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Steel Structure Trivia: Double-Name Bridge
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 31, 2014 at 1:00 PM.


Here’s MSC’s first Steel Structure Trivia question of the year! The new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, set to open to traffic next Sunday, February 9, connects Illinois with Missouri over the Mississippi River near downtown St. Louis and will be completed just in time to celebrate the city’s 250th birthday next month. The project uses 8,000 tons of structural steel in all, fabricated by W&W/AFCO Steel (an AISC/NSBA member and AISC Certified fabricator), and when complete, it will be the third-longest cable-stayed bridge in the U.S.  Your trivia question is: How did the bridge get its name? Photo: MoDOT and IDOT




The bridge got its name as a compromise between politicians on both sides of the Mississippi River, who had different ideas for the name of the bridge. The Missouri side wanted to name the bridge after the St. Louis Cardinals’ legendary outfielder and first baseman Stan Musial, who died last year, and the Illinois side wished to honor military veterans. In the end both sides won, and this past summer the bridge was officially named the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge (SMVMB).


Congratulations to our winners: Nathan Lang, a senior project engineer with Merrill Iron & Steel, Inc. in Schofield, Wis. (an AISC member and AISC certified fabricator); Bob Brendel, a special assignments coordinator with MoDOT; and Matthew Lombardo, a project structural engineer with McPherson Design Group in Norfolk, Va.


You can read more about the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge project from the November 2013 issue of MSC.


And you can test your steel structure knowledge right here on our MSC website on the last Friday of each month, where a new photo 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. Our next question will be posted on Friday, February 28, at noon (CST). 




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AISC’s Spring Seminar Series to Visit 24 Cities
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 30, 2014 at 5:09 PM.

No matter what type of building you’re designing, AISC’s semi-annual Louis F. Geschwindner Seminar Series is a great opportunity to enhance your professional knowledge as you learn from masters in the industry, live and in person. This season, become more efficient in seismic design with a seminar focused on the new edition of the AISC Seismic Design Manual and recently updated AISC Seismic Provisions. This seminar will be offered in 24 cities around the U.S. from February 20 to late May. Register at


This full-day seminar will highlight proper application of key design and detailing requirements featured in the Second Edition AISC Seismic Design Manual and introduce important technical changes contained in the 2010 AISC Seismic Provisions. The presentation will include useful tools and resources, including course notes and design examples, and attendees will receive 0.8 CEUs/8.0 PDHs.


The Second Edition Seismic Design Manual is available for purchase at a discounted rate of $100 (a $350 value) when you pre-register for the seminar; all copies of the Manual will be distributed on-site at the seminar.


For additional information on AISC’s Spring Seminar Series, including registration details and pricing, go to AISC also offers live webinars and other steel-related continuing education opportunities throughout the year. To learn more, visit AISC’s Continuing Education page.

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Engineers Week Offers Students Real-World Experience
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 29, 2014 at 7:22 PM.

pubdlcntphp.pngEngineers Week is coming up February 16-22 and reaches out to schools, businesses and community groups across the U.S. to offer students various events and resources that provide hands-on experiences with engineering.


Dozens of events are scheduled all over the country, including “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,” which has introduced more than one million girls and young women to the engineering field. Now in its 13th year, the national event will take place on Thursday, February 20, as part of Engineers Week. 


Engineers Week enters its 63rd anniversary and is organized by DiscoverE (formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation) whose mission is to help unite, mobilize and support the engineering and technology volunteer communities.


For more information on Engineers Week and other DiscoverE programs, visit

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Webinar to Highlight Economical Selection of Open Web Steel Joists
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 28, 2014 at 1:41 PM.

The Steel Joist Institute (SJI) is hosting a “Economical Selection of Open Web Steel Joists” webinar on Wednesday, February 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (EST). The webinar will provide design engineers with suggestions for economical specification and selection of open web steel joists.


Presenters will explore the economies of the various combinations of joists, joist girders, bridging and decking that create bay framing, as well as cost impacts of joist special loads and conditions.


For registration details and pricing, visit

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Steel Shots: The Kelpies
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 27, 2014 at 9:49 AM.


Towering 100 ft above Scotland’s new Helix Parkland and weighing more than 300 tons each, The Kelpies — the world’s largest pair of equine sculptures — are not only a stunning piece of public art but also a prime example of the diversity of steel, modern computer modeling and excellent structural engineering. Photo: Courtesy of SH Structures


Forming a gateway at the eastern entrance to Scotland’s Forth and Clyde canal, and the new canal extension built as part of The Helix land transformation project set to open this spring, The Kelpies are a monument to horse-powered heritage across the country.


Designed by sculptor Andy Scott, the 100-ft sculptures are built of structural steel with a stainless steel cladding, designed to withstand the elements as they guard the new canal tunnel under the M9 motorway. Construction began last June and was complete by October. The process, however, involved eight years of planning and one year of fabrication and assembly. The steel was fabricated in Yorkshire and transported to Falkirk, where the structures were pieced together using 3D modeling software.


More than 9,842 ft of steel tubing and 600 tons of structural steel was used in the construction process, and more than 10,000 special fixings were used to secure the ’skin’ of the two horses heads (one looking up and one looking down) to the steel framework.


The Kelpies are positioned on either side of a specially constructed lock and basin, part of the redeveloped Kelpies Hub. Dramatically changing the landscape around Falkirk, The Kelpies and the new canal link into the Forth & Clyde Canal are expected to open up the inland waterways to more and bigger vessels and lead to an increase in boating traffic throughout Central Scotland.


Scott’s 1:10 scale models, known as maquettes, have been displayed at various events and locations around Scotland and the U.S., including the Field Museum in Chicago.


To learn more about The Kelpies, visit The Helix website (

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Engineering Journal Q1 Now Available Online
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM.

The first quarter 2014 issue of Engineering Journal is now available online. Click here to view, print and share the current digital edition.


Papers in EJ Q1 include: ej-q4-2014.jpg


  • “Experimental Investigation of Steel Joist Design for Ductile Strength Limit State” by Joseph Robert Yost, Timothy J. Harrington, Joseph J. Pote, Shawn P. Gross and David W. Dinehart
  • “Experimental Verification of Spliced Buckling Restrained Braces” by Kenneth T. Tam, Ronald L. Mayes, David L. McCormick, Anindya Dutta and Craig B. Goings
  • “Local Stability of Double-Coped Beams” by Bo Dowswell and Robert Whyte 


Article searches for the complete collection of EJ remain available at Downloads of current and past articles in PDF format are free to AISC members and ePubs subscribers. Non-AISC members may subscribe to EJ at the AISC bookstore


Is there a steel design topic that you would like to see addressed in more detail? EJ is always looking for your ideas. E-mail them to Keith Grubb, editor, at

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TRB Recommends Uncoated Weathering Steel for Bridges
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 22, 2014 at 4:53 PM.

A “Report on Performance of Uncoated Weathering Steel (UWS) Highway Bridges Throughout the United States” recently published by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) concludes that UWS bridges perform well in most cases and, considering the economic and environmental benefits, continued or increased use of UWS is regarded as sound engineering practice.


A presentation on the paper at TRB’s recent Annual Meeting reported that (1) the superstructure condition ratings of the majority of UWS bridges are classified as excellent or very good, based on the national criteria for these qualitative descriptors and (2) comparing these ratings of UWS bridges and other steel bridges within representative agencies while accounting for differences in ages of the various populations showed that UWS displays better or similar performance relative to other steel bridges.


The study was performed by the University of Delaware and funded by the Federal Highway Administration. The paper (number 14-1139) is available for download, along with all other papers presented at the meeting, at the 2014 Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers.

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Live Fastener Fundamentals Webinar this Thursday
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 21, 2014 at 2:40 PM.

AISC will host a live webinar this Thursday, January 23, on “Fastener Fundamentals,” which will provide a simple look at concepts and requirements that every engineer should understand about structural fasteners. You still have time to register! (Registration will remain open until 11 p.m. (PST) tomorrow evening.)
Fasteners are a critical part of steel structures. This live webinar will cover a broad range of topics including fastener strength, selection criteria, available coatings and testing. This presentation will go beyond the standards and specifications and provide users and specifiers with helpful background information and intent, as well as practical strategies to keep projects trouble-free.
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.
Register for the live webinar.  
To learn more about AISC webinars, visit

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AGA Releases Galvanized Steel Inspection App
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 20, 2014 at 5:42 PM.

aga_inspectionapp2.jpgThe American Galvanizers Association (AGA) has released a comprehensive app to aid in the inspection of hot-dip galvanized steel.


The Inspection of Hot-Dip Galvanized Steel app is a visual guide to identifying various surface conditions present after hot-dip galvanizing. “The advantage of a picture-based app is it provides inspectors, architects and engineers who may be unfamiliar with the specific outcomes of the galvanizing process with a visual example of a surface condition similar to one they are viewing for their particular project,” said AGA executive director Philip Rahrig.


Each image in the app is accompanied by text identifying the industry term for the surface appearance and detailing how and why it occurs, and whether or not it is accepted according to the specification. “Although approximately 3.5 million tons of structural shapes, plate, fasteners and tubing are hot-dip galvanized each year in the U.S. and Canada, the design of products and the chemistry of steel being galvanized yields an array of results which are often misinterpreted,” Rahrig said. “This app provides an immediate understanding of surface conditions, which makes it handy when there is an inspection question.”


In addition to the visual interpretation of surface conditions, the app also contains critical specification (ASTM, ISO, AASHTO) information to assess compliance with coating thickness requirements, as well as how to conduct repairs.


The app is available for purchase for $4.99 in both the Apple and Google Play stores; visit for the download links.  

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Steel Shots: Crown Jewel
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 17, 2014 at 6:01 PM.


The roof structure of Arlington, Va.’s new office tower at 1812 N. Moore St. is a custom-built ornamental steel structure featuring two tension rings at the top. One is oval-shaped, creating an interesting illusion. Photo: AISC


The signature top of Arlington, Va.’s new 35-story, 580,000-sq.-ft office tower at 1812 N. Moore St. is a decorative structural steel “crown.”


The roof structure — engineered, fabricated and installed by American Iron Works, Inc. (an AISC member and AISC Certified fabricator/Advanced Certified erector) — was fabricated over the course of about seven months and a team of ironworkers assembled the structure in just four nights.


AIW expanded their Maryland shop to allow for full fit-up of the structure. They embedded the steel columns at the upper floors, welded base plates at the top and then let the pinned anchors fall into place before welding. This complicated structure was required to be shipped in certain parts, which had to be delivered upside down, and all construction was required to take place at night.  


The project recently won a 2014 WBC Craftsmanship Award for Structural Steel Framing by the Washington Building Congress.


You can view additional photos of the project on AIW’s website (

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