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Steel Shots: “The Bird’s Nest”
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 28, 2012 at 3:56 PM.


In this picture, an old man with a French hat is passing by “The Bird’s Nest” with his shadow in front of him. The sunlight is shining on The Bird Nest’s giant steel frame, creating a breathtaking visual impact, and the flexibility of steel enables the artist to be creative beyond the limit. (Photo and description by Xiaolong Li)


This photo of the Beijing National Stadium (also known as “The Bird’s Nest”) was taken by Xiaolong Li, a civil engineering and economics student at Bucknell University, and received an Honorable Mention in AISC’s 2012 SteelDay Student Photo Contest.


Li also snapped the winning photo in this year’s competition, which captures an inside view of The Bird’s Nest.


The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing, China. For more information and additional photos, visit Arup’s website (the structural engineer for the project) at (direct link:


You can view all of the winning photo entries from this year’s Student Photo Contest at We also featured them as Steel Shots on the MSC website during the last quarter of the year.


We at MSC wish you a Happy New Year! We’ll be back here next Wednesday, January 2. And due to the holidays, our monthly Steel Structure Trivia challenge for December will be posted next Friday, January 4, at noon CST.

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Steel Shots: World’s Longest Cantilever Bridge
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 21, 2012 at 11:14 AM.


The Quebec Bridge, or Pont de Quebec in French, was built in 1917 and connects Quebec City and Levis. It crosses the Saint-Laurent River. It’s the longest cantilever bridge in the world. In Quebec, this bridge represents much more than a way to cross water. It’s a symbol of what we were able to do with steel. (Photo and description by Alexandre Drouin)


This photo of the Quebec Bridge, or Pont de Quebec in French, was taken by Alexandre Drouin, a student at the Universite Laval in Quebec City, and received an Honorable Mention in AISC’s 2012 SteelDay Student Photo Contest.


Built in 1917, the Quebec Bridge is a 3,239-ft-long riveted steel truss structure and is the longest cantilever bridge in the world (and the second-longest span in the world behind the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit with Windsor, Ontario).


The bridge accommodates three highway lanes, one rail line and a pedestrian walkway; at one time it also carried a streetcar line. It has been owned by the Canadian National Railway since 1993 and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995. More information and photos of the bridge can be found at Wikipedia.


You can view all of the winning photo entries from this year’s Student Photo Contest at We’re featuring them as Steel Shots on the MSC website through the rest of the year.


We’ll see you back here next Friday with the last Steel Shot of the year. Happy Holidays!

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Manufacturing May Be Comeback Player of the Year
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM.

Last month’s FABTECH show in Las Vegas boasted a record attendance, an array of new technologies and products on display and an unprecedented number of manufacturing sessions–all signs that manufacturing in the U.S. may have a bright future.


Show organizers reported that nearly 26,000 people attended, and exhibitors reported that sales activity was brisk and leads were plentiful.


The conference also featured several special events, including a State of the Industry roundtable with manufacturing CEOs concurring that growth in manufacturing should continue for the next year. However, the panelists acknowledged that a stumbling block to growth is the lack of skilled workers in manufacturing, and emphasized that manufacturers need to be more aggressive in influencing parents and students and in giving schools a more active voice in recruiting potential manufacturing workers.


FABTECH also featured a Post-Election Analysis panel featuring Washington insiders with long track records in representing manufacturing interests. The panelists discussed the looming fiscal cliff (they believe that Congress will reach an agreement to at least move the deadline for a debt deal) and other issues that will impact manufacturers.  All agreed that the manufacturing sector has gained influence in Washington over the past two years and encouraged manufacturers to get involved in advocacy efforts for the industry via their trade associations.


“If you can take the pulse of the economy by what’s happening in manufacturing, then you have to be optimistic that we are headed for economic growth,” said Mark Hoper, FABTECH show co-manager.  “A constant theme I heard both on the show floor and at the seminars was that, while challenges and uncertainties remain, most manufacturers believe that their businesses are headed for continued growth in 2013.”


FABTECH is co-sponsored by five industry-leading associations: the American Welding Society (AWS), the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and the Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI).


Next year’s show will be held November 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago. More information on this year’s FABTECH can be found at

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Help AISC Pick New Twitter Handle
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM.

AISC is on the search for a new Twitter handle! (A user’s “Twitter handle” is the username they have selected and the accompanying URL, like so: The username will correspond with AISC’s new Facebook page, and both will go live in the beginning of the new year.


Unfortunately, @AISC is already taken, so we would love to hear your ideas for potential names!


Send your ideas to Victoria Cservenyak, AISC’s digital content editor, at We’ll announce the username when the Twitter page goes live, and if we choose your suggestion, you’ll win a prize! (If we receive multiple suggestions with the same username, we’ll conduct a random drawing.)


Did you know that MSC has its own Twitter page? You can follow us @ModernSteel. 

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James Walker, Jr., GLFEA CEO, Dies Suddenly at 58
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 18, 2012 at 1:33 PM.

jim-walker.jpgThe Great Lakes Fabricators & Erectors Association (GLFEA) Board of Directors announced that D. James (Jim) Walker, Jr., their CEO, passed away suddenly on December 5 at the age of 58. Photo: GLFEA


Walker began his 42-year-career in the construction industry during high school, when he worked for his family’s company, Goss Mechanical. He attended Michigan State University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta and president of the Michigan State Scuba Diving Club, and received a bachelor’s degree in business in 1976. He subsequently studied law and received his Juris Doctorate from the Detroit College of Law.


After law school, he and his wife Emily both went to work for Bechtel Power in hopes of traveling the globe, but only made it as far as Midland, Mich. He later worked for the Association of Underground Contractors before joining GLFEA in 1994.


A lifelong resident of Michigan, Jim was a strong advocate for the state and the city of Detroit; he recently filmed videos for the structural steel industry, showing highlights from around the city. He remained deeply committed to the success of industry in Michigan through the many roles he fulfilled with numerous organizations. He was in Washington, D.C., when he passed away, working on pension for The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC). He served on the TAUC Board of Directors, chaired the LEO Group and was the representative for TAUC on the Pension Reform Commission.


Walker is survived by his wife, Emily, a son and a brother.

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Steel Shots: One WTC Spire Heads to NYC
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 17, 2012 at 2:35 PM.


Nine barrel-shaped sections of steel, produced in Montreal for the 408-ft-tall spire for One World Trade Center, recently traveled 1,500 nautical miles on a barge from Quebec to lower Manhattan. The rest of the sections will arrive by truck later this month from Canada and New Jersey. Photo: Courtesy of DCM Erectors


Eighteen barrel-shaped sections of steel will make up One World Trade Center’s 408-ft spire, which will weigh nearly 800 tons and function as an antenna, according to a recent article published in New York Daily News.


According to the article the first piece of the spire — a 16-ft-tall, 70-ton steel section — was raised 104 stories and hoisted into place atop the tower last week. The entire spire is expected to be installed by the spring, and when it’s complete One WTC will be become the tallest building in the western hemisphere at 1,776 ft; it’s currently the tallest building in New York.


You can view additional photos of the first piece of the spire being lifted into place and read the article in its entirety at (direct link:


More information about the One WTC’s construction progress can be found at

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Hollow Metal Door and Frame Standard Available for Public Review
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM.

A proposed revision to the ANSI/NAAMM standard, HMMA 865: Guide Specifications for Sound Control Hollow Metal Door and Frame Assemblies, is now available for public review and comment. To obtain the standard, ballot and other related documents, go to the National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM) website.


Comments must be received on or before December 31, 2012 to be considered.

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New Jack Trice Stadium Scoreboard a Triumph of BIM, Team Collaboration
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 12, 2012 at 7:02 PM.

Last summer, a new 36-ft-tall, 80-ft-wide video/scoreboard was installed on the north end of Jack Trice Stadium, home of the Iowa State Cyclones. It is one of the 15 largest scoreboards used in a college football stadium.


The steel structure supporting the board spans more than 150 ft and was erected overtop an existing two-story building. To minimize interruptions to the Iowa State Athletic Department, the construction team built the entire horizontal structure on the ground and then erected it over the existing building. Once the structure was assembled and the vertical towers were in place, the team hoisted the larger truss.       


The construction team included general contractor Weitz Construction, Des Moines; Weitz Construction Product Distributors, Des Moines; Northwest Erectors, Grimes, Iowa (an AISC member/AISC advanced certified erector); HR Steel Detailing, Kearney, Mo.; and Raker Rhodes Engineering, Des Moines. The team used 3D modeling extensively to coordinate the difficult schedule and steel erection. Daktronics, Inc., of Brookings, S.D., supplied and installed the video board.


Raker Rhodes Engineering (RRE) was given a preliminary structural analysis model from Daktronics. The challenge was to reduce the project tonnage in order to facilitate the tricky crane pick over the existing building. RRE accomplished their goal of reducing the steel tonnage and used the analysis model as the basis for their Revit model. They then shared the model with the steel detailer, who added connection material using SDS/2 detailing software, then created 3D PDFs of the detailed model for team members to use for coordination. A 3D sketchup model, created from the RRE Revit model, was inserted into Google Earth to give the owner an idea of the scale and final location of the scoreboard structure.



Click here to watch a time-lapse video of the scoreboard installation (or click on the thumbnail image to link to the video on YouTube).











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Live AISC Erection Engineering Webinar this Thursday
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM.

AISC will host a live webinar this Thursday, December 13, on “Erection Engineering: The Science Behind the Art.”


Presented by Clint O. Rex, Ph.D., P.E., and William P. Jacobs, S.E., P.E., of Stanley D. Lindsey and Associates, Atlanta, the webinar will provide solutions for some of the challenges faced in the erection engineering of complicated commercial building structures. Topics will include truss stability, lifting analysis and hydraulic jacking, with emphasis on the use of commercially available analysis software for implementing Direct Analysis procedures for stability design. Design recommendations and real-world examples will also be provided.


The 1.5-hour webinar will begin at the following times, relative to time zone:


10:30 a.m. PST
11:30 a.m. MST
12:30 p.m. CST
1:30 p.m. EST


The cost of the webinar is $185 for AISC members, $285 for non-members and $155 for students and 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 view the webinar 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 webinar, CEU/PDH certificates for all attendees upon completion of the live webinar (0.15/1.5 CEUs/PDHs) and complete instructions for accessing the live webinar.


Click here to register for the live webinar.


To learn more about AISC webinars, visit

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Volunteers Wanted for U.S. BIM Standard Subcommittees
Posted by Tasha Weiss on December 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM.

Calling all building industry professionals with an interest in BIM!


The National Institute of Building Sciences’ buildingSMART alliance, developer of the National BIM Standard-United States (NBIMS-US), is looking for volunteers to get involved in the development of the NBIMS-US Version 3.


BIM (building information modeling) is a shared resource of knowledge about a facility that can be used to make decisions about a building through its life cycle — from the initial idea to design and construction to daily operations and eventual demolition. Because BIM covers all aspects of the building process, everyone in the construction industry will be impacted as its use becomes standard operating procedure. Therefore, it is important that representatives from every segment of the industry participate in development of the new standard.


“Developing the National BIM Standard-United States is a monumental effort that will change the way our industry operates,” said NBIMS-US Project Committee Chair Chris Moor, also AISC’s director of industry initiatives. “Volunteers have the opportunity to use their expertise to ensure NBIMS addresses their specific areas of focus, which means they can have an impact on the acceptance and usability of BIM within the life cycle of a building. Their involvement is crucial to our momentum.”


The NBIMS Project Committee is looking for volunteers to sit on the following Subcommittees and Workgroups:




  • Product Development Subcommittee (PDS): Develops the means and methods of proactively seeking, collecting, monitoring, developing and balloting any existing (and ongoing) industry initiatives and projects that may result in future NBIMS-US content.
  • Technical Subcommittee (TS): Ensures the technical accuracy and consistency of all information exchange (“technical” and “reference”) ballots and NBIMS-US content, as guided by the buildingSMART International (bSI) best practice documentation and specifications.
  • Terminology Subcommittee (TGS): Develops and maintains a set of terminology definitions and polices their use throughout NBIMS-US ballots and content.
  • Implementation Subcommittee (IS): Develops and maintains the overall style and content structure of NBIMS-US, and develops and manages a “ballot to content” process that streamlines production of the end product.
  • Standard Practice Subcommittee (SPS): Develops, manages, maintains and evolves the “best practices” aspect of NBIMS-US (ballots and content).
  • Market Education Subcommittee (MES): Actively promotes NBIMS-US and educates the market about the overall effort and product.




  • Ballot Review Workgroups (WG): Review and vet the ballots in preparation for commenting and voting by the membership. The exact number of workgroups will be established as the ballot submission period approaches, based on the estimated workload. Currently, six groups are expected.


NBIMS-US is a consensus document that serves to standardize the way practitioners use BIM to more easily pass information from one phase of the building process to another. The NBIMS-US Project Committee oversees the standard’s development.


To learn more about the NBIMS-US, view the volunteer requirements and fill out the online application form, visit
. Applications are due by December 31, 2012.

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