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AISC Scholarship Opportunities Now Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM.

AISC and its structural steel industry partners place a high priority on the development of future professionals, and AISC is now accepting applications for its 2012-2013 scholarship program. Undergraduate and graduate students in civil or architectural engineering or construction management programs are encouraged to take advantage of this annual opportunity to receive financial assistance by applying for this program at This year a total of $98,000 in aid is being offered to more than 20 university students.


Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2012. For detailed information on this year’s scholarship opportunities, view AISC’s press release at If you have any questions, please contact Maria Mnookin at 312.670.5418 or

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Bert Cooper: More than Six Decades Dedicated to the Steel Industry
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 28, 2012 at 3:36 PM.

bert-cooper-photo.jpgBert Cooper, chairman of steel fabrication firm W&W/AFCO Steel, Oklahoma City, passed away on Tuesday, February 28, at the age of 82. A long-time structural steel industry representative and contributor, he served on the AISC Board of Directors for two decades. In 2008 he received an AISC Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication of substantial time and financial resources to support industry research activities, and was instrumental in advancing unified specification.


Upon graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1951 with a business degree, Cooper joined W&W and stayed with the company for more than 60 years, culminating his career as chairman of the board. His son Rick is president and chief executive officer and currently serves on the AISC Board of Directors. The company has provided steel fabrication for some of the nation’s most notable projects, including the New York Times office building, the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium and the World Trade Center Memorial & Museum pavilion.


Cooper is survived by his wife, Terri, and his sons, Rick and Larry.

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Conceptualizing your Next Parking Structure
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM.

If you’re planning to attend the 2012 Parking Industry Exhibition (PIE), March 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago, don’t miss out on the session “Building Tomorrow’s Steel-Framed Parking Structures Today.” AISC Regional Engineer Monica Shripka will discuss how using structural steel framing can reduce costs, scheduling and maintenance for your next parking project. The session will be held on Wednesday, March 21, at 9 a.m.


You’ll learn how efficient steel framing, an ample supply of readily available steel and active competition among fabricators all contribute to rapid project delivery and low construction cost. Shripka will present case studies on the latest design methods that demonstrate how smaller structural steel members can improve lighting and security for garage users, as well as how modern coating systems and steel framing can simplify inspections and reduce life-cycle maintenance costs.


You can also stop by the AISC booth in the exhibit hall to pick up additional information and talk about steel solutions for your next parking project. For more information about the conference, visit

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Steel Structure Trivia: The Unknown Sculpture
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM.


Brace yourselves for MSC’s first Steel Structure Trivia question! This is one of more than 140 renditions of the AISC Steel Sculpture that have been erected on college and university campuses since it was originally developed by Duane Ellifritt in 1986. The question is: Where in the world is this one? (Keep reading to find out how to enter the contest and submit your answer!)


Once you become aware of something, you begin to see that same thing in places you never noticed it before. For example, the car you just bought, an interesting architectural element or perhaps…the AISC Steel Sculpture.


The original sculpture was developed by engineering professor Duane Ellifritt as a way to give his engineering students at the University of Florida hands-on exposure to structural steel components and connections. It was erected on the UF campus in 1986.


The idea caught on and since then at least 140 more have been erected. As is common with structural steel, each has its own individual characteristics, but all reflect the distinctive appearance of Ellifritt’s original sculpture. This one is located on a prominent engineering school’s campus.


How to Enter the Contest:
We at MSC are excited to launch our monthly Steel Structure Trivia contest by seeing how many of you can correctly identify the school where this sculpture is located! If you think you know, send your best guess by noon (CST) on Monday, February 27, to Tasha Weiss at  At that time, we’ll reveal the sculpture’s location.



The first three people who supply the correct answer will receive an MSC-branded stainless steel back scratcher! You’ll need it to successfully tackle those pesky itches after the trivia pressure subsides. (And check out that telescoping action! Wow!) Its five-fingered curved design reaches from 7 in. to 20 3/4 in. in length.


Think you have what it takes to win? You can test your steel structure knowledge right here on our MSC website on the last Friday of each month, where a new photo showing only a detailed portion of a steel structure will be posted to the Steel in the News section as our weekly “Steel Shot.” Your challenge is to correctly answer the trivia question provided in the news post based on what you see in the photo. The next question will be posted at 10 a.m. (CST) on Friday, March 30.


We’ll help you out a little bit for your first challenge; to narrow down the answer you can view a collection of many of the steel sculpture photos on AISC Education’s Flickr and Facebook pages. (Additions and updates to these pages are always welcome. Send that information to AISC education specialist Maria Mnookin at


The AISC Education web page also includes a link where you can view a list of universities that have received a donated sculpture, as well as download the Connections Teaching Toolkit, a free PDF file that includes plans for the above sculpture.


Good luck!


ANSWER: The steel sculpture is located at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. You can view additional photos and maps of its location in our slideshow gallery at


Congratulations to the winner of our first Steel Structure Trivia challenge, Christopher Cichon with Sargent & Lundy in Chicago! We received several guesses, but Chris was the only person to correctly identify the campus location of the sculpture. Great detective work, Chris!


Thank you to everyone who participated! Remember to check back here next month for the next trivia challenge.


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Latest Version of Advance Steel Detailing Software now Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 23, 2012 at 2:40 PM.

as2012-curved-pedestrian-bridge-customer-pkd-2.jpgAdvance Steel 2012 software from GRAITEC enables structural engineers and steel detailers to build or import a 3D model and automatically generate drawings, bill of materials files and numerical control (NC) files. Historically based on AutoCAD, this new version can be used with or without AutoCAD and includes a graphics engine that allows users to select the desired CAD platform.


The change simplifies the user interface by providing industry-specific software functionality and building information modeling (BIM) integration. This new version also includes the option to group similar connections and change them in a single operation, as well as protect the production and management of project documentation.


Advance Steel can create any size and type of project model and provides comprehensive structural elements and design functions to create stairs, handrails, ladders, cladding and miscellaneous metals. It works in 2D or 3D depending on user preference and type of structure being modeled.


Advance Steel is part of the GRAITEC structural BIM solution, automating the entire structural design process from engineering design to detailing and fabrication. For more information about Advance Steel 2012, visit

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Lowry Avenue Bridge Arches now Complete
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM.

The final piece of the steel arches for Minneapolis’ Lowry Avenue Bridge was lowered into place last Wednesday, February 15. This 40-ft, 73,000-lb center “keystone” segment is one of 22 segments that make up the arches, with each segment weighing between 70,000 lbs and 130,000 lbs.


Due to open in late summer, the cable-stayed, tied-arch design relies on support from above and below the main span. The 1,575-ft replacement bridge is supported by two piers in the river, steel cables running through the bridge deck and 36 cables connecting the bridge’s main span to the 90-ft-high steel arches.


Some predict the new bridge will last for centuries if well-maintained, according to an article published in Finance & Commerce; Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein says it could stand as long as 500 years, with modern construction materials and techniques extending its life span.


To read the full article and view a photo slide show of the last section of the steel arches being lowered into place, go to For additional information on the Lowry Avenue Bridge project, including construction updates, photos and videos, visit

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ASCE Call for Papers: Sustainable Building Structures
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 21, 2012 at 4:09 PM.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) invites designers involved with sustainable building structures to submit abstracts for a special issue of the Journal of Structural Engineering.


Manuscripts published in this issue will reflect original research and technological advancements on topics that include, but are not limited to:


1) Recycling of materials or increased use of sustainable materials in structural design, analysis, behavior, and construction.

2) Reduction of construction materials through more efficient structural design, life-cycle cost analysis, design optimization methods, etc.

3) Reuse or extended use of building structures through structural health monitoring, repair, retrofit, and rehabilitation.


Abstract submissions are due by April 30, 2012 and must be emailed as PDFs to Complete manuscript submissions for abstracts that have been selected are due by August 31, 2012 and can be submitted to ASCE online at The tentative publication date for this issue is July 2013. You can find additional information at


For questions, please contact: Yahya C. Kurama, University of Notre Dame, Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, Notre Dame, Ind. (, 574.631.8377); or Arzhang Alimoradi, Southern Methodist University, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dallas (, 214.768.1721).

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Random Reading
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM.

Every now and then we discover a previously unknown (or forgotten) collection of steel-related documents from the past. Three such collections are now available at in the “Ideas + Answers” section under “Project Solutions.”


Two of the collections are project case studies created by U.S. Steel and Bethlehem Steel in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. You may not recognize the projects, but they do a great job demonstrating the versatility of structural steel in everyday structures. Plus, the next time you’re in Bloomington, Minn., near I-494 and the airport, you can amaze your friends by telling them that the Crowne Plaza was originally a Holiday Inn and it’s framed with staggered trusses!


The third collection consists of brochures produced for Prize Bridge Award winners since the 1920s. Many of these bridges are still in use today.

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Steel Shots: Touring 4 World Trade Center
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM.


The 44th level of 4 WTC features a belt truss system that transitions the structure from a parallelogram to a trapezoid. Photo: Jacinda Collins


Steel erection is now complete up to the 62nd floor of 4 World Trade Center, planned to be the fourth tallest skyscraper envisioned for the WTC site. Back in December, DCM Erectors provided AISC Regional Engineer Jacinda Collins with a tour of one of the newest additions to the New York City skyline. These are some of her observations:


“4 WTC is the smallest of the skyscrapers at the WTC site, however, it contains a number of unique features. It has a concrete core and utilizes steel and composite outriggers, as well as belt trusses, at the mechanical floors of the structure. The column-free spans from the core to the perimeter are approximately 45 ft with web openings for mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP).


The 44th story is the belt truss level and has a lot going on including a lot of welding.


4 WTC also has a number of super columns and is designed to resist blast and progressive collapse. For erection, DCM created steel platforms for the ironworkers to work at higher levels. The 3-5 story platforms allow the working level to rise with the columns and not the decking.”


A journal paper from the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology explains the belt truss concept. You can read the PDF here.


According to, 4 WTC is located on the southeast corner of the 16-acre WTC site and will face directly onto the World Trade Center Memorial Park to the west. Scheduled for completion at the end of 2013, it will rise 977 ft from street level to 72 stories. The tower is intended to assume a quiet but dignified presence at the site while also serving to enliven the immediate urban environment as part of the redevelopment efforts of downtown Manhattan.


For more information about the World Trade Center’s rebuilding progress, including the latest construction images and video, visit A photo by Jennifer Hardyniec, a first-year structural engineering graduate student at Virginia Tech, shows another perspective of 4 WTC and received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 AISC Student Photo Contest. You can view the photo in our previous news post at

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Encouraging Young Women to Explore Engineering
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM.

In the past decade, “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” has introduced more than one million girls and young women to the engineering field. Now in its 11th year, the national event will take place next Thursday, February 23, as part of Engineers Week. To find an event near you, click here.


The Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day program reaches out to girls in grades K-12 with positive messages about engineering careers and math and science education. Its mission is to provide girls and young women with mentors who can inspire their decision to become engineers and increase the number of women in the workforce. Currently only 20% of engineering undergraduates are women and only 10% of the engineering workforce consists of women.


Engineers Week enters its 61st anniversary next week, February 19-25, and was created by the National Society of Professional Engineers to raise public understanding of the importance of the engineering profession. The program reaches out to schools, businesses and community groups across the U.S. to provide various events and resources on becoming an engineer.


For more information on 2012 Engineers Week and descriptions of scheduled events, visit

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