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Steel Shots: Up & at ‘em
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM.


The rehabilitation of Illinois’ 1929-built Florence Bridge took place with the lift span in the raised position. And while the bridge was held high, construction time stayed low. Photo: Modjeski and Masters


As any bridge inspector will tell you, it’s best to catch small problems before they become big.


In the summer of 2012, a routine inspection of the Florence Bridge, a movable bridge over the Illinois River in Florence, Ill., called for immediate closure of the bridge. The culprit was visible buckling of one of the bridge’s main columns that could potentially lead to a partial bridge collapse.


Given the bridge’s importance as a major crossing of the Illinois River in the area - it carries Illinois Route 106 over the river - the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) needed to find a solution to bring it back into service as quickly as possible. Fortunately, IDOT had a standing, on-call contract with bridge engineering firm Modjeski and Masters (M&M). The contract allowed IDOT to immediately engage M&M, which was able to quickly mobilize engineers to investigate the damage, develop a response plan and assemble a project team.


To learn about how M&M worked closely with IDOT to deliver a comprehensive rehabilitation of the bridge, read the article in the April 2014 issue of Modern Steel (available now!).

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Steel Shots: ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ Sculpture
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 4, 2014 at 3:57 PM.

The winning steel sculpture in AISC’s third SteelDay Sculpture Competition - “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” - designed by Arup San Francisco.
The five finalists for the third annual SteelDay Sculpture Competition were on display at NASCC: The Steel Conference last week in Toronto, where attendees voted for their favorite. (The only rules for the competition are that entrants must be AISC Full and Associate Members and entries have to fit into a 2-ft x 2-ft x 2-ft box and be made entirely of steel.)
Fourteen sculptures were entered into the competition this year, and the winner is “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper.” Designed by Arup San Francisco, the sculpture is based on the famous photo of ironworkers in 1932 taking a lunchtime break on a steel crossbeam about 850 ft above the streets of NYC at the construction site of the RCA Building (renamed the GE Building in 1986) at Rockefeller Center.


More information about the creation of the winning sculpture will be featured in the May issue of MSC.
You can view all 14 entrants at

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Star Seismic Engineer Receives Multiple State Accolades
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 3, 2014 at 1:19 PM.

kim-robinson_sitn.jpgKimberley S. Robinson, S.E., chief engineer at Star Seismic (an AISC member), was recently recognized as “Engineer of the Year” by both the Structural Engineers Association of Utah (SEAU) and the Utah Engineering Council (UEC). She will also be recognized this month as a distinguished alumna by the University of Utah Department of Engineering.


Robinson is a structural engineer with more than 18 years of experience in construction, seismic design, structural analysis and earthquake engineering. She has several publication credits in Modern Steel and regularly presents for industry organizations and conferences such as NASCC: The Steel Conference, Structural Engineers State Associations, the Northwest Structural Engineering Conference, Steel Innovations (SCNZ) and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.
She also provides continuing education for structural engineers and is serving on the Industrial Advisory Board for the Civil Engineering program at the University of Utah, her alma mater. She is a corresponding member of the AISC TC-9 Seismic Committee and consults with code writing authorities on seismic design. She has served The Structural Engineers Association of Utah as secretary/treasurer of the Seismic Committee and other committee positions in the organization. In addition, she’s been involved in outreach to elementary, middle and senior high school students to introduce them to engineering topics.


Her recent projects include the steel-framed Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, Calif., designed by Degenkolb Engineers, and the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco, designed by Thornton Tomasetti.

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Floor Beam Proves Fire-Resistant
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM.

Steel structures typically require special partitions or fireproofing methods, but a new steel floor system has been proven to achieve a four-hour fire rating on its own.


peikko-video-copy.jpgDeltabeam, a slim-floor system for multi-story buildings, was recently tested with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in Northbrook, Ill. It successfully passed the requirements of the one-, two-, three- and four-hour ratings without any fire protection, making it the first fire-rated exposed steel beam. (UL Ratings are now available at under N904, N905 and N906.)


The system’s manufacturer, Peikko (an AISC member), today published a video on the Deltabeam fire test, which includes commentary from AISC Vice President John Cross and Director of Technical Marketing, Tabitha Stine.


“This type of design allows for a low floor-to-floor height application with no additional fire protection being required, and that’s a huge benefit in the marketplace,” said Cross. “Those are the kinds of questions we hear on a daily basis, and to be able to say there is an innovative solution to address to address that - that’s huge.”


“UL is known as the authority for fire ratings,” added Stine. “To get the local building code to sign off on a tested assembly and for the architects and engineers to hang their hat on it, you need that trusted designation by UL.”


For more information about Deltabeam, visit or call 1-888-734-5561.

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La Tour Eiffel Turns 125
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 31, 2014 at 5:10 PM.

eiffle-tower.jpgThe Eiffel Tower celebrates its 125th birthday today. 


Made from wrought iron (a more common structural material before the rise of structural steel), this illustrious symbol of Paris and France was built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which was to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution. A demonstration of technological prowess at the end of the 19th Century, the tower was a defining moment of the industrial era.


Standing at 1,023 ft, it was the tallest tower in the world at the time of its construction - a title it would hold until the construction of New York’s steel-framed Chrysler Building more than 40 years later - and has been imitated in various places around the world.


An estimated 2,500,000 rivets, 7,300 tons of wrought iron and 60 tons of paint were used in the tower’s construction, which took a little over two years. The original plan was that the tower would only stand for 20 years, but it quickly became an icon. Today it welcomes almost 7 million visitors a year.


In recognition of this special occasion, the Eiffel Tower offers an immersive virtual dive in 1900 and a public digital quiz on its Facebook page, in partnership with the Petit Palais and the “Paris 1900, the City of entertainment” exhibition.


Photo: Benh LIEU SONG

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Top Steel Professionals Recognized for Outstanding Achievements
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 25, 2014 at 5:03 PM.

Nine individuals are receiving distinguished achievement awards from AISC for their exceptional contributions to the advancement of the structural steel design and construction industry. These deserving professionals are honored for making a difference in the fabricated structural steel industry’s success and will be recognized tomorrow afternoon at the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto.


AISC’s Lifetime Achievement Award gives special recognition to individuals who have provided outstanding service over a sustained period of years to AISC and the structural steel design/construction/academic community. This year’s award recipients are:


  • Eric S. Kline, PCS, executive vice president at KTA-Tator
  • Charles W. Roeder, P.E., professor at the University of Washington
  • Raymond H.R. Tide, D.Sc., principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates


AISC’s Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated notable achievements in structural steel design, construction, research or education. It honors those who have made a positive and substantial impact on the structural steel design and construction industry. This year’s award recipients are:


  • Christopher Higgins, Ph.D., P.E., professor at Oregon State University
  • John Moebes, director of construction at Crate and Barrel
  • James M. Ricles, Ph.D., P.E., Bruce G. Johnston professor of structural engineering at Lehigh University
  • Michael Culmo, P.E., vice president of structures and transportation at CME Associates, Inc.
  • William Wood, Dr. Eng., professor at Portland State University
  • Terry M. Zwick, vice president/general manager at Atlas Iron Works


Photos of this year’s award winners and additional information about their achievements can be found in AISC’s press release. For more information about The Steel Conference, visit To get the latest updates on what’s happening at the show, visit AISC’s Facebook page at or follow @aisc on Twitter. And if you’ll be at the conference, say hello to our MSC staff! Visit Room 830 at the convention center or contact our senior editor Geoff Weisenberger at We’ll be back with more Steel in the News on Monday.

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AISC Names 2013 Safety Award Winners
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 18, 2014 at 11:39 AM.

Forty-six structural steel facilities are receiving an AISC Safety Award for their safety record during 2013, in the categories of “Shop and Office” or “Field Erection.” Thirty-five reporting facilities earned the Safety Award of Honor, the Institute’s top award for safety, presented for a perfect safety record of no disabling injuries. The Safety Certificate of Merit was won by four reporting facilities and the Safety Certificate of Commendation was won by seven reporting facilities.


“AISC’s annual Safety Awards program recognizes excellent records of safety performance, and we commend these facilities for their effective accident prevention programs,” said Tom Schlafly, AISC’s director of safety. “Periodic recognition of safety in the workplace has been demonstrated to provide worker incentive and a reminder of the importance of safe practices.”


The AISC Safety Awards program is open to AISC fabricator and erector members. To qualify for an AISC Safety Award, a plant or the reporting unit must report a minimum of 300 hours of work in each of the four quarters of a year.


For more information on AISC’s Safety Awards program as well as safety resources for the fabricated and erected structural steel industry, visit

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Former AISC President Neil Zundel Dies
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 17, 2014 at 12:14 PM.

neil-zundel.jpgNeil Zundel, AISC’s president from 1984-1995, passed away on March 15 at the age of 90. Zundel is widely credited for revitalizing the Institute, creating a pathway for increased market share for structural steel and forging closer ties between fabricators and steel producers.


“Neil brought an era of dynamic leadership and professional management to the office of AISC president during a period in which the industry experienced a severe and prolonged recession,” said H. Louis Gurthet, Zundel’s successor as AISC president. “His optimism and confidence guided AISC to maintain our high standards and capabilities for the structural design and construction community during this critical time. Neil’s legacy of professional management positioned AISC for dynamic growth in the years following his tenure.”


A graduate of Princeton University, where he excelled not just academically but also on the football and baseball fields (he was even offered a contract by the Detroit Tigers), he forged a long career with Reynolds Aluminum, eventually becoming group vice president and then president of the company’s German division.


Zundel’s imprint is widely felt in many of AISC’s successes, including the revitalization of the Code of Standard Practice, clarification of the long-standing controversy over design responsibility and the development of new seismic standards following the Northridge Earthquake. But he often said his proudest development at AISC was the growth of the Institute’s university programs. As Zundel once explained, “We’ve developed design guides on the university level to help professors teach steel design. And we’ve helped create excitement among students through the National Steel Bridge-Building Competition. We need to continue this effort to help convince students that steel is not a mature industry but instead is still exciting and evolving.”


For more information on Zundel, please visit

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Steel Shots: Jacks of All Trades
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM.


The 70-ft-tall architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS) delta frame assemblies for Toronto’s Queen Richmond Centre West building project were inspired by children’s jacks. Photo: Courtesy of Cast Connex


Suspending the new 11-story reinforced concrete office tower above two heritage structures - as part of the Queen Richmond Centre West building project in Toronto - are three, 70-ft-tall architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS) delta frames connected by 35,000-lb cast steel nodes engineered, detailed and supplied by Cast Connex (an AISC member).


Each delta frame is an hourglass-shaped frame comprised of steel pipes - four rising from the foundation, meeting at approximately the mid-height of the frame, and continuing through to the tabletop to frame directly below the centerlines of the tower’s columns, which are placed on a 9-m by 11.25-m (29.5-ft by 37-ft) grid. This configuration halved the unbraced length of the inclined pipe columns, significantly reducing their required member size to provide a slim aesthetic. The result was a support concept that was far less obtrusive to the building’s soaring atrium and which would be a distinctive feature of the iconic development.


A tour of Queen Richmond Centre West will take place the Wednesday of NASCC: The Steel Conference (March 26); the project is located just a few blocks from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, NASCC’s home in Toronto. Visit for more information.


You can read more about the project in the March 2014 issue of Modern Steel (available now!).

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Symposium on Tubular Structures: Call for Abstracts
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM.

The Federal and State Universities of Rio de Janeiro will host the 15th International Symposium on Tubular Structures (ISTS15), following a series of the successful Symposia under the guidance of the Subcommission for Tubular Structures XV-E of the International Institute of Welding (IIW). The Symposium will take place at Hotel Pestana, in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, May 27-29, 2015. The last two versions were held in Hong Kong, China (2010) and London, UK (2012).


This Symposium is considered the principal showcase for tubular structures and the prime international forum for discussion of research, developments and applications in this field. The conference would be of interest to manufacturers of hollow structural sections (HSS) or related construction products, architects, trade associations, design engineers, steel fabricators, owners or developers of tubular structures, researchers, academics and postgraduate students.


Participants wishing to present a contribution are invited to submit one or more abstracts relating to the topics of the conference. The abstracts should be typewritten in English and not exceed 400 words.


Abstracts, including author’s affiliation, must be submitted by April 4, 2014, to the Organizing Committee. Further details about the abstract & full paper format and submission process are available at the conference webpage:


Notification of acceptance of the submitted contribution will be given by May 30, 2014. The complete manuscript in English, including illustrations, must be submitted to the Organizing Committee by August 20, 2014. Accepted contributions will be announced by November 30, 2014, and are expected to be orally presented, in English, at the conference. One presentation per registered author will be allowed.


A detailed description of the conference topics, as well as registration, fees and other relevant information of ISTS15 can be found at the conference webpage.

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