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Column Base Connections Webinar
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 30, 2012 at 6:32 PM.

Column base connections are arguably the most important connections in the entire building, transferring flexure, shear and axial force from the entire structure into the foundation.
Learn more about them by attending the upcoming webinar “Column Base Connections - What Several Years of Testing Has Taught Us,” which will be presented by Amit Kanvinde, Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University of California, Davis, on June 14.


The lecture will explain a comprehensive study, encompassing 19 large-scale tests (and several more currently planned) as well as analysis and finite element simulation, which provides rare insight into the response of these important connections. Various issues including moment transfer, shear transfer and weld details will be discussed, as well as connection flexibility and its effect on building seismic response in the context of improvements to existing design and analysis methods.


The 1.5-hour webinar will take place at 12:30 PM (CDT) on Thursday, June 14, 2012.


Click here for more information and click here to register.


Prices are as follows: $185 for members, $285 non-members and $155 for students/educators.


Fees are based on a per-site connection basis. Purchase one site connection and any number of members in your company or organization may attend at that site connection. All attendees are eligible to receive CEUs/PDHs.) Registrants will receive:


  • Access to a PDF file of the presentation slides prior to the live webinar
  • CEU/PDH certificates for all attendees upon completion of the live webinar (0.15/1.5 CEUs/PDHs)
  • Complete instructions for accessing the live webinar


Click here to learn more about AISC live webinars.

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Steel Profiles Podcasts: Malley and Bruneau
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM.

Have you tuned into AISC’s new free podcast series, Steel Profiles? May’s episode features a 45-minute interview with James O. Malley, S.E., P.E., of Degenkolb Engineers - San Francisco.  Listen in to hear Jim tell me about his earthquake reconnaissance adventures, what it was like to study under Egor Popov and the 2010 AISC Seismic Provisions.


This is AISC’s 18th Steel Profiles podcast. A new one can be found on the first Friday of each month at June’s podcast will feature an interview with Michel Bruneau, Ph.D., P.E., professor in the Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the most recent T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award Winner.


All Steel Profiles podcasts are available for listening and/or download. Just follow these few simple steps:


1. Click on the iTunes button on the Podcasts page to go directly to the podcasts on iTunes and play/download them for free. If you don’t have iTunes as your media player, don’t fret. You can download it for free at and set up your free account.
2. You can also easily search for Steel Profiles podcasts in the iTunes Store by typing in “Steel Profiles” in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Once you’ve downloaded the podcasts to your iTunes account, they can be transferred onto any portable MP3 player.
3. Want to save time by having all future Steel Profiles podcasts automatically downloaded to your iTunes account each month for free? It’s as easy as clicking on the Subscribe button when you’re in the AISC Podcast Series in iTunes.


AISC podcasts are also available for downloading and easy online streaming at They can simply be played without having to do any installing.


Happy listening!

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Steel Structure Trivia: View from Above
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM.


Here’s MSC’s May Steel Structure Trivia question! This photo is a different take on our “Steel Shots,” showing the photographer’s perspective from atop an American landmark. Your challenge is to correctly identify the steel tower from which this photo was taken. Photo: Geoff Weisenberger



Answer: This shot was taken from the north side of the 99th floor of Willis Tower in Chicago. (Click the thumbnail for a larger view of the full photo; AISC’s building is just outside of the shot, to the right.) Congratulations to Matt Lombardo, a structural engineer with McPherson Design Group in Norfolk, Va., for being the first (and only) person to supply the correct answer! And thanks to all who participated.


Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was the tallest building in the world from its completion in 1973 until 1998, when it was surpassed by the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That structure has a total height of 1,483 ft, but this includes the architectural spires; the towers’ roofs are actually 1,242 ft. Willis Tower’s roof is 1,450 ft and its twin antennae–not considered architectural features–reach 1,729 ft. (Both buildings were surpassed in height in 2004, when Taipei 101 opened.)


Sears SmallAn icon for the Chicago ever since it was built, Willis Tower–designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with Fazlur Khan as the structural engineer–consists of nine separate 225-ft by 225-ft square “tubes” in a 3×3 grid, up to the 50th floor. Starting at level 51, two tubes end and the remaining seven continue up to level 66. From floors 67-90, there are five tubes, and then the number of tubes is reduced to two from floors 91-108.


The building used 76,000 tons of structural steel in its construction. Thanks to advancements in the domestic steelmaking process and an increase in the strength of structural steel, if it were built today versus 1973, the steel package would be much more efficient. It could be done with approximately 16,000 fewer tons of steel, 876,000 fewer labor hours, a 58% lower carbon footprint and 74% less embodied energy.


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. (CDT) on Friday, June 29.



The first three people who supply the correct answer will receive a 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.

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National Student Steel Bridge Competition to Stream Live Online
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM.

nssbc2012color_web.JPGStarting tomorrow, 47 university teams, comprised of a total of nearly 600 students, will converge at Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., to compete in the 2012 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC), May 25-26. If you’re unable to watch the action in person, you can view this exciting and fast-paced event online via live video streaming, and see if your school gets crowned the national champion!


Live footage of the competition, which begins at 7:30 a.m. (EST) on Saturday, May 26, at Fike Recreation Center, will be shown at
, and the loading area of the competition can be viewed the day prior at Clemson University will also provide competition updates at and


About 200 student engineering teams across North America participated in a total of 18 regional competitions since January. Regional competitions concluded last month, and qualifying teams were chosen for the finals. To view this year’s qualifying teams, go here:


The competition challenges student teams with building their own designed and fabricated steel bridges under the pressure of the clock. Bridge rankings are based on a variety of factors, including: construction cost, construction time, total bridge weight and bridge stiffness.


“The students that participate in this competition demonstrate great design and management skills, and impressive ingenuity,” commented Nancy Gavlin, AISC director of education. “Their dedication and enthusiasm for their work is a joy to observe.”


For more information about the competition, visit or

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2012 NASCC Proceedings now Online
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM.

While there’s no substitute for attending NASCC: The Steel Conference in person, AISC offers the next best thing: the conference proceedings.


The proceedings document much of the material presented at NASCC, including a synchronization of the speakers’ voices along with their PowerPoint presentations. The recorded sessions from this year’s conference in Dallas are now posted for free online viewing at (you can find previous conference seminars by visiting and clicking on “Steel Conference Proceedings”). Some of this year’s sessions are also available in MP4 format, with speaker video.


Why do it this way? Because The Steel Conference takes a different approach to its sessions. While most conferences issue a call for papers, NASCC’s planning committee selects topics and then seeks out the top experts on those topics. As a result, AISC doesn’t require presenters to produce papers. Instead, the proceedings are an actual documentation of the material presented at the conference. AISC then makes much of this material available at no charge as part of its mission to disseminate information that makes it easier to design and build with structural steel.


For the first time, the National Steel Bridge Alliance’s World Steel Bridge Symposium was collocated with NASCC. The entire exhibit hall was sold out and the attendance of nearly 3,600 made it the third largest Steel Conference ever. Many of the WSBS sessions are included in the online conference proceedings. You can also download this year’s WSBS papers at no charge at


Next year’s NASCC will be held in St. Louis, April 17-20. To learn more about The Steel Conference, visit


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American Bridge Wins Florida Contracts
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 22, 2012 at 4:20 PM.

The Tampa District of American Bridge Company, an AISC member, was awarded multiple bridge contracts the past two months, already exceeding its 2012 targets.


The Florida steel bridge projects include:


The Tom’s Harbour Channel Bridge Replacement project in Duck Key, which involves demolition and removal of the existing bridge superstructure and extensive repairs to the substructure, while keeping the bridge open to traffic during the rebuild. Construction has already started on this five-span, 250-ft-long, 35-ft-wide bridge, and completion is expected before the end of this year.


The Port Manatee Berth 12 Wharf Extension and Container Terminal project in Palmetto, which involves an extension at the end of the existing Berth 12 (also built by American Bridge), with a new 590-ft-long deep water steel combination-wall bulkhead with associated concrete cap, moorings and fenders. More than 900 tons of steel is being used for the project; construction starts this month and is expected to be completed next summer.

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First U.S. Consensus BIM Standard now Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 21, 2012 at 3:39 PM.


Last week the buildingSMART alliance, a council of the National Institute of Building Sciences and the North American chapter of buildingSMART International, released the first consensus-based standard for building information modeling (BIM) in the U.S. The new standard, National BIM Standard-United States (NBIMS-US) Version 2 (V2), aims to identify a process for the full life cycle of buildings, including planning, design and construction and operations and sustainment.


Those involved in all sectors of the facilities industry were able to contribute to the development of the new standard by submitting ballots under three main categories: reference standards, information exchange standards and best practice guidelines that support users in their implementation of open BIM standards-based deliverables. Members of the NBIMS-US Project Committee then voted on the ballots.


AISC has been heavily involved in the development of NBIMS-US, serving on the Board of
Direction for the buildingSMART alliance and also on the project committee for the


The previous version of the national BIM standard, released in 2007, established the approach for developing open BIM standards. Written by a team of 30 subject matter experts, the standard followed an open process — but was not a consensus-based standard.


The new standard serves as a basis for other countries to adopt unified BIM standards and provide content for future versions. Rollout of the standard will extend to Australia, Canada, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand and the U.K.


To learn more about the new standard and download the document at no charge, go to

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Steel Shots: Dome of Knowledge
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM.


A live webcam image capturing the construction underway at San Diego’s New Central Library. Fabricated and erected by SME Steel Contractors, an AISC member, and constructed by Turner Construction, the steel-framed dome crowns this grand community space. (Click on the image to go to the live webcam.)


A three-story steel dome is rising atop the 498,000-sq.-ft New Central Library for the city of San Diego. Scheduled to be completed next summer, the $185-million facility will serve as a revitalized public resource and double the size of the current library. The building is also being designed and constructed to achieve LEED Silver certification.


The dome will serve as a reading room for the nine-story children’s library. The new building will also feature a technology center, outdoor plaza and cafe, a 350-seat auditorium, a 400-seat multi-purpose room, teen center and two levels of underground parking. In addition, two floors of the library, totaling 76,000 sq. ft, will be used for a charter school serving up to 400 students.


You can track the libary’s construction progress in real time via a live webcam at
. Images are updated every 15 minutes, and you can zoom in or out, direct the camera and also see time-lapse photos.


To learn more about the project, as well as view photos and informational videos, visit


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A Canned Solution to Fighting Hunger
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 17, 2012 at 4:02 PM.

The annual Canstruction competition has returned to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for another display of masterfully built structures designed out of canned foods.


You can view this year’s winning sculptures and competing teams at Led mainly by architects and engineers, teams have worked over the course of three months designing and assembling these remarkable structures made entirely out of canned foods, each within a 10-ft x 10-ft space, up to 8 ft high.


canstruction_2012.jpgThis photo is of the winning sculpture in the Crowd Favorite and Jurors’ Favorite categories. Titled “A Healthy Balance,” the sculpture was designed and built by KJWW Engineering Consultants/VOA/Berglund Construction and is made up of 4,030 cans. Photo: ThinkLeigh Photography

This year’s sculptures were built from a total of 94,436 cans (equaling more than 85,000 lbs of food). All of the sculptures will be on display to the public through May 31. After the exhibits are taken down, all of the cans will then be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. If you’ll be in the area and want to check out these creative sculptures in person, you can also bring your own canned food items for donation.


You can find photos of all of this year’s sculptures on Flickr at or at Canstruction Chicago’s Facebook page at


This Chicago event is part of the international Canstruction competition, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and is annually held in numerous cities throughout the world. For more information, visit

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Structural Modeling on the Go
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM.

Attention Apple users: Did you know you can view and explore structural 3D models on your iOS devices? Late last year, Bentley Systems, Inc. released Structural Synchronizer View, a free app that allows designers to navigate models created with Structural Synchronizer V8 from anywhere, using an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.


Structural Synchronizer View facilitates information access from any structural model and is part of Bentley’s iWare App suite, which features various tools for information mobility and enhanced interoperability. The app is now available for free via iTunes.


To learn more about Structural Synchronizer View and download the app, visit Bentley’s website at (direct link:

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