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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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