, we don’t have a price for you (most dream gifts don’t, and for good reason) but if you’re interested in purchasing this one-of-a-kind armchair, contact Bourgeois Boheme by visiting


If this ultra-gift doesn’t end up in your home this holiday season, you can always dream until next year. And if you’re a last-minute shopper who’s still stumped on what to buy your family and friends, our online gift guide offers a dozen ideas (consider it our special gift to you!). Take a look by visiting the MSC website at


From all of us at MSC, happy holidays! We’ll see you back here on Tuesday, December 27, with a fresh news post.

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Engineering Journal Q4 Now Online
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM.

The Fourth Quarter 2011 issue of Engineering Journal is now available online in digital edition format. View the current issue online by clicking here.


Papers in Engineering Journal Q4 include:


  • “Experimental Investigation of Shear Transfer in Exposed Column Base Connections,” by Ivan R. Gomez, Amit M. Kanvinde and Gregory G. Deierlein
  • “Repairable Seismic Moment Frames with Bolted WT Connections: Part 1” and “Part 2,” by Patrick S. McManus and Jay A. Puckett
  • “Design of Steel Columns at Elevated Temperatures Due to Fire: Effects of Rotational Restraints,” by Anil Agarwal and Amit H. Varma
  • “Current Steel Structures Research No. 28,” by Reidar Bjorhovde


Each quarterly current issue of EJ is available in digital format and free to the public until the next issue is published.


The complete collection of Engineering Journal articles is searchable at Downloads of current and past articles in PDF format are free to AISC members and ePubs subscribers; just make sure you are logged into the AISC website ( before searching. Non-members will be directed to the AISC Bookstore at to purchase article downloads.

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Try Connection Design Software for Free
Posted by Tom Klemens on December 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM.

connection.pngDesign Data is offering a free 30-day trial of its SDS/2 Connect for Autodesk Revit Structure. This newly released add-in allows Revit users to design connections within the Revit environment using SDS/2’s intelligent connection design. It also enables seamless transfer of models and connections to the steel detailers on the project, at the same time preserving the architect’s and engineer’s information in a way that maintains the accuracy necessary for steel detailing and manufacturing—enhancing the BIM work process.


To learn more or to download the 30-day free trial package, go to


The company was recently named an Autodesk AEC Industry Partner, building on the foundation of its recent release of SDS/2 Connect. As an Autodesk AEC Industry Partner, Design Data will work together with Autodesk in delivering tightly integrated, industry-specific software solutions that leverage the power of Autodesk’s 3D modeling and simulation technologies to create competitive advantage for customers.


For more information about Design Data, visit To learn more about Autodesk’s AEC Industry Partners, go to

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Saving Money x 2
Posted by Tom Klemens on December 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM.


ESAB introduced its new Integrated Cold Electrode (ICE) automated welding technology in November in Chicago. (Click photo for a closer look.)


One way to save money: The new Integrated Cold Electrode (ICE) technology developed by ESAB Welding and Cutting Products offers fast, accurate deposition for automated welding applications. How does this submerged arc welding technology yield higher deposition rates without increasing heat input? By using the excess heat already available to melt an additional non-powered welding electrode, instead of just adding more energy. The increased deposition rate can be used to increase welding speed and significantly improve productivity in applications where welding speed is the key. The result: up to 50% higher deposition rates and up to 100% more productivity in root welds.


ICE technology also enables the use of tandem welding in root passes, which results in improved penetration and allows many applications to be completed with fewer runs. The need for back gouging is eliminated, which can increase productivity up to 100% in root welding, depending on the application. More information is available on the company website,


Another way to save money: Register now to attend the 2012 NASCC: The Steel Conference, which will be held April 18-20 in Dallas. Featuring more than 100 technical sessions and nearly 200 exhibitors, it’s a great place to gather a lot of information in a short period of time. And this year, the earlier you register, the more you save. For all the details, go to Just remember, though, the price goes up at midnight Sunday.

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FHWA Seeks Industry Input for Long-Term Bridge Performance Program
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently contacted the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) as part of its effort to obtain industry input from professional organizations, associations, and companies who share a mutual interest in improving the health and operational capacity of our nation’s bridges and highways. In support of the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) program, FHWA encourages the bridge engineering community and other interested parties to submit innovative ideas and/or technological resources for possible discussion at a public meeting in the Washington, D.C. area next spring.


FHWA requests input in the form of a white paper, suggesting opportunities for collaboration between your firm or organization and the LTBP program. These may include data sharing, access to knowledge and/or contribution of products, services or expertise that support the LTBP program. FHWA will review all white papers and discuss the suggested concepts with submitters before its public meeting in late May or early June of 2012.


White papers must be submitted by 3 pm Eastern Time on Friday, January 13, 2012, for consideration to be included in discussion at the public meeting. For full details on submitting a white paper, as well as additional information about the public meeting, visit NSBA’s website at Learn more about the LTBP program by visiting FHWA’s website at

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Steel Shots: Derry’s Peace Bridge Wins Tekla BIM Award
Posted by Tom Klemens on December 16, 2011 at 10:13 AM.


This model of the 312 m long, 4 m wide Peace Bridge in Derry, Northern Ireland, is the winner in the steel category of the 2011 Tekla Global BIM awards.  


The Peace Bridge in Derry, Northern Ireland, has received the top award in the Tekla Global BIM Awards 2011. Rowecord Engineering Ltd., which is based in South Wales, U.K. and one of the principal structural steelwork contractors in the U.K., created the model. The structure is an S-shaped footbridge supported by two curved suspension structures. It spans the River Foyle and opened June 25, 2011, linking the Cityside and Waterside of this historic and long-divided city, which is also known as Londonderry.


To learn more about the Tekla model and the project, as well as the winners in the other categories, go to (To go straight to the Peace Bridge description, visit


To learn more about the Peace Bridge on the Rowecord Engineering website, go to The company offers a fact sheet on the bridge as well as a number of photos of its fabrication and erection.


You can hear the architect explain the concept behind the Peace Bridge design in an online BBC news item at (scroll down to the second image).


For a nice aerial view of the opening day crowd on the bridge, watch the  30-second video (from derrywebtv) at


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